October 7, 2015

What's so stupid about the Politico piece titled "Clinton gag gifts her GOP rivals with copies of her memoir."

1. You're obviously trying to help Hillary with her effort to come across as "fun," but you have absolutely nothing to report. Candidates have books, and they're always trying to get these books out. It's the essence of nonnews.

2. Hillary sends out a lot of copies of a book about herself. What is the "gag"? Why are you saying "gag"... other than to make it more obvious that you're propagating the message that Hillary is such a fun, fun lady.

3. "Gag" is not a good word to use when talking about the woman whose husband got the most famous blow job in the history of the world.

Anyway... the word "gag" does not appear in Hillary's "Hard Choices," but the memoir does contain some discussion of jokes. She writes:
In politics a sense of humor is essential. There are countless reasons why you have to be able to laugh at yourself.... In diplomacy, with its carefully scripted conversations across language and cultural divides, there’s less room for humor. But occasionally it comes in handy. This felt like one of those times.

In a speech at the Munich Security Conference in February, Vice President Biden had said, “It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” I liked the idea of a “reset”... Why not present [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey]Lavrov with an actual reset button? It might get people laughing— including Lavrov— and ensure that our commitment to a fresh start, not our disagreements, made the headlines. A little unconventional, maybe, but worth a try. Lavrov and I met in the InterContinental Hotel’s Salon Panorama, named for its panoramic view of Geneva. Before we sat down, I presented him with a small green box, complete with a ribbon. While the cameras snapped away, I opened it and pulled out a bright red button on a yellow base that had been pulled off the whirlpool in the hotel.
She vandalized the hotel for that button?! Wow. Reminds me of the wreckage in the White House at the end of the Bill Clinton administration, when staffers pried the "W"s off the computer keyboards to spite George W. Bush.

86 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

"Gag" is a word I strongly associate with Hillary!

Bob Ellison said...

Wow, indeed. That is not something that an honorable person would do. It'd be a firing offense if she didn't command the act herself.

"Had been pulled". Nice plausible-deniability use of passive voice, Hillary.

EDH said...

Republicans should argue this book was essentially a money laundering scheme to enrich Clinton with corporate money, and introduce legislation making illegal large book advances to current and former public officials.

The sales of Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices, which wasn’t selling all that well to begin with, have fallen off a cliff, saddling her publisher with huge losses.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales at over 80 percent of the book vendors in the U.S., Hard Choices sold just 28,000 copies in its third week, which is down from 48,000 the previous week and 85,000 when it first became available for sale. Add in estimated e-book sales of 20,000, and the total sales figure comes to just 181,000.

While the sales are an embarrassment for Clinton, they’re disastrous for Simon and Schuster, which was so confident they had another sure-fire hit on their hands that they gave Clinton a $14 million advance. That means, based on hardcover sales, the publisher has paid Clinton almost $87 per book sold, which is almost two and a half times the $35 cover price of the book. By comparison, Hillary’s first book, Living History, sold over 1.15 million copies overall, meaning that she was paid roughly $7 per book, based on her $8 million advance for that title.


http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/hard-sell-hillary-clintons-hard-choices-flops/

BDNYC said...

What is it about Democrats thinking so highly of themselves? This brings to mind Obama sending the Queen a "gift" of an iPod filled with his speeches. So gauche. It's embarrassing.

Yes, I understand Hillary is attempting to make a joke. She's trying to be a "real life troll" to win over the reddit/4chan set. It's still embarrassing that she would use her own book for the gag, as if her thoughts are so wonderful and delicate that the GOP might learn something useful from her.

I am late to hating the Clintons. I was too young during Bill's presidency. I even sorta liked Hillary in 2008. But the more I see her, and the more I learn about what that dreadful family has been up to the last 25 years, the more I despise them.

Nonapod said...

Hillary's humor module may need an upgrade. The tech people are looking into it.

Big Mike said...

Taking the 'W' keys off keyboards and typewriters was the least destructive of the acts performed by the departing Clinton staffers. There is also the question of $190,000 worth of White House china and furniture that the ex-president and his rapacious spouse expropriated when he left office. Some they gave back, but I really liked this remark:

"After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them when they left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for $86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount."

Is 45% "nearly half"? I guess math becomes hard when you're covering for the Clintons.

BN said...

Hillary writes: "in politics a sense of humor is essential."

Same with voting these days.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is 45% "nearly half"? I guess math becomes hard when you're covering for the Clintons."

-- Actually, it is. 45 rounds up to 50. Not a fan of the Clintons, but, that's just rounding.

BN said...

" I guess math becomes hard when you're covering for the Clintons."

You think math is hard, try doing the laundry.

Scott said...

"Gag" is not a good word to use when talking about the woman whose husband got the most famous blow job in the history of the world.

