Middle East

Free Campaign Advice for Obama

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From Terry Michael, over at Politico:

Let's just move on, Sen. Clinton conveniently insisted, as she attempted to recast herself from tough Armed Services Committee warrior princess in 2003 to strong, have-it-both-ways feminist peacemaker in time to claim her rightful crown in 2008. (If you thought Annie Leibovitz had problems with Elizabeth of Windsor and her outfits, just picture poor Annie trying to deal with Her Majesty from Westchester and all the ideological wardrobe changes she's gone through.)

If I were Obama consultant David Axelrod—or even the water boy in that corner of this slugfest—I would be pounding away at Sen. Clinton's obstinacy as the best way to question the awesomely poor judgment she and so many other neo-con-lite Democrats in the Senate showed in writing a blank check for this misprojection of American military power.

More here.

It'll be interesting (to understate things) see how the war votes play out in terms of presidential politics. I suspect they will matter less than candidates' current plans for the Middle East etc.

NEXT: The Forgotten Man

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  1. Clinton/Obama ’08!
    Why make it hard for Mitt Romney to be President?

  2. And yet…I just have this sneaking suspicion that a HRC presidency might be more easily contained (i.e., kept from infringing our liberties,) than an Obama one….

  3. It is just me, or does HRC look like Dustin Hoffman playing, “Tootsie”? Obama should play on the not-so-secret fear of Democrats, i.e., HRC is “unelectable.” Her negatives are insanely high and that makes the liberal faith nervous. I also think that as the race narrows, people will see more of Hillary (a troubling thought). Her husband had charisma. She does not. Give her enough time on television and people will remember why they insinctively did not like her before. Give Obama enough time on television, and people will decide he may not know squat but he’s more likeable than Clinton.

  4. They could also point out that Hillary is a crook. Tyson Foods’s lawyer “advised” her how to magically turn $1,000 into $100,000. Everyone knows it was a bribe, so why not say it? Hillary is a crook!

  5. Hugo Chavez in a pants-suit.

  6. Thanks Max, we’re all surprised as shit in our pants that people try to characterize HRC as a crook for routine investments. Perhaps if you actually knew a rich person, you wouldn’t be so surprised.

  7. In celebration of teh lolcats…

    He jes h8t her cuz she strng womyn.

    Sorry, just wanted to get that over with before it’s trolled.

  8. I wonder why the fratricidal posturing of Democratic activists (“I was right before you were!”) is considered smart politics for the electorate as a whole. As for Hillary’s investments, how about George’s?

  9. Jose Ortega y Gasset,

    I recall reading somewhere (on the Internet! so it’s gotta be true) that perceived “likeability” was the most important factor for most voters in the general election. (Not sure if it holds for the primaries, though.)

    By the way, I had a philosophy prof whose lectures on Ortega y Gasset could get FDA approved as a sleep aid.

  10. “Thanks Max, we’re all surprised as shit in our pants that people try to characterize HRC as a crook for routine investments.”

    It was no routine investment. Her broker, Red Bone, had been in trouble with the law in the past for apparently doing the same thing he did for Hillary. The technique is to have all their clients in a pool. If they have a client whom they want to benefit, they will take highs from other clients and give to their favored cliants. They will take lows from their favored client and give them to the other clients. The records are missing on the days when Hillary made the biggest increases. Commodities experts say the chances are astronomically slim for even the best players to honestly make that kind of money in such a short period of time.

  11. “As for Hillary’s investments, how about George’s?”

    Why should we elect another crook?

  12. Hillary is running away from the position that she was ever a hawk on the Iraq war. Obama should show tapes of her senate speeches in 2002 proclaiming that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and had ties with al Quada.

  13. Obama would do well to cast himself as a more moderate peacenik, or at least someone who understands the difference between terrorist organizations and the bellicose but otherwise harmless nations in which they hide.

    Instead, he’s taking the same Bushesque line on Pakistan that HRC is taking on Iran. So a vote for either of them is a vote for which place we’re going to invade next.

