Full Court Depressed

When it comes to the Clinton Rules 2.0, It’s not just conservatives working the refs, it’s telling the refs we’re playing Calvinball, where the rules are made up and points don’t really matter. Spongefrommom Loadpants:

When President Bush was selective about who he took questions from, the press ate him alive for it. And Bush was far more open to the press than Hillary’s being (and he was the president). And Hillary is running unopposed which makes the press’s role much more important. Why not err on the side of the truth, particularly when the truth hurts? Every meeting with pre-selected human props should be described that way. Every “event” should be reported in hostile — and more accurate! — terms. “Mrs. Clinton held another scripted and staged event today where volunteers asked pre-arranged safe questions the scandal-plagued candidate was prepared to answer . . .”

I understand the press is liberal, but they also have a very high opinion of themselves. The Clinton campaign is making fools of them. It’s time for some payback.

So according to the luminaries on the right, we’ve reached the point where journalists covering Hillary Clinton at all is now proof that they’re stupid dupes who can no longer be trusted, or worse, partisans in the tank for the Democrats who need to be dealt with.  As such, the only option going forward for “fair and balanced” media outlets is to simply and openly attack her at every opportunity.

And that’s not partisan at all, right?

Better question: how many Villagers are going to go along with this?

Forget trying to make the media throw the game, just make a new game where Democrats can’t win.






149 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    If Jonah thinks the press ever ‘ate [W] alive’ for much of anything, ever, he really needs to go watch that video of the prez oh-so-humorously searching for WMDs under the White House furniture while the entire DC press corps yukked it up.

  2. 2
    Professor says:

    Who knew the American ‘Press’ is Liberal. This statement is farcical and false.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    You dont go a day without a Clinton post, do ya? And the election is 500+ days away. Good luck with that.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Zandar @ Top:

    Better question: how many Villagers are going to go along with this?

    Too many.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    From the Jonah Goldberg piece:

    I understand the press is liberal, but they also have a very high opinion of themselves. The Clinton campaign is making fools of them. It’s time for some payback.

    Yawn. “The press is liberal.” And yet elsewhere I’m assured that the MSM is in the bag for Republicans and corporate interests.

    Inevitably, some will whine that the press is ganging up on Hillary, while others will whine that the press is not hard enough. And part of the real truth will be that the stupid, lazy, herd of pundits will ask the wrong questions, boring questions, and “gotcha” questions.

    Same as it ever was.

    But time for “payback?” This is idiotically presumptuous at so many levels. But then again, Goldberg is really not worth reading. He is more worthless as a pundit than David Brooks, the intellectual bottom of all barrels.

  6. 6

    @Professor:
    Considering this comes from the author of “Liberal Fascism”, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that anything and everything he doesn’t like is liberal.

  7. 7

    Better question: how many Villagers are going to go along with this?

    All of them, Katie.

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    I can’t remember the press eating Dubya alive for much of anything until the final year or so of his Presidency, when all of his policies had come home to roost and the country was a shambles.

    Prior to that, they were fairly happy to wave their pom poms for anything their Republican daddy figure did.

    Also too, the elite media has always hated Bill and Hill as white trash from Arkansas. It took Obama for them to pretend to regard them as beloved elder statesmen. Now that Obama’s on his way out, they can drop the facade.

  9. 9
    KG says:

    @Brachiator: see, now you’re just talking crazy, pointing out that everyone thinks the media is against them and for the other guy… i mean, how can one confirm their biases if their narrative isn’t upheld?

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    @Professor:

    Who knew the American ‘Press’ is Liberal. This statement is farcical and false.

    Their fawning, uncritical adoration of the Iraq invasion permanently disabused me of the idea that there was anything liberal about the mainstream American press.

  11. 11
    TG Chicago says:

    Honestly, I mostly agree with Goldberg on this one. Staged events with pre-selected questions are lame. There are some legit questions for Clinton around her email and the Foundation. She should answer them. The fact that she’s unwilling to face this head-on worries me.

  12. 12
    Patrick says:

    When President Bush was selective about who he took questions from, the press ate him alive for it.

    Ignorance at its very best. If the US media had “eaten Bush alive”, we would never have attacked Iraq. There were so many fricking holes in the Bush/Cheney Iraq WMD story that if the US media hadn’t acted as cheerleaders for the war, the war would never have happened.

  13. 13
    Knowbody says:

    @Punchy: won’t stop him or John Cole.

    It’s turning into Hillbuzz in here.

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Honestly, I mostly agree with Goldberg on this one

    .

    My condolences.

  15. 15
    HelloRochester says:

    Since when is she running unopposed? At last count, Bernie(!) is running.

  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    The press ate Dubya alive? Yeah they were a bunch of cockgobblers for him, but oral doesn’t make you liberal. It makes you popular.

  17. 17
    TG Chicago says:

    @Cacti: I think the DC media probably does lean liberal on issues like equal rights for LGBT, climate change, abortion, etc. But I believe the entire population of more highly-educated Americans tends to lean liberal on these issues, and getting a job as part of the DC press corps requires an educational pedigree. So it’s not a conspiracy or anything.

    But it also seems that DC media types lean conservative on taxes, deficits, safety net spending, and new, exciting wars. It’s almost like they’re libertarian, except I imagine they’d be more okay with regulations to mitigate climate change (maybe gun control, too) and they’re definitely fans of sending the military around the world to kill people. It’s a bizarre combination of policy views that doesn’t seem to take hold anywhere but the nation’s capitol.

  18. 18
    Turgidson says:

    Why not err on the side of the truth, particularly when the truth hurts?

    Of course, to a National Review knuckledragger, the “truth” is that Hillary is clearly guilty of crimes punishable by death because BENGHAAAAZIIIII and the fact that she hasn’t already been drawn and quartered is all the evidence they need of deeply unfair liberal media bias.

    This is going to be such a long campaign. Hillary’s been bombarded with negative press over stupid shit nobody cares about, much of it dreamed up by a rightwing ratfker, for months. The idea that the press is going easy on her is hilarious. But, see above.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    And that’s not partisan at all, right?

    Of course it’s partisan. But, y’see, the Republican view is that only Republicans are allowed to be partisan. Democrats are ‘sposed to be above all that petty shit.

    Nothing scares a Republican more than a level playing field.

  20. 20
    El Caganer says:

    Roy Edroso has the definitive take on Doughy Pantload. Every time he does an exegesis of some article of pantloadery, he notes that it is “the stupidest thing ever written – until the next thing Jonah writes.”

  21. 21
    TG Chicago says:

    @Cacti: I know, I’m kind of disturbed by it. But other than a bit of hyperbole (“scandal-plagued” is over the top), what did he say about Clinton that is wrong?

    (I agree that “liberal media” is inaccurate, but I’m putting that aside for the moment)

  22. 22
    Scott S. says:

    It’s time for some payback.

    If payback doesn’t involve Jonah and a shitload of media hacks catching bullets in their brainpans, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

  23. 23

    @TG Chicago:

    Staged events with pre-selected questions are lame.

    Why? They’re a form of advertising, why shouldn’t they be well-staged?

  24. 24
    the Conster says:

    Like Jon Stewart says, the press isn’t biased towards liberalism, it’s biased towards sensationalism and laziness.

    Oh, and by the way, this is how you answer a conservative who asks why you’re liberal, media hacks.