OMG. Instant classic.

"Hard Choices" would be a better name for Monica Lewinski's book.

Todd said...

I know how she can salvage her book sales. She should autograph a limited edition copy (from the publisher), have the publisher auction it off, and have her foundation bid $15M for it.

Problem solved, everyone happy...

Static Ping said...

Wait, that was the mistranslated reset button, right? It's the one that said "overcharged" rather than "reset." (Looks it up.) Yes, yes, it is. Yes, that is funny, but more in the laughing at you category than the laughing with you category. On the plus side, it probably did not make anything worse.

I think that also confirmed that the book was heavily ghost written as it is hard to imagine Hillary intentionally bringing up that humiliation in such good cheer. "I looked like a complete idiot in front of a worldwide audience. Awesome!" Bill could pull that off, but not HIllary.

As to the hotel vandalism, most likely the hotel she was staying in is hideously expensive and well acquainted with high maintenance guests. As long as you do not bring up a moving van to steal the furniture or rip out the plumbing for the copper, the hotel probably does not care. They are also well acquainted on how to pad the expense report with various miscellaneous sundries. The button wouldn't be anything more than a rounding error in the booze tab. It would not surprise me if they had a box of the buttons in storage in case of just such an eventuality.

Bob Ellison said...

Imagine the scene at Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva:

Hotel guy: Sir, what are you doing?

Hillary guy: Oh, um, I lost my contact lens somewhere here in the pool controls. Just a minute.

Hotel guy: Sir, let me call maintenance. I'm sure we can help you with that.

Hillary guy: No, I've just almost got it...right here...there!

Hotel guy: Sir, it looks as though the pool controls are damaged. I would advise you to climb out and let me have your suit dry-cleaned and pressed. We'll send a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot to your room by way of apology.

Hillary guy: No, no problem. Just send up a dry martini, stirred, not shaken. Wait; make that five martinis. I've got guests.

John Christopher said...

The reset button has always struck as the something than an HR compliance manager at a corporate event in the Marriott conference room would consider clever.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Sad.

Not even remotely humorous. Just sad.

David Begley said...

EDH

Very important point re book advance paid to HRC by Simon & Schuster. S&S is owned by CBS.

SGT Ted said...

It's a gag gift because no one buys her book. It is ironically funny.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

For her next gag, HRC is inviting all GOP candidates to her fun fun summer camp.

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she proposed wearing a blue dress on SNL.

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she once asked if an email server also serves drinks.

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she pranked the Benghazi victims' funeral with a great story about a video.

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she calls Bill "Jeff" in private

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she once challenged O to a game of one-on-one basketball.

Todd said...

Sebastian said... [hush]​[hide comment]
For her next gag, HRC is inviting all GOP candidates to her fun fun summer camp.

10/7/15, 10:22 AM


No, what she does is challenge all of the GOP to a "chili cook off" ...

http://www.southparkstudios.co.uk/clips/104191/chili-con-carnival

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that it takes a village to understand it.

Big Mike said...

@David Begley, you misspelled it. It's spelled "See BS."

Brando said...

The attempt to make her more "fun" and relatable is pathetic. I'd have a lot of pity for her if I wasn't fearful of what her presidency is going to be like.

Vandalizing a hotel to create a gag gift? This is apparently what connected multimillionaires do when rights of others don't matter. And for what--isn't there a better chance the Russians would have seen that and interpreted as the Americans being profoundly unserious? Intelligent diplomacy requires some certainty as to how your gestures will be taken, particularly across cultural barriers. FDR repeatedly thought he was "charming" Stalin by poking fun at Churchill, and it was instead interpreted by Stalin as weakness by the West.

As for sending out the book, how many people bought her book who weren't (a) required to because it was their job to review it or (b) required to because they are on her staff? And if her point is "look at all my accomplishments, here in the book" and it's full of idiocies like the reset button story, then what point is she actually proving?

This is one profoundly incompetent person. I shudder that she is likely to be our next president. Maybe we'll get lucky and Obama will declare martial law or something.

Bay Area Guy said...

Hillary Clinton gives book to GOP rivals - full story at 11:00! Yawn

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Bet she wishes she could recall those books and redact that story.

"So Hillary, how did that reset thing with the Russians work out?" said the eventual GOP nominee.

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that she burst out, "But it is a pipe!"

Sebastian said...

HRC has such a great sense of humor that her next gag gift for GOP candidates will be a box of cigars.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Seriously, Hillary has to campaign against the sitting President of her own party's handling of foreign affairs, much of which occurred while she was Secretary of State and her own husbands law and order policies in order to woo the far left base that is swooning over Bernie Freaking Sanders.

Is everyone aware of the Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times.

Static Ping said...