  14. Rattlesnake: She was cleared by the Merc, and there’s no reason to think that records missing from 1978 suggest wrongdoing. You also probably know that Blair managed her account, not Bone. Blair got margin call favors for his client, which is rather routine. In fact, her cattle trading was relatively small potatos compared to the millions made by others at the time, so your statement about “astromically slim” are pure bullshit. Honestly, if you’re case is so strong, why do you allude to Bone being “in trouble with the law.” Was there a conviction or indictment? That’s being “in trouble with the law” not whatever nonesense you’re alluding to.

    I’m not saying that you believe this garbage because you hate Hillary, I’m merely saying that you believe silly garbage because you hate Hillary Clinton.

  15. Gutting himself with a plastic spoon and filling his innards with cream of mushroom soup would really make a statement.

    Or he could wrap himself in Styrofoam and set himself on fire to make an environmental statement. That would be effective.

  16. I think Rattlesnake JAke is right, Obama has to do something to distinguish himself from Hillary and with Dem voters sour on the war this has got to be it. Sadly, I think Clinton has it in the bag. I say sadly because I think she is a terrible candidate, one, because I think she is a soul-less hack who will be a terrible president, but two because she is such a poor candidate that we may even get someone worse (like Mitt Romney, the phoniest flip flopper in the freaking universe). The Dems have been out of the White House for 8 years and they must like it that way to have a female with incredibly high negatives from a state they would carry anyway and a minority junior senator as their frontrunners (note, I have no problem with a woman or minority but if even 10% of voters do that starts one behind the gate unneccesarily imo). It’s interesting to see Clinton getting ahead, both her and Bill have so benefited from having a GOP boogeyman with whom they can contrast themselves (Bill had Newt, Hillary has GW) that their supporters let an amazing amount of stuff that would wreck another candidate slide. Do you think they actually plan this “I’m the only one who can stop Newt/GW” stuff or is it just the dumbest of luck?

  17. Instead, he’s taking the same Bushesque line on Pakistan that HRC is taking on Iran.

    Um.. actually no, he’s not, just read the speech. He’s not talking about launching war with Pakistan, disarming Pakistan, or changing the regime. He mentioned a pretty narrow circumstance similar to the aborted operation in 2005. Get your facts straight.

  18. Lamar, if you have _any_ case at all, why do you immediately resort to silly lies, e.g. calling playing cattle futures “routine investments”? And your implication that this is how rich people get rich is hilarious. Why do you think that, after collecting her $100,000, Hillary cashed out and NEVER TRADED AGAIN? Maybe she decided she didn’t want to be rich, after all.

  19. “I think Rattlesnake Jake is right”

    Maybe about Hillary being a candidate with high negatives, but his supposed shock about rich people getting favors from investment brokers (the horror!) is well-nigh insane. I hope Richardson makes a surge, but we’d probably learn about all kinds of sleazy dealings on his part. Who else is there? That guy who stares into the camera?

  20. “She was cleared by the Merc”

    So she must be innocent, just like OJ must be innocent because a jury found him not guilty.

    “why do you allude to Bone being “in trouble with the law.” Was there a conviction or indictment?”

    He was fined in a similar case to his involvement with Hillary.

    “I’m not saying that you believe this garbage because you hate Hillary, I’m merely saying that you believe silly garbage because you hate Hillary Clinton.”

    I actually cheered when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, such was my hatred for George Bush, but changed my mind when I found out how corrupt Bill and Hillary are, and it’s not just right wingers that have written negative material about the Clintons. There are plenty of left wingers and Democrats who have written negative things about their corruption. I didn’t start believing this material because I hate the Clintons, I started hating the Clintons after I read this material about them, material written by both the right and left. I think it’s more the case that your bias has influenced you to reject anything negative written about the Clintons.

  21. Sorry Max, all out of troll chow.

  22. “but his supposed shock about rich people getting favors from investment brokers (the horror!) is well-nigh insane.”

    Not rich, but politically connected people get such favors as a disguised bribe. What’s so insane about believing something like that? Those kinds of things happen all the time. You must be insane to believe they don’t.

  23. “So she must be innocent, just like OJ must be innocent because a jury found him not guilty.”

    Dumbest. Logic. Ever. How far do you want to go questioning every detail of the investigatory process? It works sometimes and it fails. She was cleared, get over it. If your case hinges on a fine in a similar case, why wasn’t he fined in Hillary’s case? Oh, because it was different. I guess you’re using “similar” in a loose sense, i.e., similar enough to hate her guts. My bias? I don’t support Clinton, I’m just sick of crackpots believing (1) every fact alleged against the Clintons and (2) thinking that even if a lot of those facts are true that there is something insidious going on. This investment scheme is one of them.