  25. 25
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Here’s something a repub “frequent commenter” pasted into my local news comment section:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ties to agribusiness giant Monsanto, and her advocacy for the industry’s genetically modified crops, have environmentalists in Iowa calling her “Bride of Frankenfood” — putting yet another wrinkle in her presidential campaign’s courtship of liberal activists who are crucial to winning the state’s Democratic caucuses.

    The backlash against Mrs. Clinton for her support of genetically modified organisms (GMO), which dominate the corn and soybean crops at the heart of Iowa’s economy, manifested itself at a recent meeting of the Tri-County Democrats, where members gauged support for the former secretary of state.

    A large faction of women voiced strong support for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy until the GMO issue came up, prompting them to switch allegiances to Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a liberal stalwart challenging her for the Democratic nomination.

    He says he’s hoping HRC loses the democratic nomination to Bernie, because then his favorite Scott Walker can beat Bernie easily.

  26. 26
    taylormattd says:

    I find this amusing because just two days ago John was practically accusing everyone who didn’t agree his take on Hillary’s speaking fees of being in the bag for Hillary. Even though many of us don’t particularly like her and/or found her 2008 campaign to be despicable.

  27. 27
    Valdivia says:

    @Cacti:

    Exactly. And then they turn around and treat President Obama with the uttermost disrespect and justify it as doing their jobs. Wankers.

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    @Turgidson:

    Of course, to a National Review knuckledragger, the “truth” is that Hillary is clearly guilty of crimes punishable by death because BENGHAAAAZIIIII and the fact that she hasn’t already been drawn and quartered is all the evidence they need of deeply unfair liberal media bias.

    This is going to be such a long campaign. Hillary’s been bombarded with negative press over stupid shit nobody cares about, much of it dreamed up by a rightwing ratfker, for months. The idea that the press is going easy on her is hilarious. But, see above.

    Al Gore’s greatest mistake was buying into the media narrative that the public was fed up with the Clintons.

    The divide between media opinion and public opinion on Bill’s presidency was like alternate realities.

  29. 29
    Cacti says:

    @Valdivia:

    Exactly. And then they turn around and treat President Obama with the uttermost disrespect and justify it as doing their jobs. Wankers.

    In my 30-some years of life, Republican Presidents were always treated with a basic level of respect for their office by the national media, which they never extended to Dem Presidents.

    On the contrary, the Dem Presidents always seem to be on trial to prove their American-ness to the national press.

  30. 30
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Cacti:

    In my 30-some years of life, Republican Presidents were always treated with a basic level of respect for their office by the national media, which they never extended to Dem Presidents.

    I wonder how much of that is because of fear. I’m certain Dick Cheney struck fear in the hearts of more than a few villagers. He had friends who could make their lives miserable.

    Biden? Villagers: “Ha ha”

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    @Valdivia: They’re mean girls and boys. They call themselves “nerds” and their sucking up to celebrities evening the #nerdprom, because they know they don’t actually have the smarts or willingness to live under the radar and think differently to be an actual nerd.

    Peeps: it’s a beautiful May afternoon. Even if the weather is deplorable where you are, can you not find something better to do than discuss, exhaustively, a Jonah Goldberg article?

    Gag. (She says, hypocritically, having thrown a David Brooks column link onto the earlier thread about hapless spider babies. Once again, the top rated NYT readers comments show Bobo did not successfully launch his latest bullshit missive. Although I’m not sure they’re meant to be his actual audience.)

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cacti:

    Al Gore’s greatest mistake was buying into the media narrative that the public was fed up with the Clintons.

    Truth.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @Cacti:

    Al Gore’s greatest mistake was buying into the media narrative that the public was fed up with the Clintons.

    yep. The Clintons have been attacked for the last two plus decades. They are more popular now than when they started.
    This drives the right crazy. I approve.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    In some cases that may be true. Poppy Bush was an ex-CIA Director afterall.

    But Ronald Reagan? By his second term, he hardly knew what day of the week it was.

  35. 35
    dedc79 says:

    The Republicans aren’t against staged events, they’re just envious that they’re not as good at staging events as Democrats are.

    If only they realized the importance of these two simple rules
    1) Don’t declare victory a few weeks into a war.
    2) Don’t give video interviews when an animal is being decapitated right behind you.

  36. 36
    Randy Khan says:

    @TG Chicago: I’ve spent some time looking into the Foundation questions, and they mostly seem to be the result of people who don’t understand how non-profits work misreading financial disclosure forms. (I’ve written about this in more detail on other threads.) So far as I’m concerned, she should ignore the sturm und drang about it.

    The emails I don’t know enough about – nobody really does right now – to judge.

    And staged events are no different than what any candidate does, particularly at this point in the campaign. I think it’s actually more telling that she’s making a point of being out on the hustings in Iowa, etc., doing some retail politics, something she didn’t really do that much of in 2008, if memory serves me correctly.

  37. 37
    Valdivia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    nerds my you know what!

    I was going to say I didn’t know how you got through that Bobo column.

    @Cacti: wired for the GOP as Josh Marshall says.

  38. 38

    @TG Chicago:

    But other than a bit of hyperbole (“scandal-plagued” is over the top), what did he say about Clinton that is wrong?

    The primary problem is that he’s acting as if Clinton is doing something unique and therefor especially objectionable, when she’s actually doing exactly the same thing that all the other candidates do. Every candidate from both parties goes primarily to stage-managed events that are packed with pre-selected supporters. Part of that is an attempt at Potemkin Village campaigning, but an equally big part is an attempt to squeeze out disruptive plants from competing campaigns. Nobody wants their campaign events to be invaded by trolls. Given the amount of crazy that’s surrounded anything associated with the Clintons, an event that let in all comers and gave the mic to anyone who wanted to ask questions would be full of Benghazi (and Whitewater, Vince Foster, etc.) truthers faster than you can snap your fingers.

  39. 39
    Han says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Anyone who thinks Clinton is going to lose Iowa because of her support for GMO food is a fuckin’ moron.

  40. 40
    Helen says:

    I think that Hillary is running a brilliant campaign. This is not about doing “the right thing” and it is especially not about “doing the right thing according to the Republicans and Jonah Goldberg.” This is about winning the general election. It seems to me that Hillary’s strategy is to stay quiet and let the other side eat each other alive, form a circular firing squad, and gaffe their way to irrelevance one by one. Then when it gets a bit too quiet, she raises her head up and talks about a contentious issue like immigration and adds as a super-duper bonus remark like “No one on the Republican side is talking about this or willing to do what I propose.” and then the Republicans are forced to step on their own dicks. She is handing them the rope.

    She will eventually have to answer the media questions. But so far, I think it’s genius.

  41. 41
    Keith G says:

    I am just happy HRC is out letting these topics get some air. She would be wise to do this often. She would be well served if follow-up and related questions about her behavior surface in 2015 and not October 2016.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore: Good point. Jeb!’a encounter with the skeptical questioner in Reno was after his official appearance was over. He was working the crowd after his scripted appearance was done. I expect the same to happen to HRC sooner or later, and hope she handles whatever comes better than Jeb!.

    I do remember some of the media complaining about the long intervals, and very few press conference Bush Ii held, especially when his administration became a festival of fail. Other than that, not much.

    Biggest howler in the column is comparing a candidate to a sitting president. I may be wrong, but it is difficult to imagine anyone paying attention to such openly foolish and partisan columns by right wing hacks. But then, the corporate media is scared to death by any criticism from right wing no matter what it is.