The "reset" button was funny, or at the very least it could be funny. I could see the entire gag on an "The Office" like show for the government. There would be the aide desperately trying to find a button only to have a crisis of conscience about stealing the hotel button, possibly being advised by a friend who has obviously looted the bathroom already, and probably while someone in the background is ordering multiple assassinations or actually killing someone with his own hands. Then there would be the misunderstanding with the hotel detective, who the aides think are searching for the whirlpool vandals, and is instead obsessed with finding who dared smuggle a dog into the establishment without bribing him first. Then there are the plethora of jokes involving finding a translator, going through the personnel records to find someone with a Russian lineage only to find that the only Russian he knows is from professional wrestling, the joys of Google translate, the search perhaps spooking an actual spy or better yet several spies listening in on the conversation and getting all confused on what they are trying to do with a liberal misunderstanding on basic American idioms and then perhaps going to an English colleague which confuses them more, trying to find someone in the Russian contingent to help which requires going through all sorts of hoops to get this help and trust only to find out he is terrible at spelling at the worst possible time, and finally ending with a topper that the guy with the dog is both their boss and does not speak Russian but can actually translate it perfectly somehow.

In real life, it is too deadly serious to be all that amusing. Jokes about Nero today are hilarious. Jokes about Nero when he's your emperor and he's feeding a senator's family to the lions every week are just depressing. (I have no idea if Nero was feeding anyone to the lions. It just seems funny to say so.)

Michael K said...

Hillary is great with the quick repartee.

Like saying "Fuck Off!" when the Secret Service guy says, "Good Morning, Ma'am."

Brando said...

"Seriously, Hillary has to campaign against the sitting President of her own party's handling of foreign affairs, much of which occurred while she was Secretary of State and her own husbands law and order policies in order to woo the far left base that is swooning over Bernie Freaking Sanders."

The GOP nominee simply has to ask: if you are disowning your husband's legacy and Obama's legacy, both of which you had a hand in, why should anyone trust what you're saying now?

It's a simple message, and there's really no good answer to it. "I evolved since then" isn't believable since she only discovered she's opposed to those things within the last several months.

This person is beatable if the GOP just this once smartened up.

Unknown said...

Jesus Christ, she thinks a bright red push-button is a good thing to surprise a Russian diplomat with on live TV?!??? "Hah, hah, we both know our bosses have actual (kind of) buttons like this that they can push and send humanity to armageddon, but hey, take a joke!!!" I hadn't been aware of this little bit of clumsiness before now. It proves to me she is completely tone-deaf and her team are too afraid of her to bring her to her senses. There is no way any "button" bandied about between Russians and Americans doesn't bring "the" button to mind.

Will Cate said...

#3, for sure...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Bernie Freaking Sanders, you know, the guy who held hearings on the feasibility of seizing 401k accounts and offering GRAs. The guy that wants to penalize thrift.

Mac McConnell said...

So the "restart button" fiasco was crazy uncle Joe's idea. Was he setting her up for 2016? But, we all know Hillary is a grifter, so in her book maybe she's just pawning the blame off on him.
Either way how fucking sophomoric was that button? but, then these are the same people that were telling us Assad was a "reformer" not long ago.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The reset button was shameful and perfectly encapsulated the naïve worldview the Obama Admin had (has)--it simultaneously managed to be both insulting to Americans (State dept predecessors) and evince weakness to the foreign nations State was supposed to be working with. The Obama Admin really did believe their own puffery--they actually thought the problems we faced were all just because of intransigent, stupid Republicans and now that the smart, adult, clear-eyed Dems were in office they'd sort things out without delay. Pres. Obama's habit of creating and slaying ridiculous strawmen ("there are those who say") isn't just a verbal tic, he and his Admin really seem to think that way. There's no cost-benefit analysis, no need to think about why people made certain decisions in the past, it's all just our planet healing and our oceans ceasing to rise under the benign influence of the smart people. It's a dangerously stupid worldview, but it's one they genuinely held (and probably still hold). Oh how the Russians must have laughed!
It must be admitted, though, that's the exact ethos the Obama campaign ran on, and people voted for it.

Brando said...

"The reset button was shameful and perfectly encapsulated the naïve worldview the Obama Admin had (has)--it simultaneously managed to be both insulting to Americans (State dept predecessors) and evince weakness to the foreign nations State was supposed to be working with. The Obama Admin really did believe their own puffery--they actually thought the problems we faced were all just because of intransigent, stupid Republicans and now that the smart, adult, clear-eyed Dems were in office they'd sort things out without delay. Pres. Obama's habit of creating and slaying ridiculous strawmen ("there are those who say") isn't just a verbal tic, he and his Admin really seem to think that way. There's no cost-benefit analysis, no need to think about why people made certain decisions in the past, it's all just our planet healing and our oceans ceasing to rise under the benign influence of the smart people. It's a dangerously stupid worldview, but it's one they genuinely held (and probably still hold). Oh how the Russians must have laughed!
It must be admitted, though, that's the exact ethos the Obama campaign ran on, and people voted for it."