    I see this happen all the time and nobody shakes a stick at it. Hillary Clinton does it in 1978 and you call her OJ Simpson. Nothing irrational there….

  24. “Not rich, but politically connected people get such favors as a disguised bribe.”

    Again, this is a conclusion you find reasonable because you hate her. Rich people do similar investments all the time. They get favors from brokers. Becoming politically connected doesn’t stop people from being rich and getting favors.

  25. My bias? I don’t support Clinton, I’m just sick of crackpots believing (1) every fact alleged against the Clintons and (2) thinking that even if a lot of those facts are true that there is something insidious going on. This investment scheme is one of them.

    For some reason this reminds me of the case for water flouridation: crackpots oppose it, so it _must_ be good, or even if it isn’t, we must support it so we don’t look like crackpots.

    The crackpots are sometimes right. They happen to be right in this instance, and you’re full of crap.

  26. OK, Max. At least you admit you’re a crackpot. That’s a start.

  27. Lamar,
    Rich people don’t get a free $99,000 dollar favors from brokers. That’s more than a favor, that’s a bribe. I don’t know the details, but I’ve worked in high wealth individual financial services, and free money for clients isn’t a part of it.

  28. Rich people do similar investments all the time. They get favors from brokers. Becoming politically connected doesn’t stop people from being rich and getting favors.

    More obfuscation. The Clintons were not rich at the time, of course.

  29. “Becoming politically connected doesn’t stop people from being rich and getting favors.”

    It sure has helped Hillary to get rich and get special favors.

  30. It doesn’t matter if HRC is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. America loves crooks especially the engaging, funny, likeable, crazy-as-a-shit-house-rat ones. HRC will run into trouble sooner or later because on some elemental level lots of people just don’t like her. Of course, the pundit will run circles around themselves explaining it, but the bottom line is that too many people just would not want to spend five minutes with her let alone have her as president. It’s pretty close to consensus that Fred Thompson has been an utterly forgettable senator… but people liked him in Die Hard 2 and in Law & Order. In the end, I don’t think he wins but much of his support is based on simple and nonrational liking the guy.

    And by the way, I hate college profs who butcher my work.

  31. “Rich people don’t get a free $99,000 dollar favors from brokers.”

    Nobody gets free anything from brokers. Blair made quite a load on these deals. He must be corrupt too, since he made money and all.

    “More obfuscation. The Clintons were not rich at the time, of course.”

    Thanks again Max for setting me straight. What was their net worth again? Just let me know since they were, “of course” so poor. They must have been really poor to have family friends like Blair and Bone. We all know poor people hang with investment brokers. Jeez, speaking of obfuscation. Let’s be clear: your story is that two ivy-league educated lawyers (Yale Law) weren’t rich.

    “It sure has helped Hillary [and every other political candidate in the presidential race and the vast majority of state and national offices in this country] to get rich and get special favors.”

  32. “They must have been really poor to have family friends like Blair and Bone.”

    Think about the timing of the investment. Bill Clinton had just won the Governorship. Influence peddling if there ever was. Tyson certainly benefitted from his connections with Clinton. Tyson wasn’t under the same environmental regulations as others. One town in Arkansas had to shut down their polluted water supply because of Tyson’s dumping chicken manure. But it’s only because I hate the Clintons so much that I believe all this garbage. They are really such wonderful, honest people, never known to have ever lied or take dishonest campaign contributions or to have engaged in quid pro quo or engage in coverups or any of that stuff. They are the most wonderful people who have ever lived. Why can’t the other politicians be as honest as them?

  33. HRC will run into trouble sooner or later because on some elemental level lots of people just don’t like her.

    That’s the bottom line right there.

    However, I don’t see anyone taking the nomination away from Hillary, simply because they are all even weaker than she is. Of course, anything is possible this far out from the primaries.

  34. “However, I don’t see anyone taking the nomination away from Hillary, simply because they are all even weaker than she is. Of course, anything is possible this far out from the primaries.”

