Wednesday Open Thread

“Never mistake motion for action.”

–Ernest Hemingway

38 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      That’s right. I had actually forgotten about that. Thanks for the reminder.

    • MADCO says:

      Ah, the good old days.  Monica Goodling, Valerie Plame, Abramoff, Libby, Rove and all those missing emails that could not be produced when subpoenaed, I was just thinking about that.

      i was looking to find a prior time when sitting Senators undermined a Presidential foreign policy initiative, publicly or not, or inviting a head of foreign state to Congress to campaign and politicize.  There was Some pre-Confederacy stuff, but really only similar if you count South Carolina as a foreign country. The end of the Mexican American war had some treaty ratifying, Congressional oddities, but I really couldn’t find anything like it. Now I am starting to wish they would stick to repealing Obamcare.

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Grandma Be Lyin’

    “Looking back, it would’ve been better for me to use two separate phones and two email accounts.”

    How about one phone with two separate email accounts like millions of Americans do every day?

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      I see you are still with us. I figured you and Moddy had disappeared after the blowback from your 47 senators sending their letter to the ayatollah.

      • BlueCat says:

        Odd that even Modster and AC have steered clear of that one. They apparently have more sense than Elliot which makes Elliot totally irrelevant in any serious discussion of anything. I mean how much lower can the bar go? May as well hold serious discussions with my cat. Or even Sean Hannity.

        PS: I do hold discussions with my cat but mainly about what her majesty’s pleasure might be at the moment. I don’t consult her on matters of politics or policy.

    • hawkeye says:

      Hilary Clinton has a similar outlook as the infamous New York prima donna, Leona Helmsley … the rest of us are “the little people”.  Hilary thinks she’s above the rules that govern us ordinary folk.

      • BlueCat says:

        She’s always made it clear she thinks she’s owed something for putting up with ol’ Bill’s serial bimbo eruptions all those years. First she though it was the made up unelected office of co-President by marriage. Then it was getting to be Senator of a state she never lived in as her very first elected office on her way to the presidency that Bill probably promised her years and many public humiliations ago. Then that pesky Obama took away what was rightfully hers. But now it’s going to be her turn no matter what. She doesn’t feel she owes us so much as an official announcement or real press conference in which she might be asked what she wants to do as president. Not every Dem is a huge HRC fan. Not even every female Dem. But what else is there? Bush 3? Walker? Is it too early for a stiff drink?

    • To answer your question head-on: accounting and the security concept of partitioning. If you have one phone with two emails it’s “easy” (in a technical sense) to conflate the two email accounts, you might answer the phone the wrong way, reply to an email using the wrong account, forward email across accounts, etc.

      A dedicated government phone and email account, preferably read at the desktop via different programs, would provide the level of separation needed. Add in a simple audit to ensure that mails received haven’t come from private accounts, and you’ve got the beginnings of something trustworthy.

      For all that the government is the publisher of many really good security design guidelines, most departments have barely begun to implement them. On this I agree with David T. – we need to radically overhaul our government IT process.

    • dustpuppy says:

      Hey, AC. What’s your opinion on the 47 of your fellow like-minded fellas that signed the letterto Iran that violated the Logan Act of 1799, last amended in 1994?Are you with them, or against them?

  2. denverco says:

    I guess that letter was just a joke  :  Republican aides were taken aback by what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.”The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,” said a top GOP Senate aide.

  3. Duke Cox says:

    This is much ado about nothing and will not persist as an issue. The glee with which the Republican hatchet men (yes, I’m talking about you, Joe Scarborough) are chortling and licking their chops will turn into frustration once again…

    They will not be having Hillary for dinner…..

    • BlueCat says:

      No but this Dem isn’t looking forward to having her forced down my throat. Still, as my husband just pointed out, she’ll be better that any Republican. Hands down. No question. 

      • James Dodd says:

        I understand your position.  However, as long as “progressives” in the Democratic Party dutifully vote for any candidate that the neo-liberal party leaders “force down our throats,” things will never change and the party will continue to lurch to the right.

        Is there a line in the sand? Can you imagine a Democratic candidate who you just couldn’t vote for?

        • exlurker19 says:

          Can’t speak for BC, but if they ran a ferret against a Republican, I’d vote for the ferret.  I am a progressive, and I still hold out hope for the Dems.

          • BlueCat says:

            A ferret couldn’t do any more harm to this country, our civil rights, our human rights, our economy, the middle class, our health and well being, our environment, the state of science and research, our international relations and policies  and anything else one could possibly think of than any available 21st century Republican presidential candidate. Less because at least a ferret could do nothing.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Michael Bennett comes quickly to mind. 

        • BlueCat says:

          Not one running against any 21st century Republican. But I believe that, as more stupendously tone deaf campaigns like those run by Udall and Romanoff fail, the Dem establishment will be forced to reevaluate what it’s going to take to get enough voters to support their candidates and what kind of candidates they need and what kind of message they have to aggressively push in order to win legislative majorities, not just the WH, the only office won in a modified nationwide election (there’s still the damned electoral college. President ought to be one American, one vote nationwide).