  43. 43
    Turgidson says:

    @Cacti:

    Al Gore’s greatest mistake was buying into the media narrative that the public was fed up with the Clintons.

    I’d say picking Lieberman over Graham was his greatest mistake, but the Lieberman pick was in large part a byproduct of the mistake you describe (hey look, I’m so not-like-Bill-Clinton that I picked an insufferably sanctimonious Clinton scold as my running mate), so yeah.

  44. 44
    Fair Economist says:

    @Roger Moore:

    when she’s actually doing exactly the same thing that all the other candidates do. Every candidate from both parties goes primarily to stage-managed events that are packed with pre-selected supporters.

    That’s not quite true. The audiences at Hillary’s events are selected, but they’re far less scripted than the Republican events are. She can actually talk with this people, and she’s obviously getting substantial feedback, notably on drug war issues and income inequality. This is a unique advantage for Democrats, because we have far fewer nuts than the Republicans; partly because there’s just far fewer nuts on the left these days, and partly because on the left they’re much more likely to self-select out of the major party. If the Republicans did similar events, they’d spend most of their time fielding questions on Jade Helm, Obama’s birth certificate, Vince Foster, etc.

    Essentially, Hillary can bypass the consultant and villager screens and talk directly to Democratic party activists and get actual suggestions and advice from them. It’s looking like a brilliant move, although I’m not sure to what extent it was planned and to what extent it’s luck.

  45. 45
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Off topic, but…

    America’s trains suck on purpose: “Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow.”

    The project of starving, stripping and dismantling all common goods in the USA is an ideological project that is the endgame of a movement that hit its stride in the Reagan years. Its irrational phobia of state spending — however necessary and beneficial — is a mirror image of the Soviet terror of the free-market. Without the Soviet Union, America has become its warped-mirror twin, a land where standing in endless lines is the norm, where all the stores sell the same things.

    But the bias against the common good goes deeper, into the very cortex of the imagination. This was exemplified by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision, a few short years ago, to cancel the planned train tunnel under the Hudson. No good reason could be found for this—most of the money would have been supplied by the federal government, it was obviously in the long-term interests of the people of New Jersey, and it was exactly the kind of wise thing that, a hundred years ago, allowed the region to blossom. Christie was making what was purely a gesture toward the national Republican Party, in the same spirit as supporting a right-to-life amendment. We won’t build a tunnel for trains we obviously need because, if we did, people would use it and then think better of the people who built it. That is the logic in a nutshell, and logic it seems to be, until you get to its end, when it becomes an absurdity. As Paul Krugman wrote, correctly, about the rail-tunnel follies, “in general, the politicians who make the loudest noise about taking care of future generations, taking the long view, etc., are the ones who are in fact most irresponsible about public investments.”

    – Adam Gopnik

  46. 46
    bemused says:

    @the Conster:

    Great link. I was happy to see it was written by the editor of the paper which is in southern city. I rarely wade into most comment sections because they are usually putrid cesspools of wingnuttery but I had to check this one out. I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of sane comments.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @Professor:

    Who knew the American ‘Press’ is Liberal. This statement is farcical and false.

    And despite that, most of the polls I remember seeing show that a majority of the American public believes it.

    Which is quite possibly one of the most depressing and “we’re so fucked” statistics out there. Knowing the media’s lying to you doesn’t do much good if you can’t tell in which direction. Imagine if the consensus among Soviet citizens had been that Pravda wasn’t communist enough.

  48. 48
    Mike in NC says:

    @dedc79: Yes, the mother of all staged events was the guy who landed on an aircraft carrier dressed up like a Top Gun, who then made a victory speech to the assembled crew while a huge “Mission Accomplished” banner hung behind him.

    Now the Villagers want to see him be the leading foreign policy advisor to his brother.

  49. 49
    Belafon says:

    @Punchy: As Charles at LGF says, cancer doesn’t go away just because you ignore it.

  50. 50
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Han: She won’t lose Iowa on this, obviously… but the most stalwart liberals I know, the types who constantly post liberal memes on Facebook the same way the right-wingers post Jesus memes, are absolutely obsessed with the menace of GMOs. Monsanto-hate and GMOs in their food is the foremost political issue they care about, and they cannot be convinced of anything on the subject.

    This actually seriously worries me: if they think Hillary is pro-GMO they’ll never vote for her.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    @TG Chicago:

    … what did he say about Clinton that is wrong?

    1. That Clinton is running unopposed.
    2. That all of her press events and town-hall style meetings are scripted and staged.
    3. That she is only asked “safe” questions.
    4. That she is less open to the press than George Bush was.

  52. 52
    Turgidson says:

    @Helen:

    Agreed. She seems to have caught a milder strain of Obama’s “no-fucks-left-to-give” flu. She’s doing the retail campaigning she wants to do, letting the GOP clown car dominate coverage, and generally making her public statements count – making serious comments about actual issues – in contrast to the parade of drooling dumbassery spilling forth from her wannabe opponents.

    Charles Pierce has a good blog post about the media’s whinefest that Hillary isn’t paying them the proper respect. Chris “Broder Jr.” Cillizza makes Pierce’s point for him in his recent pissy column about it.

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    This actually seriously worries me: if they think Hillary is pro-GMO they’ll never vote for her.

    All seven of them?

  54. 54
    joel hanes says:

    President Bush was selective about who he took questions from

    and showed a strong preference for Our Man from Talon, Jerry/Jeff Gannon/Guckert, who was not a journalist at all.

    Did anyone ever figure out who in the White House played host to Gannon on those occasions when he signed in on the register, but didn’t sign out with the members of the press corps ?

  55. 55
    Turgidson says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I think the liberal “zomg GMO!” crowd is similar in size and importance to the predominantly dudebro “zomg drones and NSA!” crowd. They make sufficient noise to hide their lack of numbers. And in the end, some of them might ragequit and not vote at all, which would be disappointing but not election-altering. The ones who do vote will vote for Hillary, without much enthusiasm.

  56. 56
    boatboy_srq says:

    Jonah Goldberg. National Review. ‘Nuff said. Case in point: “I understand the press is liberal, but they also have a very high opinion of themselves.” This despite all the softballs tossed toward McCain, Boehner, McConnell, and (more recently) Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Bush, Paul, Carson, Jindal et al – who couldn’t even answer those with a complete sentence yet were treated as omniscient Sphinxes for their non-replies. Projection, thy name is Goldbug -um, Goldberg. We’re discussing this douchecanoe why, exactly?

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I think the DC media probably does lean liberal on issues like equal rights for LGBT, climate change, abortion, etc. But I believe the entire population of more highly-educated Americans tends to lean liberal on these issues, and getting a job as part of the DC press corps requires an educational pedigree. So it’s not a conspiracy or anything.

    If I may slightly differ, I think the DC media are the same as Chamber of Commerce types and libertarian dudebros on this: it’s not that they lean liberal on these issues so much as they don’t care about these issues, don’t think it’s a hill worth dying on, and tend to roll their eyes at the SoCons who obsess on them. (But I think they roll their eyes equally at the “Social Justice Warrior” types who “obsess” on these issues from the other side).

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Helen:

    Then when it gets a bit too quiet, she raises her head up and talks about a contentious issue like immigration and adds as a super-duper bonus remark like “No one on the Republican side is talking about this or willing to do what I propose.” and then the Republicans are forced to step on their own dicks.

    Wonderful, even if unintentional wordplay. Hillary, of course, can’t step on her dick cause she ain’t got one. Advantage to the woman.