It's sort of like when people say Obama could get a good deal from the GOP if he just buttered up GOP congressmen more, and golfed with them, etc.--that major differences could be resolved if only people were more personally pleasant to each other.

Granted, diplomacy (both domestic and international) is a good thing as enhanced personal relationships enable trust and a sense of fair play, but at the end of the day the interests of the parties may be intractable. If Russia wants to invade Ukraine, we're not going to stop them simply by getting a chuckle out of their foreign minister. And if Obama wants to raise half a trillion in new taxes, he's not going to get it by golfing with Republicans.

Just Mike said...

also remember the "reset" button gag turned into a gaffe when the word "reset" was poorly translated to Russian and the Russians had no idea what the hell Hillary was talking about

damikesc said...

Wouldn't that qualify as both cruel AND unusual punishment?

And Hillary is the same woman that P.J O'Rourke noted wrote that she held Chelsea upside down when feeding her.

damikesc said...

Granted, diplomacy (both domestic and international) is a good thing as enhanced personal relationships enable trust and a sense of fair play, but at the end of the day the interests of the parties may be intractable. If Russia wants to invade Ukraine, we're not going to stop them simply by getting a chuckle out of their foreign minister. And if Obama wants to raise half a trillion in new taxes, he's not going to get it by golfing with Republicans.

Diplomacy is utterly useless, IMO. It only provides a veneer of respectability while somebody plans to slaughter a doe.

We can save a lot of money and just shut down the Dept of State. Diplomacy hasn't stopped a damned thing in history. All treaties are signed and enforced because of economics or military force.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@damikesc:

Just out of curiosity, whose side do you think the United States should be on in Syria?

Drago said...

J. Farmer: "Just out of curiosity, whose side do you think the United States should be on in Syria?"

Well, our own of course.

But first, you'd have to outline the outcomes that would be favorable to "our" side, then identify the strategy and tactics to achieve that.

It might actually require us to be on "multiple sides" for differing periods of time and/or to differing degrees.

But first things first: what are the desired outcomes?

Fernandinande said...

She vandalized the hotel for that button?! Wow.

You actually believe anything she "writes"?

Besides, her ghost writer's text doesn't actually say where the button came from, it says where the "yellow base" came from.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

My position has been the same since this entire imbroglio started: we shouldn't be doing anything. I wouldn't be dropping bombs on Syria and I certainly wouldn't be arming and training "moderate" rebels. The best outcome for us, though exceedingly unlikely at this point, would be for Assad to regain control of his country and his state. Back when McCain was posing for photo ops with Syrian tough guys and lecturing us all about how we needed to give them RPGs and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile launchers, wouldn't it have been a good idea for him to explain to us how he was so sure that once the Syrian state had been completely demolished, something far more dangerous and violent would not rush into the vacuum to take its place?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando said...It's sort of like when people say Obama could get a good deal from the GOP if he just buttered up GOP congressmen more, and golfed with them, etc.--that major differences could be resolved if only people were more personally pleasant to each other.

I don't think it's actually the same, though, in the sense that neither Republicans nor Democrats really believe that just smiling at one another is sufficient to overcome differences. Being willing to actually negotiate (and compromise, give things up to get other things, etc) is necessary for success in those terms, but it's by itself sufficient. In the case of diplomacy the Obama Admin. essentially said that the problems America had with international relations were due to the Bush Admin's stupidity and that the problems could therefore be easily solved by a switch (or "reset") for the smart Obama Admin. people. In other words they seem to actually have believed that just getting "their people" in place was sufficient to overcome serious problems of international relations. That was a silly belief, and while it's ok to run/campaign with silly slogans it's not ok to actually believe those things and act on them.
The analogy with people who think the Pres and Congress could solve their problems if only they talked works in the sense that it's naïve to believe that'd be all that's necessary, but I don't think that's actually a widely-held belief. When people make that complaint I think it's more to point out that being willing to talk and compromise (from both sides) is a minimum starting requirement for progress, not that it's all that's needed.

Laslo Spatula said...

"3."Gag" is not a good word to use when talking about the woman whose husband got the most famous blow job in the history of the world. "

A (very) incomplete list of other words Hillary shouldn't say:

swallow
spit
chowder
cream cheese
cream of corn
creme filling
protein shake
special sauce
Nutter Butter
circumspect
turtle head
weiner
Anthony Weiner

and

cock milk

I am Laslo.

J. Farmer said...

@Laslo:

How about "stream of conscious?"

Brando said...