          Sadly, it might take a true disaster, such a massive failure in 2016, despite all the conventional wisdom about demographics in a presidential year and the senatorial election map, to finally get rid of the so called expert ops and think tank wonder boys who are increasingly wrong about pretty much everything.

          The polls show majority support for progressive policies while the same majorities are putting Rs who oppose those policies into office. That’s completely the fault of the Democratic establishment.  The Rs wouldn’t continue to enjoy message hegemony if the Dem establishment, which has been highly competitive in terms of funding for several cycles now, didn’t keep handing them that hegemony on a silver platter and trying to win by  being Republican lite.

          Check with me later. There may come a time when we really will be forced to blow up the Dem party and start from scratch if we don’t want an endless stand off between Democratic Presidents and Republican majorities in Congress. You know… the way lousy teams sometimes have to go all the way to the bottom so they can get the draft picks to start the climb back up. Although I must say I’m enjoying the new Nuggets regime under Hunt too much to wish they had kept Shaw and his plan to just let all the youngsters get playing time on the way to the lottery. And I’m rooting for the Cavs to see Mozgov get a ring.

    • Canines says:

      New York Times: Early in 2016 Race, Clinton’s Toughest Foe Appears to Be the News Media

      “Democratic primary voters may let her have the presidential nomination without a struggle, but the press won’t,” said Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist who has advised several presidential candidates including Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. “The press will wage a kind of primary campaign against her, at least try to bring her down a peg or two. In the end, she will be the nominee, but she has to go through it first.”

  4. Zappatero says:

    Bipartisanship: Dead and Deader

    Jonathan Chait at NY Magazine conducted an exit interview with Dan Pfeiffer, a top presidential advisor who’s been with Obama since the 2008 campaign. He has a lot of interesting insights into the political battles of the past 6 years, but this revelation is particularly fascinating in light of the relationship the administration has had with the progressive base of the party:

    The original premise of Obama’s first presidential campaign was that he could reason with Republicans—or else, by staking out obviously reasonable stances, force them to moderate or be exposed as extreme and unyielding. It took years for the White House to conclude that this was false, and that, in Pfeiffer’s words, “what drives 90 percent of stuff is not the small tactical decisions or the personal relationships but the big, macro political incentives.”

    And…

    “Traitors.” That’s the word the New York Daily News, certainly no friend of President Obama, used on Tuesday to describe the 47 Republican Senators who signed an unprecedented letter to the Iranian leadership designed to sabotage the current nuclear negotiations.

    Sadly, the Daily News and other media outlets are about six years late in reaching that conclusion. After all, with their record-setting use of the filibuster, unprecedented obstruction of judicial and executive branch nominees, threatened and actual government shutdowns, and most of all, their unheard of debt ceiling hostage-taking, Republicans have been undermining the federal government and the U.S. economy since Barack Obama first took the oath office in 2009.

    Someone tell Bennet before he becomes the next Mark Udall.

    • I suppose it’s good to have confirmation from Pfeiffer on Obama’s underlying principles during the earlier years of the Obama Presidency. We kind of knew, but his statement makes it less of a guess and more of a “why did we waste those years?”

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        A very good question.

        • BlueCat says:

          Drove me crazy from day one of the Obama administration. I mean the Republicans announced their intention to withhold all cooperation to deny him any victories if they could possibly help it before he was even inaugurated. Then they spent every waking moment proving they meant it. And he still spent his first  five solid years wooing them and pissing off his own. The lack of support from his own played a big part in losing first the House, then the Senate. It’s been too frustrating to watch for words to describe it.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Tell Bennet before he becomes the next Udall.

      I think that ship has already sailed. Udall was much better sticking to Democratic Party positions than Bennet. Wouldn’t Udall have voted against Keystone if he had been re-elected? And even if he voted for it, he probably would have voted to uphold the veto.

      The only reason Udall lost was because he ran a moronic campaign focused on one and only one issue. Anyone else remember what that issue was?

      • BlueCat says:

        And way more Colorado voters at least knew the Udall name. Among low info voters, Bennet is probably a bigger nonentity than any recent Colorado Senator.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~Plato

        It’s nearly impossible to wrap one’s arms around this much ignorance. There isn’t a city in the entire United States that had more opportunity to redefine itself as the epicenter for 21st-century economy. Our military identified climate change as a national threat in its Bush-era Quadrennial Review; Fort Carson was one of a small handful of bases nationwide to be chosen to be ‘net-zero’. Federal investments to support this transition were readily available. Yet, their Congressional representation spent more time calling our President a ‘tar baby’ and prided himself on his ignorance than recognizing the opportunity for his constituents.

        The Pikes Peak region is drowning in clean, infinite resources and, being a municipal utility, they had an array of options to lead this transition that is happening with or without them. To date, local leaders have blown well over $120 million dollars to band-aid their downtown coal plant, built in the 1960’s...and they keep doubling down on stupid. Their actions are saddling Colorado Springs ratepayers with a dismal energy future when it could have been much, much different.

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