    I don’t quite agree that Hillary’s campaign is genius, but she has been adept at ignoring the BS the GOP thinks is important, and throwing down the challenge of more substantive issues.

  59. 59
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    The Beltway press depends on access for their stories. Someone not giving it to them is going to sting. IMHO, HRC is doing the right thing to lie relatively low for a while. There’s a lot of time for her to be more public. At the moment, most people aren’t paying attention.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    The project of starving, stripping and dismantling all common goods in the USA is an ideological project that is the endgame of a movement that hit its stride in the Reagan years. Its irrational phobia of state spending — however necessary and beneficial — is a mirror image of the Soviet terror of the free-market. Without the Soviet Union, America has become its warped-mirror twin, a land where standing in endless lines is the norm, where all the stores sell the same things.

    Win!

    The pop narrative is “the Cold War proved that the capitalism of the West was more efficient than the socialism of the East.”

    Personally, I’d say that if there’s a comparison to be made between the two systems, the useful lesson is that the West was (for most of the 20th century anyway) far more pragmatic about its capitalism than the East was about its socialism. Without abandoning free market ideals, they also didn’t turn them into a religion and were willing to experiment with “socialist” notions like welfare states, labor unions, worker protection laws, etc, which hugely mitigated the big holes in capitalist economics and thus helped the system to remain viable. And that if the Soviets had been equally pragmatic and willing to experiment and go with “what works” rather than “what’s ideologically correct,” they’d have had a much better chance of salvaging their system (witness the Chinese).

    Unfortunately, since 1980 the United States (and, by the looks of it, increasingly the entire West) has increasingly gone the Soviet route of turning economics into a state religion. Ultimately a horrific idea no matter which state religion we’re talking about.

  61. 61

    At least the Hillary-ain’t-answering-no-qwershuns clocks were reset today. The press popped off about five and she answered them all. My absolute favorite was the one about her speech fees: when asked if she thought they were inappropriate, she said, “No.” LOL.

  62. 62
    Belafon says:

    And she took questions from reporters today (http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....me-doozies), and they asked her stuff like “where’s your email.”

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    we had 43 White Presidents, and there was no problem with him getting a Pension.

    1 Black President, and suddenly, they care about a Presidential pension?

    ………………………………..

    Amid Clinton cash controversy, House votes to cut ex-presidents’ pensions
    By Kenneth P. Vogel
    5/19/15 2:41 PM EDT

    The bill would put separate $200,000 annual caps on each ex-president’s pension and administrative expense allocation, and would also reduce from their overall benefit payments amounts equal to any private sector earnings beyond a $400,000-a-year threshold.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/.....z3acA994JW

  64. 64
    Downpuppy says:

    The execrable Ron Fournier dropped a hit piece today where he starts most every paragraph with “I don’t believe her”

    Then he went on Twitter to promote it with the claim that he likes & respects her.

    He can’t fool everyone, so he fools himself.

  65. 65
    cahuenga says:

    @JGabriel:

    Would agree with all except #3, assuming “answer” means an unambiguous, non-triangulated or otherwise weasel-word free response.

  66. 66
    TG Chicago says:

    @Randy Khan:

    I’ve spent some time looking into the Foundation questions, and they mostly seem to be the result of people who don’t understand how non-profits work misreading financial disclosure forms. (I’ve written about this in more detail on other threads.) So far as I’m concerned, she should ignore the sturm und drang about it.

    If it’s as simple as you suggest, then why would she be unwilling to face questions about it?

    The emails I don’t know enough about – nobody really does right now – to judge.

    Seems to me that the fact that nobody knows enough about it is the perfect reason to ask her questions about it. I agree it’s too early to come to a conclusion, but questioning is a vital part of getting there.

    And staged events are no different than what any candidate does, particularly at this point in the campaign.

    But solely staged events? Bush and Rubio, at least, have faced some tough questioners in the past week or two.

    All this said, it’s not as if 2016 hinges on any of this stuff.

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris: Very well said. Bravo!

  68. 68
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Yeah. I was there. The press didn’t squeak A WORD about Bush packing all of his events with prescreened folks, and frankly, I think that any Democratic candidate would have to be out of their fucking minds not to do the same these days.

    Because TeaTards who get shouty and like bringing guns to places where they’re not allowed, if for no other reason.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Doughy Pantload is projecting.

    AGAIN.

    Bell&Howell have alerted the cops as to where their missing projectors may be located.

  70. 70

    @Fair Economist:

    Essentially, Hillary can bypass the consultant and villager screens and talk directly to Democratic party activists and get actual suggestions and advice from them. It’s looking like a brilliant move, although I’m not sure to what extent it was planned and to what extent it’s luck.

    I think that qualifies as planning rather than luck, but planning on the part of the people who scheduled the early contests in small states far from the major media centers. The whole goal of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary it to force candidates to engage in retail campaigning that puts them in touch with ordinary people.

  71. 71

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    America’s trains suck on purpose: “Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow.”

    Depend on the government for your health insurance today, and you won’t want to vote for people whose primary purpose is dismantling the government tomorrow. That was Bill Kristol’s political calculus in opposing Hillarycare back in the 1990s, and he was actually bold enough to say so explicitly.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    Better question: how many Villagers are going to go along with this?

    By the way, the other issue here (and even many BalloonJuicers just don’t get it) is that increasingly, the MSM is becoming more and more irrelevant to people, because it is ceasing to exist. So, for example:

    Single-copy newspaper sales — which not that long ago made up as much as 15 to 25 percent of sales — are obsolescent, dropping in double digits per year and, for many papers, 25 to 50 percent or more in just the past three years. Single copy is just one corner of a disappearing world, and it’s one we’ve paid little attention to. In its decline, though, we can see the print-to-digital transformation from another angle.

    Why the drop? Of course, digital reading is a prime reason, propelled by the smartphone revolution; more than one billion smartphones were shipped for sale around the world last year, a mind-boggling number.

    But it’s not the only reason. Right up there on the list would be newspaper company strategy, as expressed in its pricing decisions. Call it quarteritis — a piling on of quarters, raising single-copy prices from 50 cents to 75 cents and then to a dollar and more….

    The upward pricing of newsstand copies across the industry has also been dramatic, as measured by the Alliance for Audited Media last year. For the first time, the most common price for a daily newsstand paper hit $1; the most common price for Sunday is now $2.

    These higher prices have driven these major single-copy declines. They prompt a major question: Has the newspaper industry further accelerated its own decline through its shock treatment of single-copy buyers?

    Let’s take one of Gannett’s largest papers, the Des Moines Register, once a must statewide read for the civically involved. On an average weekday, it sells just 9,000 single copies. For both Sunday and daily, it has lost 53 percent of its single-copy sales in just three years. Its home delivery sales have dropped substantially as well over the same period, down 23 percent on Sunday and 14 percent for daily. Still, the rate of single-copy loss runs double to triple that of home delivery.

    http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/.....opy-sales/

    And in the UK: “National daily newspapers in the UK lost half a million in average daily sales over the past year,” from a recent Guardian story.

    You also have fewer reporters. More blogs, but many blogs are more partisan than newspapers.

    And you have this weird thing where people will see a quote or summary on Twitter or Facebook, and not know or care what the full story was or where it came from.

    Some want to moan that the MSM is unfair or too conservative, but the larger issue is that too many people are just uninformed, settle on first impression half-baked opinions or run for comfort to sources that deliberately appeal to their biases, and have fewer sources of news.