"Diplomacy is utterly useless, IMO. It only provides a veneer of respectability while somebody plans to slaughter a doe.

We can save a lot of money and just shut down the Dept of State. Diplomacy hasn't stopped a damned thing in history. All treaties are signed and enforced because of economics or military force."

That's rather sweeping--our relations with other countries are how we are able to trade, protect our citizens overseas when they get into trouble, form mutually beneficial alliances, and often avoid or end wars. Like war, it's not always the answer, but it often is.

"The analogy with people who think the Pres and Congress could solve their problems if only they talked works in the sense that it's naïve to believe that'd be all that's necessary, but I don't think that's actually a widely-held belief. When people make that complaint I think it's more to point out that being willing to talk and compromise (from both sides) is a minimum starting requirement for progress, not that it's all that's needed."

I agree it's a minimum--obviously once you think someone is in bad faith and you can't trust them you're not going to be able to come to any deal, even if it's ultimately in your best interest. But in a lot of these recent dustups between Obama and Congress I think a lot of it was fundamental differences that couldn't be bridged. It's not that the GOP felt Obama was snubbing them (though he often was) but that there was simply no middle ground that both sides could agree on, once he wanted to impose tax cuts and no meaningful spending cuts and they wanted no tax increases but significant spending cuts. All the schmmozing in the world wouldn't have bridged that. I think ultimately that's going to be a problem in the next administration too, unless public opinion starts to change in one direction or the other, to pressure Democrats towards more cuts or Republicans in the other direction.

traditionalguy said...

The idea of Clinton having any accomplishments is a gag worthy of a Pink Panther plot. ROFL.

I blame Biden's team infiltrated into Politico for subtle ridicule.

phantommut said...

What I came away with from that passage was that she hired a really bad ghost writer.

damikesc said...

Just out of curiosity, whose side do you think the United States should be on in Syria?

Our side. I wouldn't have gotten involved, certainly not mentioned "red lines" about actions that will lead to retribution (and then whine like a bitch when it happened).

But, Obama fucked shit up. That's why he's paid. To fix up shit he fucks up.

People keep saying "Bush broke Iraq" --- except, when he left, Iraq was far better than when he got there. Obama broke it.

It's not that the GOP felt Obama was snubbing them (though he often was) but that there was simply no middle ground that both sides could agree on, once he wanted to impose tax cuts and no meaningful spending cuts and they wanted no tax increases but significant spending cuts. All the schmmozing in the world wouldn't have bridged that. I think ultimately that's going to be a problem in the next administration too, unless public opinion starts to change in one direction or the other, to pressure Democrats towards more cuts or Republicans in the other direction.

Thing is, I believe conservatives WILL negotiate. Happily.

We've just been fucked over a lot.

Reagan had a deal with the Dems to cut spending by $3 for every $1 in tax hikes. Taxes were hiked but no spending was cut. Bush had the same offer, except 2:1. No cuts came them and Dems RAN ON HIM BREAKING HIS WORD.

Why would a conservative believe that if we raise taxes, THIS TIME they will cut spending? There's a track record.

Ditto immigration. Reagan offers amnesty in exchange for border security --- which never happened. The Dems seem to want conservatives to accept platitudes as being the same as actions.

What place on Earth has Obama made better? There's a NUCLEAR ARMS RACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST! The one place we never wanted to see that happen. And that is ALL Barry.

That's rather sweeping--our relations with other countries are how we are able to trade, protect our citizens overseas when they get into trouble, form mutually beneficial alliances, and often avoid or end wars. Like war, it's not always the answer, but it often is.

But the moment one partner decides they don't like the treaty, they ignore it. Iran, it needs to be noted, signed the NPT. They've never removed their signature. They just ignore it because the Progs have demoralized the West. Look at Israel --- we seem to EXPECT them to sit back idly and applaud while their existence is threatened more and more.

Brando said...

"What I came away with from that passage was that she hired a really bad ghost writer."

In the ghost writer's defense they probably had very little to work with.

Brando said...

"Why would a conservative believe that if we raise taxes, THIS TIME they will cut spending? There's a track record."

If that's the deal they want to accept--tax hikes for spending cuts--then it's very simple. Tax hikes only implemented when the spending cuts are passed. If they pass both and then the Dems want to raise spending again without cutting taxes back, GOPers don't agree. Or am I missing something? Why did Reagan and Bush agree only to get a vague promise of later spending cuts?

"But the moment one partner decides they don't like the treaty, they ignore it."

Not all diplomacy is bad diplomacy. If I'm making a treaty with someone, I'll want to make sure that their breaking of the treaty carries a consequence--for example, they stop extraditing your fugitives, you stop extraditing theirs. They slap a tarrif on your cars, you slap a tarrif on their exports.

MayBee said...

She totally dogwhistled Bobby Jindal's name.

