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Now at Reason.tv: Obama and the Winds of Change (Deja Vu Remix)

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  1. It went by so quickly, but I think you neglected to credit Ms. Clinton with being a US Senator from NY for 8 years. Easy to miss with all this change in the air…

  2. Cute video. I’ve been keeping track of Obama’s cabinet and other nominations, and I note a few things that Reason won’t tell you. For instance, while they oppose UHC, they won’t ever discuss the lie from one of BHO’s choices.

    They probably won’t look into whether LPanettaaa had links to a questionable group; that would be tinfoil hat territory for them.

    And, they definitely won’t tell you about the pick who promoted – wait for it – a “NAFTAFreeway”.

  3. What’s never going to change–despite right-wing “libertarian fantasies–is the continuing role of government in the economy. If anything, the state will increase its role, imposing more regulations on financial markets and providing a greater social safety net for citizens. A larger dose of social democracy won’t stop your doctrinaire market fundamentalism, of course, but it will make it seem loonier and more marginal. Good luck with those donations. You’re going to need them.

  4. Would you really want an administration staffed with people who have never had any government involvement before? Just look at all the talentless hacks Clinton appointed from Arkansas during his transition.

    I’m thrilled that Obama chose someone with no connection to the intelligence policies of the Bush administration to head the CIA. I’m even more thrilled that he ignored pressure to appoint someone with “intelligence experience.” So yeah, I’d say I got the change that I was promised.

  5. Ah, yes–the inevitability of worldwide communist revolution, updated.

    Yawn.

  6. I can’t be the only one who participates in H&R a lot less often these days because of the troll flood (Lefiti, LoneWacko, etc.) that seemingly never ends: when actual discussion of the topic at hand is buried in these trolls’ posts and their follow-ups, neither of which add nothing of value to my knowledge bank, it drives away real contributions when posters realize the effort they might put into their own thoughtful posts will not be recognized as the discussion continues to focus on the antics of a few abusers.

    A few years ago, I took over an abandoned heavy metal message forum with an associated off-topic forum, and I very quickly realized I had to implement measures to combat trolls because regulars drift away when the signal-to-noise ratio gets too low. I fear that is happening here.

    I don’t censor individual posts: there is no moderation involved a la Slashdot or Digg. Nonetheless, I assure you that there are reasonable technical solutions that still allow the trolls to post, but with substantially more effort that will limit their contributions to the points they really, *really* want to put in the effort to make. I’m sure it reduces their fun, but it improves the experience for everyone else.

    Message boards are private clubs; there’s no reason why they need to be wide open and subject to the tragedy of the commons.

  7. That video is a stupid low blow, I expect better from Reason. Of course Obama is picking Clinton administration veterans – if he wants anyone at all with executive branch experience, who do you think he’d turn to? Clinton is the only other democrat elected to the presidency since Jimmy Carter, and the Carter administration veterans are too old now. Even if the Obama administration is loaded with Clinton administration veterans, the Obama crowd is quite obviously a change from the Bush crowd.

    I’ve seen republicans call the Obama administration a failure before he’s even been inaugurated, and I’ve seen democrats raving about what a wonderful, first-rate staff Obama has put together. Me, I think it’s way too early to pronounce judgment.

    I do think Obama is serious about reaching out to the right and governing in a more friendly, bipartisan manner. The whole Warren inauguration prayer thing is one of the more obvious signs of that, but it’s hardly the only one.

    Of course, from a libertarian perspective, gridlock is usually preferable to bipartisanship, but that’s a story for another time.

  8. The juxtaposition of Lonewacko and Lefiti is somehow pleasingly surreal…

  9. What no talk radio host dare to say a few weeks ago is coming up more and more on the air. That is the question: Why Obama tapped twelve of his twenty appointees from the most loyal of Clinton cronies. I’ve been ridiculed around here for months for saying what is becoming the only obvious answer, the Clintons are running the show.

  10. The argument that Obama has to pick Clintons and their people because nobody else is available is getting stale fast. Aren’t there some Harvard types that weren’t intricately involved in covering for Bill’s indescretions available?

  11. Would you really want an administration staffed with people who have never had any government involvement before?

    Yes. Next dumb question.

  12. I’m thrilled that Obama chose someone with no connection to the intelligence policies of the Bush administration to head the CIA. I’m even more thrilled that he ignored pressure to appoint someone with “intelligence experience.”