    And the part of the MSM remains thinks that they are still important, but then again, they have always been a touch arrogantly blind.

  73. 73
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    The fact that she’s unwilling to face this head-on worries me.

    @TG Chicago: OMG, guys, SOMEONE IS CONCERNED.

  74. 74
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Roger Moore: They must be pissed that such a thing as medicare exists.

    Which is why they want to “fix” it.

    “Here… let me fix that for ya. [SNAP, CRASH, SOUND OF BREAKING GLASS] There ya go, all better.”

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    I think she is being smart. It’s not like ordinary Americans wish she would pay *less* attention to them and more to the village media.

    Anyway, she’s giving the media weeks to think up brilliant questions and when she finally answers some they are going t obe about the foundation and her e-mails, rather than say, things that actually matter to regular humans.

  76. 76
    TG Chicago says:

    @Chris: Well said. Never thought of it that way before.

    ETA: Didn’t mean to echo Betty, but that’s not a bad thing.

  77. 77
    Belafon says:

    @TG Chicago: And, she did. See my previous comment.

  78. 78
    cahuenga says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Personally, I just don’t get all the bobbing and weaving on TPP. The courage of one’s convictions counts for something.

  79. 79

    @TG Chicago:

    If it’s as simple as you suggest, then why would she be unwilling to face questions about it?

    Because the questions themselves display that the people asking them are incapable of accepting the truth. If there’s truly no there there and anyone who investigates in detail would discover that, then by definition anyone who is still asking questions is either a hack looking for a gotcha regardless of truth and/or a bozo who isn’t capable of doing anything with the answer anyway.

  80. 80
    Randy Khan says:

    @TG Chicago: There are two reasons not to “face questions” about the Foundation stuff. First, it’s a tempest in a teapot and likely will die down on its own; talking about it is more likely to prolong the story than to kill it. Second, the inability of the people reporting the story to understand how charities work – as exemplified by the focus on travel expenses (for an organization that largely operates outside the U.S.) and grants (not the organization’s primary function, any more than grants would be the primary function of CARE or the Museum of Modern Art) – means she’s going to get asked stupid questions. The one thing she can’t do is say how stupid the questions are, which in most cases would be the only accurate response.

    And, honestly, I don’t see why it’s important for her to do what Jeb! and company are doing on the Republican side this early in the campaign. They face a much different dynamic, and need to find ways to cut through the clutter. She does not have that problem.

  81. 81
    TG Chicago says:

    @Roger Moore: But the hackery is baked into the cake. Yes, I’d like there to be a responsible press corps that would look into these issues and declare what is true and what is false. But that’s not the press corps we have.

    We have folks who will just write down whatever political types say to them (cf. Colbert 2006). So if the Republicans are saying a bunch of lies, and Hillary never counters with a bunch of truths, then all that gets printed are the lies.

  82. 82
    Downpuppy says:

    @cahuenga: The TPP will be decided in the Senate, by Republicans. Whatever side Hillary comes down on, she won’t be helping.

  83. 83
    Sherparick says:

    @Punchy: When the NY Times decides that running right wing click bait as its primary political story of the day 500 days before the election, you better get use to it. http://nomoremister.blogspot.c.....eddle.html

  84. 84
    Spike says:

    Get back to me when they discover the equivalent of JimmyJeff GuckertGannon of Talon News in HRC’s press gaggle.

  85. 85
    askew says:

    @TG Chicago:

    She answered 5 media questions and 1 real question from her cheerleading squad this morning on TPP. And we got a bunch of BS. She doesn’t have the political skill to BS successfully like her husband does. She is going to win the nomination but her supporters are going to be in a for a big surprise during the general. She isn’t getting any better at this campaigning and once she gets to the general she won’t have the entire Democratic Party running interference for her. She’ll actually have to stand on her own two feet.

    And the emails from Blumenthal are very worrying. Obama told her to keep him out at State and she went around him and consulted Blumenthal anyways. She passed his emails around state like they were factual and didn’t mention that he worked for Clinton Foundation and a company trying to make money in Libya. And today, she blew off the question about Blumenthal. She doesn’t even care that she is surrounded by sleaze.

  86. 86
    cahuenga says:

    @Downpuppy:

    Taking a position on policy questions isn’t only fair game in an election cycle, it is in fact the entire point.

    The way she is repeatedly dodging this question might make a more cynical person believe she is waiting it out until it passes so she can come out and claim she opposed it all along.

  87. 87
    the Conster says:

    @askew:

    Sidney Fucking Blumenthal. UGH!!!! Haim Saban is waiting off stage too. There are all those names from her past that make my skin crawl.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That was Bill Kristol’s political calculus in opposing Hillarycare back in the 1990s, and he was actually bold enough to say so explicitly.

    It also does not work. Medicare did not turn old people into supporters of government. Neither did Social Security.

    Only way to consistently get voters is to never satisfy them. Abortion comes to mind.

    Healthcare will likely be a net loss for Democrats. I would like to be wrong.

  89. 89

    @TG Chicago:

    So if the Republicans are saying a bunch of lies, and Hillary never counters with a bunch of truths, then all that gets printed are the lies.

    And then the Republicans switch to the next story when this one gets boring. The whole point of this kind of scandal mongering is that the Republicans can keep their hands relatively clean. They get a proxy to make some accusations, the Republicans talk about the need for investigation and Hillary’s need to address it, and the press starts whipping stuff up. The Republicans are never forced to make and direct accusations themselves, so they have plausible deniability.

    The correct response to this kind of thing is to avoid taking it head on. Let the press investigate, because there’s really nothing there. Send out proxies to explain the boring details of why there’s nothing going on. When there’s nothing sexy and obviously incriminating at the end of the investigation, it will disappear with a whimper. Having Hillary talk about it at any length will just give the impression that there’s something sufficiently wrong that she needs to be explaining. Remember, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Roger Moore: Every version of these stories just becomes “A person she knew sent an email and she forwarded it to another person and then there was another email and I saw the email and one of the emails looked at me.”

  91. 91
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The correct response to this kind of thing is to avoid taking it head on. Let the press investigate, because there’s really nothing there.

    But isn’t this the mistake Kerry made in ’04 with the swiftboaters? When he learned what they were saying, he thought it was so absurd he refused to dignify it with a response.

    It was absurd, but the press didn’t help him or his campaign.

  92. 92
    Botsplainer says:

    @Spike:

    Get back to me when they discover the equivalent of JimmyJeff GuckertGannon of Talon News in HRC’s press gaggle.

    A trip down memory lane…

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....goldenberg

    The fake reporter’s downfall came last week when he attracted suspicion with a particularly loaded question to the president on how he would enlist Democratic support for his social security reforms.

    After falsely attributing quotes to Democratic leaders, Gannon asked: “How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?”

    Mr Brock then launched his investigation. Subsequent inquiries by liberal bloggers uncovered Gannon’s links to gay porn domain addresses under his real name, and a posted photograph of a man posing in his underwear with his initials.

    I remember this practically like yesterday. I’d been around for some events swirling around the founding of Talon News, and IIRC I think I’d actually met Gannon/Guckert on at least one occasion.

    It was always a low rent joke of really slimy people.

  93. 93
    James E Powell says:

    @Patrick:

    If the US media had “eaten Bush alive”, we would never have attacked Iraq.

    If the US media had “eaten Bush alive,” he would never have gotten close enough for the supreme court justices appointed by his father to select him as president.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    But isn’t this the mistake Kerry made in ’04 with the swiftboaters?