MayBee said...

The biggest joke about the "Reset" button is what the relationship was reset to.

MayBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando said...Not all diplomacy is bad diplomacy. If I'm making a treaty with someone, I'll want to make sure that their breaking of the treaty carries a consequence--for example, they stop extraditing your fugitives, you stop extraditing theirs. They slap a tarrif on your cars, you slap a tarrif on their exports.

They step over a declared "red line" and use chemical weapons, you....?
They get busted enriching uranium (or not disclosing existing stockpiles), you...?

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

"Gag" is not a good word to use when talking about the woman whose husband got the most famous blow job in the history of the world.

Recent history perhaps, but the ancient Egyptians would beg to differ. Osiris and his sister Isis

Achilles said...

I hope Hillary wins the nomination. I really do.

The united States is heading for a reset button one way or another. But Hillary is a guaranteed loser in the general.

damikesc said...

If that's the deal they want to accept--tax hikes for spending cuts--then it's very simple. Tax hikes only implemented when the spending cuts are passed.

The Dems will then pass "spending cuts" that occur years down the line. We've played this game before. Which is why, as a conservative, I say not a single tax hike without cuts first. Because, honestly, the super rich tend to be Dems so screw them ANYWAYS, but negotiation at this point is impossible since they've repeatedly shown to not do so in good faith.

Or am I missing something? Why did Reagan and Bush agree only to get a vague promise of later spending cuts?

They negotiated in good faith. That was a huge mistake. They ASSUMED the Dems would see the sacrifice they're making and follow suit. Dems, I truly believe, have few qualms lying since they have the press on their side and the winners write the history.

Not all diplomacy is bad diplomacy. If I'm making a treaty with someone, I'll want to make sure that their breaking of the treaty carries a consequence--for example, they stop extraditing your fugitives, you stop extraditing theirs. They slap a tarrif on your cars, you slap a tarrif on their exports.

It still requires military force. Russia SHOULD have been attacked by the entire world for their incursions in the Crimea and the Ukraine, per the UN charter.

That sure as hell didn't happen. And Putin KNEW it wouldn't. He reads current Western leaders as well as Hitler did in the 1930's. Hopefully, he'll become equally as terribly as Hitler got at reading them eventually...but he knows that our leadership is laden with pussies who won't do anything.

And, rest assured, the Iranian mullahs have few problems making us their bitch as well.

I read on NR, I think, something that did explain Trump: People are sick of us acting like wimps. We're SICK of people bullying us around...especially fragile nothings like Russia and Iran.

Obama and Hillary are a surrender caucus of their own. The ONLY country they'd vigorously oppose is Israel because their Jewish supporters are dumb enough to believe that Christians are their real enemies.

Trump, for his faults, portrays strength and force and, at this time, that is what is needed. It's why I think Jeb has, literally, no shot at winning. He seems as much as a pansy as Obama is.

Michael K said...

"He seems as much as a pansy as Obama is."

Bingo !

He oozes empathy when ass kicking is in order.

Drago said...

J Farmer: "My position has been the same since this entire imbroglio started: we shouldn't be doing anything. I wouldn't be dropping bombs on Syria and I certainly wouldn't be arming and training "moderate" rebels.

Not relevant and certainly not responsive to the question.

J Farmer: "The best outcome for us, though exceedingly unlikely at this point, would be for Assad to regain control of his country and his state."

Now we are getting somewhere.

BTW, why is this "best outcome" as you call it, "exceedingly unlikely"? I would argue with Russia's direct intervention the most likely scenario is for Assad to regain control of his country and his state.....right up until the time when the Russians decide it's not in their best interest to allow Assad to remain in power.

What would you be willing to do in a non-direct, asymmetrical way (garage, feel free to look that word up) that would aide Assad in staying in power which, in your own words, is our "best outcome"?

But, oops. Didn't obama say Assad had to go? Yikes. How to square that circle one wonders?

Does your position remain unchanged if Assad remaining in power enhances and/or solidifies and/or whatever you want to call it Russia's growing dominant position in the Middle East?

What does Russia's growing influence in the ME portend for OPEC? Does it matter?
What does Russia's growing influence in the ME protend for Israel? Does it matter?

Already we have seen a steady stream of heads of state and key players making their way to Moscow to pay homage to the new dominant player in the region.

Does it matter?

J Farmer: "Back when McCain was posing for photo ops with Syrian tough guys..... blah blah blah McCain......."

McCain has zero influence on any of this. It's astonishing that you would choose to chat about a meaningless McCain photo-op instead of obama and the obama admin policies and the results of those policies.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Drago said...

Achilles: "But Hillary is a guaranteed loser in the general."

I'm not sure you are giving enough weight to the clear willingness on the part of the dems to crank up every electoral shenanigan they can to get Hillary over the line.