    Former New York Congressman John LeBoutillier says her nomination isn’t inevitable. He points out how people will start seeing her as a loser when she possibly loses the first three primaries and caucases. She is behind in Iowa and South Carolina and tied for first in New Hampshire.

  35. “Think about the timing of the investment. Bill Clinton had just won the Governorship.”

    And? And? And the cattle futures market was undergoing an unprecedented bull market. These are things you tend to overlook when inspired by personal animosity. She made a lot of money, so did a lot of people. Influence peddling? Why would a family friend have to bribe his friends on behalf of a client? What the hell good are friends if you have to bribe them?!

    “One town in Arkansas had to shut down their polluted water supply because of Tyson’s dumping chicken manure.” But, “Bill Clinton had just won the Governorship”

    Influence peddling or just big businesses trading pollution for jobs? Your accusation is that Bill Clinton allowed an environmental catastrophe to occur in exchange for $100,000 in capital gains?

    “But it’s only because I hate the Clintons so much that I believe all this garbage.”

    It most certainly is. You have made every negative assumption and drawn every negative inference possible, yet you have no personal knowledge of the case.

    Perhaps your arrogance would be more palatable if you were more objective in your assessment. When you say Hillary is a crook, what you really should be saying is “I think she’s a crook, but there’s really not any rock-solid evidence to suggest that. I just don’t like her and think she’s sleazy, so I’ll go ahead and call her a crook.”

  36. “Your accusation is that Bill Clinton allowed an environmental catastrophe to occur in exchange for $100,000 in capital gains?”

    I doubt that the commodities deal was the only benefit Clinton ever got from Tyson. I’m sure Tyson contributed greatly to his campaigns.

    “You have made every negative assumption and drawn every negative inference possible, yet you have no personal knowledge of the case.”

    I have read several books about the corruption of the Clintons, may written by leftists and Democrats. Do you have any personal information about the Clintons’ honesty? Do I have to have personal knowledge of the politicians before I can consider any of them corrupt? That goes for Republicans as well as Democrats. There are corrupt politicians within both parties. I suspect you have a bias for Democratic politicians and are willing to give them more slack than you are to Republican politicians. If you say a Republican candidate is corrupt, is a Republican on firm ground if he tells you that you have to know that politician personally before you can believe anything written about his corruption.

  37. “Do you have any personal information about the Clintons’ honesty?”

    No, but I’m not the one throwing words like “crook” around. I suspect they’re more or less just as dishonest as any politician.

    “I suspect you have a bias for Democratic politicians and are willing to give them more slack than you are to Republican politicians.”

    I give everybody slack until a decent case can be made. If investigators can’t make a case, I’m not generally interested in second-guessing the people with first-hand knowledge. Reading a book by a second-guesser isn’t much better. All I’m saying is a little deference to those who investigated the matter. And if you really want to make the OJ reference, keep in mind that the people who investigated that got it right. It was the jury that screwed up. A little deference to the people who investigated is all I’m saying.

    But your suspicion is accurate. Lately I’ve slanted Democratic because the GOP has this God+War=SuperAwesomeUSA thing going on that I can’t go for. I voted for Bush 1, but I’d probably vote for Hillary if Mitt, Fred or Rudy gets nominated.

  38. ^^^ d’oh wrong thread. (10:55am wasn’t intended for this thread)

    hrumph. (now where did the “get Mayor Ritchie to campaign for you” answer go?)

  39. VM: and yet the 10:55am post seemed so reasonable…

    Rattlesnake: The Wikipedia entry correctly notes: “Regardless of the controversy’s explanation, cattle themselves usually do not have much future.”

  40. “But your suspicion is accurate. Lately I’ve slanted Democratic because the GOP has this God+War=SuperAwesomeUSA thing going on that I can’t go for. I voted for Bush 1, but I’d probably vote for Hillary if Mitt, Fred or Rudy gets nominated.”

    I left the Republican Party in 1976 because even back then, the Republican Party was trying to push religion on the public, but I couldn’t go for the Democrat Party because of their position on economics. As far as God and war go, the Democrats are starting to turn off secularists by saying “me too” in regards to religion. They want to show the public that they can be just as religious as the Republicans. I suspect we will have war regardless of whether the Republican or Democrat wins. Both parties seem intent on meddling in the Middle East in support of Israel. That’s why I’ll vote for Ron Paul in the primary and assuming he won’t get the nomination, vote Libertarian in the general election.