    Maybe, but probably not. Clinton is extremely well known, everybody has already made up their mind on her, so new information does not change it. That was NOT the case with Kerry in 2004.

  95. 95

    @catclub:

    Healthcare will likely be a net loss for Democrats. I would like to be wrong.

    Two points:
    1) You have to make some progress, or the rubes get frustrated. That’s why the Republicans keep pushing for a minor restrictions on abortion here and there. It’s not just the death by a thousand cuts, but continual proof that they care about the issue enough to keep pursuing it. The flaws in Obamacare leave the Democrats some room for the same kind of campaigning. As long as it’s less than single payer, there are places it could be improved, and those leave a place for the Democrats to campaign.

    2) Winning elections isn’t important in and of itself; it’s important because it lets you get your policies enacted. Maybe the Democrats won’t be riding Obamacare to victory every election, but millions of people will have healthcare who otherwise wouldn’t have it, and that’s really important.

  96. 96

    @Chris: Choose your enemies wisely, because that is who you will become.

    (One of those smart quotes that I can’t find reliable attribution for.)

  97. 97
    Culture of Truth says:

    Yeah I agree she should put a statement on the TPP. Even if it’s “I’m not sure.” That doesn’t mean she has to hold a press conference. She can put it on her website.

  98. 98
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    The pop narrative is “the Cold War proved that the capitalism of the West was more efficient than the socialism of the East.”

    The West was also wealthier. And that wasn’t due solely to the genius of capitalism.

  99. 99

    @Botsplainer: Whatever happened to Gannon/Guckert anyway? (I’d Google him myself, but I’m at work. Don’t want to risk it.)

  100. 100
    gene108 says:

    @catclub:

    Medicare did not turn old people into supporters of government. Neither did Social Security.

    Social Security turned people into supporters of Democrats for 30 years.

    When Civil Rights legislation, couple with economic turmoil, rise in crime, etc., in the late 1960’s, started to get (white) people more ambivalent about government involvement in social programs, you saw a drifting of elderly people into the Republican camp.

    FDR built a coalition that controlled the House for most of 60 years and the Senate for a good bit of time, as well as the Presidency from 1932 to 1968, with only two terms held by a Republican.

    FDR did not do this with a program of “drowning government in a bath tub”.

    The real problem is that people, in any age group, no longer trust institutions of authority – such as doctors, who tell people to vaccinate their kids – because distrust has been wired into our heads for 40 years now.

    Republicans feed into that wiring and have no issues with reiniforcing it by being irresponsible in governing.

    Democrats have to reprogram our collective consciousness.

  101. 101
    askew says:

    @the Conster:

    There is a never-ending stream of slimy people associated with the Clintons. The party won’t be rid of them until they die off.

  102. 102
    Tree With Water says:

    Way Off Topic: “..Citing a desire to end this now, Patriots owner Bob Kraft announced that he will “reluctantly” accept the NFL’s penalties for Ballghazi: New England will pay its $1 million fine and lose two draft picks..”.

    Tom Brady should walk away. He’s made his money, and played russian roulette with health doing it. He owes nothing to those twin ingrates, Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell. Those people talk and act as if he’s a cipher in the storyline, when in fact today he’s got The Shield by its short and curlies. He could lay a grievous hurt on the game by simply talking some turkey before leaving the room. I for one hope he does, because the game has got it coming. For the record, I’m an old man and lifelong fan of the NFL.. not so much, though, anymore. Brady should cut them all down to size they are, and walk away with his own head held high..

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    But isn’t this the mistake Kerry made in ’04 with the swiftboaters?

    The media basically view reporting on Presidential campaigns as not being referees, in as much as just reporting what happens.

    If your opponent is beating you silly, it is your fault for letting it happen and a sign you are weak.

    The media are most definitely not arbiters of truth in Presidential campaigns.

  104. 104
    Turgidson says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It was also the last time that Bloody Bill WRONG Kristol was basically correct about something. The political calculation, not the morality of said calculation.

    Since then it’s been a nonstop multiple car pileup of fail and wrongness for Mr. Wrong.

  105. 105
    ruemara says:

    @Brachiator: This. Especially the part about scanning Facebook headlines and images. I see it all the time.

  106. 106
    Turgidson says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Yes, I’d like there to be a responsible press corps that would look into these issues and declare what is true and what is false.

    Our current press corps is willing to do that, but on their terms. They won’t look into issues in depth or in the pursuit of accuracy. They will look into them to find tidbits that further their preferred narrative. The ongoing-since-1991 narrative of the Clintons is that they’re always hiding something or up to no good. So that’s all they’re looking for when they “look into” the Foundation or her emails. The rest is discarded as extraneous to their precious narrative.

    Which is why I’m fine with her strategy so far of telling them to talk to the hand most of the time.

  107. 107
    Betty Cracker says:

    @askew: Where are you getting your information that Clinton specifically went around Obama to use Blumenthal as a consultant (rather than being the recipient of emails that he may have sent of his own volition) and that she treated them as “factual”?

    The NYT account isn’t quite as fraught. In fact, it seems to contradict the notion that Blumenthal’s reports were treated as factual.

  108. 108
    ThresherK says:

    @gene108: “The real problem is that people, in any age group, no longer trust institutions of authority”

    Now the GOP can roll out their Mission Accomplished banner.

  109. 109
    Valdivia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I can’t report on the rest of it since I have not see those details but I saw a couple of pieces about the Blumenthal angle and how Obama specifically said he didn’t want him at State or anywhere near his foreign policy. I have to hunt for the references though.

    I was never a fan of the man and can understand why Obama didn’t want him around.

    ETA: This is from Gawker

    Blumenthal, a fierce Clinton partisan in the 1990s, was the orchestrator of a subterranean smear campaign against Obama during the Democratic primary and was specifically spiked by the White House as a potential staffer for Clinton when she became Secretary of State

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think you just have to honestly recognize the difference in reliable voting between low income people and middle and high income people (which also aligns with age-younger people often have less money and they have lower turnout).

    Democrats should have gained from SCHIP. Poor and working to-lower-middle class parents, single payer, and it’s health care for their children. The parents also love it. The problem is they’re not real big on voting.

    Democrats have always said one has to include the middle class in entitlement programs to ensure continued support and people always take than to mean middle class people won’t “support” poor people programs in some theoretical way, but Democrats also need to link poor people programs with middle class programs because they need the reliable voters to shore up the sporadics.

  111. 111
    Turgidson says:

    @catclub:

    The Swift Boat nonsense was also the cherry on top of this shit sundae the Bush campaign had been building nonstop for months on end that Kerry was an appeasing effeminate secret French hippie who would let terrorists eat your children while they slept. Having the Swift Boaters come out at the exact moment they did questioning Kerry’s military heroism, which Kerry relied on to shield him from that crap, was damaging because it fed the narrative the Bush thugs had been pushing relentlessly.

    The media has been trying to smear the Clintons for corruption and self-dealing for over 20 years. If this line of attack was going to bring the Clintons down for good, it probably would have happened already. These nontroversies aren’t going to be the critical mass. Plus, they’re happening in the beginning of primary season, not the heat of a coinflip general election. I think Hillary is playing it right in not dignifying every NYT-via-Schweizer hit piece with a response.

  112. 112
    Tree With Water says:

    @ThresherK: I was taught that not trusting institutions of power is a wise thing. Eternal vigilance being the price of liberty, and all that..