The reality is that we are but a few election cycles away from full scale illegal participation in our elections to a degree never before seen. After all, who would be available to prosecute?

No one. All the dems have to do is get Hillary over the line for 4 more years, plus a few more executive orders and presto-chango, the dems will have successfully added 1/6th of our total population in the course of only about 25 years and that new electorate is of the same mentality that delivers a Chavez to the Presidency.

Poof. Permanent dem majority. We're probably already close to that now.

Beorn said...

that delivers a Chavez to the Presidency

I'm pretty sure that already happened.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

What would you be willing to do in a non-direct, asymmetrical way (garage, feel free to look that word up) that would aide Assad in staying in power which, in your own words, is our "best outcome"?

As I said, I don't want to do anything in Syria. We have no need to get involved in that mess, and there are a number of closer regional players who are more than willing to get bogged down there. I'd let them.

"But, oops. Didn't obama say Assad had to go? Yikes. How to square that circle one wonders?"

As you may recall from my first sentence, I've had the same position since the beginning. To the degree that the Obama administration has taken the opposite position (i.e. intervening), I've disagreed with it. Regime change is a stupid policy regardless of the letter next to the name of the politician who advocates it.

"Does your position remain unchanged if Assad remaining in power enhances and/or solidifies and/or whatever you want to call it Russia's growing dominant position in the Middle East?"

No, Russia isn't experiencing any "growing dominant position in the Middle East." Russia and Syria have had close diplomatic and military ties for half a century. Russia has had naval facilities in Tartus since the early 1970s. Being allied with a fractured, sectarian-strife, war-torn country does not give Russia greater strategic power in the region.

"It's astonishing that you would choose to chat about a meaningless McCain photo-op instead of obama and the obama admin policies and the results of those policies."

The point of the sentence was the very portions you excised and did not answer.

BN said...

Achilles: "But Hillary is a guaranteed loser in the general."

I hope so, but the last election already fooled me once. It told me that we are the problem we're waiting for. I haven't seen it get any better since. If anything, worse. And the splintering of the right makes it clear that 25% or so will stay home and throw a fit no matter who the nom is. So, I think it's more of the same coming down the tracks. I hope you're right tho.

Embrace the decline, prepare for the fall. Buy bullets.

And hard liquor.

William said...

Hillary, Obama, and the usual suspects thought that all the world's problems were caused by the venality and stupidity of the Bush gang. It was only necessary to press the reset button and their team would restore peace and harmony to the world. Gag me with a spoon......Putin, Assad, and assorted players in the Middle East will continue to act in their self interest under rules of engagement that allow, indeed encourage, mass murder and torture. There's no reset button. A backhoe for mass graves is the better tool with which to present them.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"The Dems seem to want conservatives to accept platitudes as being the same as actions."

Wrong.

The GOP wants that, and to the extent conservatives are willing to do to the GOP what has been done to the base by the GOP, Murkowski and Cochran, probably McCarthy shortly as examples, Dems want it too.

Drago said...

J Farmer: "No, Russia isn't experiencing any "growing dominant position in the Middle East."

Well, at this point I should bid you farewell as you are not a serious thinker on this subject.

J Farmer: "The point of the sentence was the very portions you excised and did not answer."

There is no point you could possible make related to McCain and the Middle East that would be in the least bit relevant.

Obviously.

Drago said...

Beorn: "I'm pretty sure that already happened"

Point taken.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

"Well, at this point I should bid you farewell as you are not a serious thinker on this subject."

Oh yes. My favorite rhetoric of all: your point is so obviously wrong it wouldn't even be worth it to refute. Well, your insult aside, I stand by my point-of-view. If you want to assert a "growing dominant position," I'd be happy to hear the evidence that drew you to this conclusion. Again, Russia has been close to the regime in Syria for decades. That regime's grip on the country has crumbled, and Russia is attempting to assist the regime militarily. It's one of more than a dozen countries intervening in Syria on one side or another.

"There is no point you could possible make related to McCain and the Middle East that would be in the least bit relevant."

McCain was never the point of that particular sentence. The jab against him was an aside because he was an early and vocal proponent of arming Syrian rebels and working to bring down Assad--both of which were awful policies. That said, the question of that sentence was the point. But let me reiterate. If you want to fight Assad and the various radical regimes that are also fighting against Assad, who exactly is going to run Syria?

Drago said...

J Farmer: "McCain was never the point of that particular sentence."

Except for your single-minded focus on him in that particular sentence.

J Farmer: "The jab against him..." Who is "him"? Can't be McCain, since he "was never the point of the particular sentence." Or so I've been informed.

J Farmer continues: "...was an aside because he was an early and vocal proponent of arming Syrian rebels and working to bring down Assad--both of which were awful policies"

McCain is not in a position to set US policy anywhere.