    Ok, so you too are happy that he’s appointing people without experience. Now you’re just being contrary.

    Oh, and you’re correct, he picked someone who was part of the administration that was asleep during the planning and training period for 9/11.

  13. Of course Obama is picking Clinton administration veterans – if he wants anyone at all with executive branch experience, who do you think he’d turn to?

    People with new ideas.

    Just shooting fish in a barrel, here.

  14. Choosing HRC for SecState is the only appointment I find deeply troubling. It’s not like I’m happy about some of the others but I’m sure my happiness in the least of the important man’s concerns.

    I can’t help but suspect that State was part of the deal that got Hillary to drop out and endorse BHO. I have some doubt about my theory on account of the fact that i find it hard to beleive that it could have been kept a secret for so long.

    As to the number of Clinton retreads, I’m in the “where else is he going to go for loyal experienced government hands?” camp.

    At least Panetta has executive experience and a record displaying competence. Where the hell has Hillary ever demonstrated any of that? And where are her foreign policy credentials?

    Makes me wonder if Obama isn’t gonna pull a Nixon and run foreign policy from the White house and leave State to hold parties for entertaining our guests.

    I might add that I have never really bought any of the hopey-changey talk so I’m generally able to give you my jaundiced view of what I expect to be more of the same-o.

  15. Im just glad someone is finally paying attention to me.

  16. How much did Clinton go to the Carter trough? Same situation, just one additional term separating him from Carter than in the current instance.

    If it’s about change, then bringing in lots of status quo maintainers is exactly the opposite of the right message. There were senior people in the Clinton administration who weren’t as close to the Clintons as those who are getting appointed, too. And, of course, there’s the private sector, Congress, and the states. The who-else argument is lame.

    I’m mostly with Isaac–the only choice I think was actually completely stupid was HRC. It’s obviously a pay off for something, likely her final withdrawal and help with the campaign. An outsider for DCI is one thing, and isn’t really unprecedented. An inexperienced outsider for State is not a good idea.

  17. Hillary looked rather frumpy and tired at today’s rubber-stamping. Less dynamic, more menopausal. I guess we (American voters) made the right choice after all. We have a telegenic African-Hawaiian-Kenyan-American president-elect who reads cue cards with some proficiency. The world cheers. It’s change we can…something

  18. Great fun seeing Dawn Johnson being represented by actor Don Johnson’s photo. Nice touch.

  19. She said something like “We must not give up on Mideast peace” today, too. Ha! That’s exactly what I’d like to do. Give up, and let them sort it out. If they want to use our good offices, great, but only after we’ve reachieved neutrality.

  20. Pro L,

    I don’t think Clinton went to the Carter trough much. However, the first couple of years of the Clinton administration were notable for their ineffectiveness and alienation of his own party. It led to landslide losses at midterms. I think Obama is trying to avoid that mistake. Not to mention, Carter’s administration was hardly hailed for its effectiveness, Clinton’s was better received.

  21. I agree, Mo.

  22. Clinton largely eschewed the Carter leadership, with a few exceptions. I think the Clinton bureaucrats, by and large, were weak, but it would’ve been worse to have pulled in the losers from the Carter years.

    At any point you want to examine during his time in office. Clinton’s only accomplishments of note, for the most part, were when he co-opted ideas and/or legislation that the GOP majority would go for. It’s telling how bad his administration really was by looking at how much they flailed about in the first couple of years. . .leading, of course, to the 1994 rebellion.

  23. Would you really want an administration staffed with people who have never had any government involvement before?

    Yes.

    Next question?

    As to the number of Clinton retreads, I’m in the “where else is he going to go for loyal experienced government hands?” camp.

    Its a big country, full of people who manage to be both (a) not Beltway lifers and (b) incredibly accomplished at running large organizations.

    We don’t need “loyal experienced government hands.” That’s the fucking problem, not the solution. We need people who aren’t loyal experienced government hands to take over these agencies and kick the shit out of them.

  24. Here’s some change for you. Iranians are protesting, chanting “death to Obama!” and burning pictures of him in the street. I’m sure his fan club will be screaming racism and blaming it on Bush any minute now.

    from Rueters

  25. Would you really want an administration staffed with people who have never had any government involvement before?

    Yes.