    “..You say you’ll change the Constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free your mind instead..”.

  113. 113
    Valdivia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Here is a piece about Rahm that mentions how Blumenthal was given a no-go by Obama from the very beginning.

    In my mind Blumenthal is akin to Mark Penn: just needed to be ditched after 2008.

  114. 114
    Boots Day says:

    @Karen in GA: The better question is, who in the White House allowed him to participate in the press briefings? It’s not like any old rube can come in off the street and ask questions of the president. Somebody affirmatively wanted him there.

  115. 115
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Valdivia: I’m not a fan of Blumenthal either, but the NYT article doesn’t jibe with what Askew said above. Maybe Askew has a good source that backs up the implication that Clinton specifically asked Blumenthal to be a shadow consultant (rather than being the recipient of unsolicited emails from a pal), and maybe Askew has information that contradicts the NYT’s report that says Clinton cast doubt on Blumenthal’s reports rather than treating them as factual. If so, I’d like to read it for myself. But if not, maybe we should all try to avoid doing the ratfuckers’ dirty work for them. It’s going to be a long, filthy campaign season.

  116. 116
    Elie says:

    I am very late to the thread and apologies if I say anything already said as I probably am not going to read all of it —

    This is par for the course. The Villagers were all over kissy facing Romney. Yes, they will harass Hillary but I just hope she is coaching herself on how to take it and let it roll off, like her husband did. There is no escaping the stupid comments, false equivalencies and outright insults she can expect to receive. She just has to be strong enough to process it in a way that it doesn’t endlessly pull her off her game or make her sick. Complaining about these morons is a waste of time. Their game is exactly to upset her and take her out of her game and make her followers doubt and wring their hands.

  117. 117

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    But isn’t this the mistake Kerry made in ’04 with the swiftboaters?

    Not quite. The swift boat business involved specific lies about Kerry and his record that he could have made direct responses to. The Clinton Foundation stuff is much more nebulous, with vague implications and hints but nothing close to a direct accusation that Hillary abused her power in any specific case. That’s the whole point about Schweitzer partnering with the New York Times. He couldn’t actually prove any wrongdoing in his book, so the Times was supposed to follow up in more detail and dig out the dirty truths that he had started to uncover.

  118. 118
    Valdivia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree. My only point was that Blumenthal was part of a circle of terrible advisors and confidants that Hilary previously surrounded herself with and seemed to have ditched. Given he was banned from State (and he clearly was) he should have been nowhere near any foreign policy decisions/discussions.

    I am keeping an open mind, but having him around and relying on him would not inspire confidence in me about how things will procede during the campaign.

  119. 119

    @Linnaeus:

    The West was also wealthier. And that wasn’t due solely to the genius of capitalism.

    A lot of it was because the US- and to a lesser extent the UK- managed to avoid having its industrial infrastructure destroyed during WWII. It’s amazing what that kind of head start will give you.

  120. 120
    ThresherK says:

    @Tree With Water: Yeah, but the tune in the mediascape will change when an (R) gets into the oval office.

    Your distrust is genuine. Others’ is awfully spurious and predictable.

    I’d say something witty about the Dunning-Kreuger poster children but I’m busy making dinner.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @Turgidson:

    The media has been trying to smear the Clintons for corruption and self-dealing for over 20 years.

    It’s not that hard to do. And it is more that the Clintons have always had vehement political enemies, and not just in the media.

    I don’t know that the Clintons, especially Bill, have been especially corrupt, but they have often been sleazy, particularly Bill. And some of their helpers and advisors (Dick Morris, prime among them), have been and continue to be absolute slimeballs. To be fair, others have represented the best of any people who devote part of their lives to politics.

    But Bill himself has been the source of many of his own problems. Not the press. And some of this has inevitably rubbed off on Hillary.

  122. 122

    @Tree With Water:

    Tom Brady should walk away.

    He won’t. It’s a rare professional athlete who walks away before the game throws him away, and that gets rarer the more accomplished they are. It’s a very rare Hall of Famer who pulls a John Elway and walks away from the game at the top.

  123. 123
    Turgidson says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t think they’re blameless – their choice of advisers and talent for antagonizing the media and anyone else they think might be working against them over any perceived slight have done them no favors. But most of the scandals that dogged Bill during his presidency were basically nothingburgers kept alive by the media’s insistence on sticking to their narrative that the Clintons are ethically challenged slimeballs.

    My point was just that, if the “Clintons are sleazy/corrupt” narrative hasn’t destroyed the Clintons 20 years in, the email and Foundation stories won’t either. And Hillary is thus paying those stories the appropriate amount of attention.

  124. 124
    Botsplainer says:

    @Turgidson:

    The Swift Boat nonsense was also the cherry on top of this shit sundae the Bush campaign had been building nonstop for months on end that Kerry was an appeasing effeminate secret French hippie who would let terrorists eat your children while they slept. Having the Swift Boaters come out at the exact moment they did questioning Kerry’s military heroism, which Kerry relied on to shield him from that crap, was damaging because it fed the narrative the Bush thugs had been pushing relentlessly.

    The Swifties were the fabrication of Scott Swett (InterestingTimes) and Bob Hahn (Nick Danger) of Free Republic Network, an entity created by delivery pizza multiple franchise magnate Bob Johnson of Los Angeles. I never was sure of the initial linkage of Corsi to the book, but he was a convenient whackjob writer with a Harvard CV. Bob Johnson was, at the time, schtupping a staffer from Brent Bozell’s nuthouse, so he had that going for him. Bob also had a role in the formation of Talon News, I believe, and was acqainted with Eberle.

    The media has been trying to smear the Clintons for corruption and self-dealing for over 20 years. If this line of attack was going to bring the Clintons down for good, it probably would have happened already. These nontroversies aren’t going to be the critical mass. Plus, they’re happening in the beginning of primary season, not the heat of a coinflip general election. I think Hillary is playing it right in not dignifying every NYT-via-Schweizer hit piece with a response.

    Making money on commodity futures is an activity which is limited to white men in snappy suits. Hillary was apparently not allowed to do a solid trade to make a pile. Also, too, George Soros is apparently not allowed currency speculation.

    Gramsci! Cloward-Piven!!

  125. 125
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Valdivia: From what I’ve been able to glean from the NYT articles, Blumenthal wasn’t involved in foreign policy decisions — nor should he have been, as you noted. But from what I understand, it’s not unusual for private contractors and businesses operating in hell holes like Libya to share info with the State Dept or for SD officials to review such reports and decide whether or not they merit consideration. From the NYT account, it sounds like that’s all that happened here, but maybe Askew will return with a link that puts it in a different light. I agree it would be disturbing if so, but not something that’s likely to upset anyone who doesn’t follow this stuff closely.

  126. 126

    @Kay:

    Democrats have always said one has to include the middle class in entitlement programs to ensure continued support

    This is a big reason I hate the idea of means testing most government programs. As long as everyone is using the same program, there’s a strong incentive to keep it going and keep it effective. As soon as you means test it, you turn it into a welfare program, and people who formerly supported it will turn against it.

  127. 127
    Valdivia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    We are on the same page. I think most people couldn’t care less–for me, as you said, the problem would be her continuing to surround herself with or rely on what seem to be toxic people.