Did you happen to forget who the person is that does set policy?

If not, why did you not name the actual author of those policies?

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

If anyone has a "single-minded" focus on McCain in this dialogue, it is you. My position has been the same from the beginning: we shouldn't intervene in Syria, and we certainly should not attempt to bring Assad down. To the degree that the Obama administration has done that, I've disagreed with them. For what it's worth, I always disagreed with his Libya policy, too.

Now let's look at the so called opposition. Also disagreeing on Libya and Syria, which would be great, except they were disagreeing in the wrong direction. Their criticism of Obama was that he was not intervening forcefully and directly enough. Had those critiques been implemented, Syria would be an even more anarchic breeding ground for factional warlordism.

Now as for, "McCain is not in a position to set US policy anywhere." Quite right. But then by that logic, there would be no point in critiquing McCain at all or anyone not currently in government. If Charles Krauthammer said something about foreign policy you disagreed with, what would be the reason for disagreeing with it since Krauthammer is "not in a position to set US policy anywhere?"

So if you are as eager to stop talking about McCain as I am, perhaps you'd like to answer a couple of questions:

1) What objective should the US pursue in Syria, and how do you suggest the US achieve that objective?
2) What is your basis for asserting that Russia is experiencing a "growing dominant position in the middle east?"

damikesc said...

I hope so, but the last election already fooled me once. It told me that we are the problem we're waiting for. I haven't seen it get any better since. If anything, worse. And the splintering of the right makes it clear that 25% or so will stay home and throw a fit no matter who the nom is. So, I think it's more of the same coming down the tracks. I hope you're right tho.

Possibly.

I will note that conservatives held their nose and voted for McCain and Romney in spite of their shortcomings. The "elites" of the party are unlikely to do the same if the "rabble" get their choice.

The GOP wants that, and to the extent conservatives are willing to do to the GOP what has been done to the base by the GOP, Murkowski and Cochran, probably McCarthy shortly as examples, Dems want it too.

That's a fair comment. A lot of the elected Republicans only want to keep themselves in office and couldn't give two shits about anything. I can almost admire Dems --- some of them voted for Obamacare, knowing they'd be thrown out for doing so. They still did it.

How many GOP members would upset their donor class to do the same?

Brando said...

"I will note that conservatives held their nose and voted for McCain and Romney in spite of their shortcomings. The "elites" of the party are unlikely to do the same if the "rabble" get their choice."

It's not the "elites" you need to worry about--the elites tend to be team players. The moderates though are likely to not only stay home but even vote for the Democrat if they see the GOP nominee as being farther from their own politics.

"But Hillary is a guaranteed loser in the general."

I think she's weak, but she's by no means a guaranteed loser. The Dems have an electoral vote advantage, and their party is far better at circling the wagons. Note how many GOPers tend to believe that some of their nominees would be no better than the Democrat, or that they'll just stay home from the polls. You don't hear as much of that from the Democrats--they fear the GOP far more than the GOP fears the Democrats.

"The Dems will then pass "spending cuts" that occur years down the line. We've played this game before. Which is why, as a conservative, I say not a single tax hike without cuts first."

Sounds like you agree with my point. It's foolish to give the other side something with only a vague promise to get something in return later--especially when it's difficult to undo what you gave them.

As for foreign diplomacy, Syrian "red lines" and such--that's an example of poor diplomacy. Obama knew full well that if Assad crossed a red line he (Obama) wasn't going to do anything about it. Don't make threats you can't make good on.

Nichevo said...

He probably didn't think that far ahead. I doubt it occurred to him that he might be defied. Probably never happened before he got elected. Sadly he doesn't seem to learn...


Funny thing about credibility. GWB was assailed over his, because WMD or whatever.

On the other hand, in the "obey me or I will invade your country, remove you from power, and catch, try and hang you" I would say his credibility was at least 100%. Obama's is close to zero although he did have his women arrange the murder of Qaddafi, and later of course the embassy staff.

J. Farmer said...

@Nichevo:

How about when he called the Russian invasion of Georgia "unacceptable," and then went ahead and accepted it?

Nichevo said...

Farmer, I would be delighted to end all life in Russia, but apparently that was inconvenient at the time. Georgia acted without consultation and, y'know, facts on the ground. What could be done was done, for instance, flying all the Georgian specops guys back from Iraq, and also I believe some other aerial support activities. Got anything else? Like Libya disclosing its WMD programs after we did Iraq? Oh wait, that proves my point, not yours.

Nichevo said...

not only that, but cooperating. Libya was actually coming out of the cold. Really puts you in your place because that's the kind of the positive engagement can make. Of course it was easy to ruin, backstabbing friendlies and innocents is easier, and more O's style.