    Next question?

    It’s easy and snarky and fun to say that, but why would you want someone unfamiliar with nuclear weapons safeguards managing their deployment? Let’s face it, government is a complex mess, and organizational chaos is not going to help make it smaller.

    If libertarians want to get anywhere, they’ll need to prove themselves capable of managing government down to a small size, not decapitating it.

  26. flugger and others,

    I think you dramatically overestimate the importance of the top-level appointees to the actual operation of government. Other than commissioners, who can be very powerful, only the AG and SoS strike me as people who should be personally capable of something beyond mere administration. Since we can put someone like Clinton in the SoS role, then why can’t we put someone equally inexperienced in any cabinet-level position?

  27. Awesome video. Inspirational. Can’t wait for the Obama team to take over.

    Panetta at CIA, and Johnson at OTC, are especially awesome.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Only one more week, until that change comes to pass.

  28. Is Panetta awesome? How so? I’m not sure he was even an awesome Chief of Staff.

  29. Pro Lib,

    He consistently and publicly denounced torture, beginning as soon as it became public that the Bush administration was engaging in it.

    Also, his tenure as Chief of Staff pretty much marked the end of the Clown Car that was the early Clinton White House. Very competent manager.

  30. Competent, yes, awesome, no. I also don’t think he was quite as vocal as all that about torture, though he gets points from me for even denouncing it at all. Of course–and I attack with a broad brush here–opposing torture is all about how you define it. Ask the Bush lawyers, if you don’t believe me.

    I oppose even vigorous interrogation. Not because I don’t despise the actual terrorists or think that they don’t morally deserve torture, but because I don’t think it works and because it demeans us to resort to such tactics. Being the good guy is hard and sometimes means not being able to take the easier path.

  31. Pro Lib,

    The thing about Panetta is that he didn’t denounce torture as the Bushies defined it; he denounced how they defined it. He denounced their definitions as the efforts to enable torture that they so obviously were.

    Maybe I’m setting the bar lower that I once might have, but I can live with that. The fact that the Bushies were so absolutely awful doesn’t make it less significant that Obama is appointing decent people like Panetta, but more.

  32. Hold it, hold it, hold it:

    I also don’t think he was quite as vocal as all that about torture…

    I think it is incredibly fucking awesome that we are sitting debating whether the anti-torture CIA Director-designate, who is going to take over the agency in a matter of weeks, is anti-torture ENOUGH.

    Damn straight that’s change we can believe in. Thank God Obama won.

  33. Oh so I see that it is not just the “Right – Wing” folks that have a “Good ol Boys Club”

    The socialists ….I mean Comi-crats seem to have an long list of the same old same old.

    Change would be to get the Constitution and the Bill of Rights back!

    Nothing even close to what this or any “R.O.N” administration will ever give us will be real “change”

    ……smoke ‘m if you got ‘m

  34. Joe, in all fairness, McCain was going to close down Gitmo and end this crap, too.

  35. OK, a point on McCain closing Gitmo, but I don’t buy the broad “end this crap” language.

  36. squarooticus

    Go fuck yourself, you whiny little shit.

  37. McCain’s no torture fan. No telling for sure how much he’d have actually done in office in regards to the war(s). Honestly, though, I think that’s at least as true with Obama.

  38. Awsome! this is almost as AWSOME as joe being nominated as CIA Director!!!

  39. Come on, Guy, let it all out.

    Really, all that anger and fear, you need to get it our of your system, or it will eat you alive.

    Tell us how much it hurts to know that the next CIA Director opposes torture.

    We’re here for you, buddy. This is a safe place. It’s ok to vent, and really make your true feelings known.

  40. I’m ready for a Scorpions comeback!

  41. If he really wants to bring in change, Obama can replace the people running the INS and the drug war by…nobody. The Panetta appointment is classic: a straight up payoff to an old Clinton hand who’s never dealt with intelligence except as a passive, second-hand consumer in Congress. Obama is all but conceding the obsolescence of the CIA. But a clean cut is not, ah, moderate enough. None of these guys can find a single office of government that they can shed, despite running on change. The true irony is that if JFK followed through on eliminating the CIA and scouring natsec for idiots and crooks, he might well have lived out two terms and seen the light on Indochina. Capote said that style is just being yourself on purpose. A little more of that couldn’t hurt BHO.

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