  41. Thanks again Max for setting me straight. What was their net worth again? Just let me know since they were, “of course” so poor. They must have been really poor to have family friends like Blair and Bone. We all know poor people hang with investment brokers. Jeez, speaking of obfuscation. Let’s be clear: your story is that two ivy-league educated lawyers (Yale Law) weren’t rich.

    Once again you are full of crap.
    Here’s Mrs. Clinton’s relevant employment history:

    1973 – graduates from Yale
    1974 – works for the House Judiciary Committee on the Watergate impeachment inquiry that leads to President Nixon’s resignation; heads to Arkansas after Nixon resigns, to be near Bill Clinton and teach at the University of Arkansas School of Law
    1975 – marries Bill Clinton
    1976-1992 – serves as attorney at the Rose Law Firm

    I couldn’t find a source of their net worth in 1978, but there’s zero chance they were rich. They were middle class. I did find their income in 1978: about $25K each. So a $100K windfall was two years of combined income, quite significant. And the initial “investment” was a mere $1,000, remember.

    I’m still waiting to hear your theory as to why, after displaying investment acumen that makes Warren Buffet look like an idiot, Clinton suddenly stopped trading forever.

  42. Seems pretty early in the game to be counting Barack Obama out. He has already shown himself to be different from HRC in many ways. The very fact that he is a junior Senator means that he has fewer ties and obligations to the current crop of failed politicians and their policies. It’s too bad that he’s not stronger in debates, but he has good ideas, money to make them known, and a willingness to listen. If you want to change the direction of the government, and can make your case, Obama is your best chance for real change.

  43. Max, only a working class stiff would confuse income with wealth or “being rich”. Perhaps it is my fault for assuming you knew that “rich” didn’t mean a certain dollar amount but a social class.

    For example, I know several Legal Aid lawyers who make $30,000/yr., yet somehow live in million dollar coops in Manhattan. Are they doing something illegal? You need to get out more.

    Hillary’s account was managed by an expert (Blair). She displayed no acumen at all. She directed maybe a few of the trades? And why is it a crime for her to stop investing (are you sure this is even true?), especially since she only made $100,000?

    In essence, your argument is that she made too much money on an investment, and is therefore criminal.

    And as for why Clinton stopped “trading forever”, who the hell knows? Maybe it gave her gas. Your speculations are really no better. No, really, they aren’t. You think you’re seeing the big picture or something, but you’re really just assuming the worst because you hate her.

  44. Lamar, what language are you using and why is it confusingly similar to English?

    Are you British or something? (Sorry if any Brits are insulted by this question).

  45. Max, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but I’m willing to help out a less educated fellow Reasoner. What exactly don’t you understand about English?

    Are you one of these working stiffs who thinks somebody with a $100,000 income is rich, but that a Yale Law education isn’t an asset because you can’t hold it in your hand like cash from the check cashing store?

  46. Max, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but I’m willing to help out a less educated fellow Reasoner. What exactly don’t you understand about English?

    My English is fine; it’s your language that confuses me.

    Are you one of these working stiffs who thinks somebody with a $100,000 income is rich, but that a Yale Law education isn’t an asset because you can’t hold it in your hand like cash from the check cashing store?

    Neither. And human capital has little to do with “social class”, the odd phrase you used earlier. People may have high social status but little income potential, and vice versa.

  47. “People may have high social status but little income potential, and vice versa.”

    And in this case, we have the Clintons with high income potential and high social status. Whether or not they actually had millions in the bank is irrelevant to an investment broker. Those are the kind of people they want to do favors for. It’s good for business, regardless of their political connections. That’s my point. I see this stuff all the time (favors in investment practices), and it has little to do with politics or bribing for influence. The fact that the Clintons had political power was just gravy, but this stuff would have happened either way. I’m a lawyer, and when I was broke as hell I still had brokers offering outrageous deals. Many of my non-politically connected co-workers did well in these deals. Those who put money down in the early 2000s didn’t do so well. I never had an extra grand lying around, due to my propensity to rock the fuck out.

    The Clintons may very well be corrupt as hell. This isn’t solid evidence of it. Quite honestly, I see it all the time. It’s routine in a bull market.

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