  128. 128
    Tree With Water says:

    This is one of those stories I am studiously avoiding. Blumental began a book by telling of being raised in a home where Dwight Eisenhower was always referred to respectfully as President Eisenhower, and where Richard Nixon’s name was synonymous with sonofabitch. He’s OK. For whatever reason, his name stuck against the shit stained wall that itoday’s American journalists use to choose their stories. I don’t care why it stuck, or why something equally preposterous didn’t. Why on earth anyone does is a mystery to me.

  129. 129
    Botsplainer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I can come up with the ultimate Hillary theory.

    It was Hillary and Saul Alinsky who did Vince Foster at Rock Creek Park in furtherance of the travel office thing. She eventually hid the cattle future documents at Benghazi, and the missing emails proved that she had them lit up there….

  130. 130

    @bemused: That’s twice my home paper has stepped up. I could get used to this.

  131. 131
    Cluttered Mind says:

    “Mrs. Clinton held another scripted and staged event today where volunteers asked pre-arranged safe questions the scandal-plagued candidate was prepared to answer . . .”

    Two words: Jeff Gannon.

    Not all of us have forgotten that a male porn star somehow got white house press credentials for the express purpose of impersonating a journalist and lobbing softball questions to Dubya. I understand that Pantload here might be too dumb to realize this, but the GOP lost any right to ever accuse anyone else of holding staged press conferences after the Jeff Gannon incident.

    ETA: Shoulda read the whole thread first. Lotta people beat me to this one. Glad to see it hasn’t been forgotten. Truly a shameful moment in an era full of them.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @ThresherK:

    Yep.

    The right’s greatest success since 1980 isn’t making people believe in their ideology, it’s killing belief in ours (or anything else). It’s why you now have so many people who even though they dislike and distrust Wall Street and other Republican institutions, are equally skeptical that the federal government or organized labor can help, and think if anything it’ll only make things worse.

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Also true. (For the reasons Roger Moore noted). “The Western system was better” isn’t the only part of the explanation by any means, just one (still notable) part of it.

    Thanks for the compliments all, too.

  134. 134
    Tree With Water says:

    @Chris: Which (for some reason) puts me in mind of the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled as recounted in The Usual Suspects..

  135. 135
    Tom Q says:

    @Betty Cracker: You’ve read askew’s many-many posts on Hillary previously, haven’t you? The only link he or she has is the one in his or her head that says “Hillary’s the Demon!”

  136. 136
    joel hanes says:

    @Brachiator:

    one of Gannett’s largest papers, the Des Moines Register

    Once, independent, the Des Moines Register was a superb newspaper, running second to the NYT for Pulitzers.

    Gannett has wrecked it — neutered the formerly uncomfortably-accurate reporting, neutered the opinions of the editorial board, filled it with fluff and celebrities.

    Of course circulation is abysmal. Opening the Register now is like re-attending the memorial service of an old friend for the hundredth time.

  137. 137
    ralphb says:

    @Valdivia: The Blumenthal and Clinton emails themselves are on the NYT website. You can read them for yourself but it sure looked to me as if she just passed them on with a “take a look and let me know what you think” kind of approach. Except for the one where she said it “strained credulity” at the beginning. She said today he was an old friend and she still talked with old friends. I tend to believe her.

  138. 138
    Cacti says:

    @gene108:

    When Civil Rights legislation, couple with economic turmoil, rise in crime, etc., in the late 1960’s, started to get (white) people more ambivalent about government involvement in social programs, you saw a drifting of elderly people into the Republican camp.

    A drifting?

    When black people decided they weren’t content to be second class citizens anymore and demanded equality under the law, working class whites fled the New Deal coalition at supersonic speed. Following the enactment of the Voting Rights Act as the capstone of civil rights legislation, the GOP won 5 of the next 6 Presidential elections. But for Watergate, they’d have likely won all 6, as Carter won only a modest victory over accidental President Ford.

    Racism has forever been the great motivating factor of US politics.

  139. 139
    David Koch says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Betty, there is a long article on Gawker that sounds like Blumenthal was running a private intelligence arm for Hillary.

    I’m open to the interpretation that it was just Blumenthal pestering Clinton and she was just humoring him. But the problem is they’ve never had that kind of relationship. Their relationship was never one of friends working independent of each other, but rather a closely tied relationship of principle-agent. When Blumenthal does something (smearing Lewinsky, smearing Obama) it has always been because he was asked to do it, not because he’s acting on his own.

    I say this as someone who will support the nominee, including Clinton, because of the Supreme Court.

  140. 140
    David Koch says:

    @David Koch: Here’s an article from Huffington Post on how Blumenthal smeared Obama. At one point, as their campaign became more desperate, he began pushing a smear that Obama is a communist.

    Now, no one can tell me these pathetic hyper smears went on for 7 months without Hillary approving it.

  141. 141
    bemused says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):

    I like Raleigh and Asheville. We have family there and visited often. Now I think Charlotte could be a contender too if there are that many sane people there.

  142. 142
    Tree With Water says:

    @David Koch: That sounds shocking, alright. Political operatives doing a politician’s bidding. Where are you now, Bobby Baker?

    Which isn’t the choicest snark, as I believe that had JFK lived the Baker un-scandal was enough to knock LBJ off the ’64 ticket. I believe it was Time Magazine that had been prepared to publish revelations about Baker and LBJ, but killed the story forever in the aftermath of the assassination.

  143. 143
    Tree With Water says:

    WASHINGTON — As the fight over a massive international trade agreement heats up on Capitol Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Tuesday that she wants to see Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “weigh in on trade.”

    So do I, Elizabeth.

  144. 144
    ralphb says:

    @David Koch:

    Like I said earlier, read the Blumenthal/Clinton emails for yourself on the NYT website and make up your own mind.

  145. 145
    ralphb says:

    @David Koch:

    A Gawker article by fucking Jeff Gerth. You believe the author of the NYT Whitewater story? WTF?

  146. 146
    David Koch says:

    @ralphb:

    A May 14, 2011, email exchange between Blumenthal and Shearer shows that they were negotiating with Drumheller to contract with someone referred to as “Grange” and “the general” to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and “to the border and back.” Tunisia borders Libya and Algeria.

    “Sid, you are doing great work on this,” Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. “It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7-10 days for 4 guys.”

    After Blumenthal forwarded that note to Shearer, he wrote back questioning the cost of the operation. “Sid, do you think the general has to send four guys. He told us three guys yesterday, a translator and two other guys. I understand the difficulty of the mission and realize that K will be repaid but I am going to need an itemized budget for these guys.”


    read the Blumenthal/Clinton emails for yourself

    Why was Clinton footing the bill of an off the book intel operation, if Blumenthal was acting on his own? If Blumenthal was acting on his own, he wouldn’t be asking Clinton to cover the expenses, no.

    Moreover, why is Hillary so close to someone who smeared Monica Lewinsky as a “unstable sexually predatory stalker” and smeared Barack Obama as a “communist”?

  147. 147
    ralphb says:

    @David Koch:

    Who is Shearer? The NYT article says she forwarded emails to her “well regarded” chief of staff Jake Sullivan. State may not have been funding this at all since there was a private business Blumenthal was working with looking for contracts in Libya. That business later folded.

  148. 148
    ralphb says:

    @David Koch:

    Cody Shearer didn’t work for State then. I think he was part of the group looking for business.

    There’s no indication in Blumenthal’s emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private clintonemail.com address, which was unknown to the public until Gawker published it this year.

  149. 149
    ralphb says:

    @David Koch:

    You can read the emails and see her forwards and the replies at the NYT. They talked to one of the people involved in trying to set up the business in Libya.

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