Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 25, 2008

TUESDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* Wall Street was relatively quiet today, for a change.

* It looks like Robert Gates will stay on as Defense Secretary. More on this tomorrow.

* Karzai wants a timetable on the war in Afghanistan?

* Hank Paulson has used half of the $700 billion bailout package, and is now eyeing the other half.

* Obama will limit contributions to his inaugural committee. While recent presidents have accepted donations as high as $250,000, Obama will cap contributions at $50,000.

* Is it me, or have there been a lot of criminals working in Bush's White House?

* Fox News won't replace Colmes, and Hannity will host the prime-time show by himself.

* Bush granted 14 pardons and commuted two sentences yesterday, but they didn't involve any well-known names. (There was, however, a certain regional imbalance.)

* Obama's healthcare team means business.

* You know, counter-terrorism really can be a law-enforcement issue, Republican talking points notwithstanding.

* The White House has played fast and loose with the list of "the coalition of the willing."

* Great, Glenn Beck is talking about secession.

* Mark Halperin's complaints about the media and Obama are pretty tiresome.

* Does Hillary Clinton have an "emolument" problem relating to the Secretary of State job?

* CNN will have to re-hire 110 workers who were dismissed for being union members.

* Duke Cunningham apparently doesn't have a lot of friends.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

I'm not exactly an Emoulment Clause expert (having never heard of it until last week), but the analysis I've read recently seems to suggest that Clinton's appointment would indeed be a problem. Nice to see you're covering this-- it'll be interesting to see how former Con Law prof Obama will address the situation, if at all.

Posted by: JRD on November 25, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, perhaps this sounds petty, but I think David Shuster is a bobble head self-serving idiot. I said it last week when he filled in for Olbermann and at the end of the week, when there was a split screen-- Maddow thanked him kindly for his great work and what did he say? NOTHING!! He remained MUTE!!!
===========================================
He just interviewed Howard Dean and there was no connection there,either. It was like Shuster was hoping to draw blood--really and truly hoping.

And instead of being present with what Howard Dean was saying, Mr. Bobble head Shuster had a script in his mind he was prepared to deliver--no matter what.

And once again, at the end of his interview he interjected his un-necessary: "Your Welcome" after Dean expressed his gratitude

FYI Shuster: (uh, BTW, your hair looks really fake).

Anyway, Shuster--the protocol is that first you thank your guest. Then they likely say something to the effect of "your welcome", but usually they are more imaginative and so they say

Any time
My pleasure
It's been an honor
You bet
Thanks for having me

Then, you say NOTHING. Yes. Imagine that?! You let them have the last word and you move on, asshole.

Posted by: Shuster is a bobble head egoist on November 25, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Does Hillary Clinton have an "emolument" problem relating to the Secretary of State job?" --

So, by my reading, an outgoing President could absolutely CRIPPLE any incoming president by giving a $5 raise to each cabinet position and civil office by executive order, thereby keeping the incoming administration from bringing ANY congressman or senator in to the cabinet? AND, Bush still has two months to do this?

Sounds absurd, frankly. Maybe it's an accurate reading of the Constitution (I'm no CLaw prof), but by any reasonable measure it's absolutely insane. Maybe the Constitution envisioned a less spiteful and petty Executive branch than the one we have?

Posted by: Tom Dibble on November 25, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, but here's the thing with Shuster/ Bobble-Head:

When an esteemed colleague like Rachel Maddow thanks you for your work, YES! You do respond!

That's YOUR cue to say thank you or it's been fun or the like...

That's what's so weird--he is the only pundit I know who is alert enough to say "Your Welcome" to his guests...but when Maddow expressed her kudos, he was suddenly and amazingly MUTE.

Posted by: Shuster is a bobble head egoist on November 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Does Hillary Clinton have an "emolument" problem

CNN did a story on this today, and said several other Congressmen have been promoted to cabinet positions in the same circumstances. What I find odd is that a Congressman can vote himself a raise, but not accept a different job even if he voted against a raise for that position.

Posted by: Danp on November 25, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite story of the day, to go along with the "Lovley" Global Warming coverage in the Politico, is "The Car of the Future -- but at What Cost?" on WaPo, containing lines like "the car... for the future could turn out to be a money-losing operation, not part of a "sustainable U.S. auto industry" and "After a decade of relative success with its hybrid Prius, Toyota has sold about a million of the cars and is still widely believed by analysts to be losing money on each one sold."

Widely believed, eh? Can't make a profit on these babies, have to stick to something we know works, like Explorers and Escalades. Don't be deceived by our asking for a gigantic handout, Toyota and Honda are losing money hand over fist!

Way to go, guys, take the money and throw it where the rest went. And special thanks to the MSM and WaPo (of which Politico is a spinoff), first Neocon and now Dysfunctional Enabler Central.

Posted by: ericfree on November 25, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK


Alternative theory of emoluments clause as being interpreted by the right wingers: if taken to it's rational end, if the prescription drug benefit available to the civilian office holders has expanded (not necessarily in net) to include any new drugs, then no senators or congressmen may take a civilian office in the new administration.

Since the "emoluments" of office are constantly changing - increasing in some areas and decreasing in others - and ANY point increase (as opposed to a net increase) is to be regarded as a trigger of the emoluments clause, NO sitting senator or representative, EVER will be able to take ANY civil office.

This argument is quickly reduced to absurdity. Making the President choose his advisors solely from governors and political neophytes was obviously not the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

Posted by: Tom Dibble on November 25, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Great, Glenn Beck is talking about secession."

I've been saying it for decades. Lincoln's fatal blunder: not letting the red staters have their own country.

How far we'd be into the 21st century, not having to drag this crowd kicking and screaming into each new decade!

Posted by: hark on November 25, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Can someone please explain this K-Lo post over at the Corner to me? I literally can't comprehend the kind of mind that would claim a slogan like that with pride.

Posted by: EarBucket on November 25, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

How would anyone notice Colmes is gone?

Posted by: rich on November 25, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

someone should point out to karzai what the over/under would be on how long it would be before he's hanging from a lamppost if we pull out of afghanistan.
not saying we should necessarily stay, but i do thing someone ought to tell the guy he should be careful what he wishes for.

Posted by: mellowjohn on November 25, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think we need a new phrase for Bush in these final 50 days. Lame Duck sounds far too benign.

More like "Shame Duck".

Posted by: 'Lame Duck' just doesn't fit anymore on November 25, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck must be getting his talking points from the increasingly petty and out of touch Drudge whose big banner is: RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA

Makes for good radio I guess.

Posted by: carsick on November 25, 2008 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News won't replace Colmes, and Hannity will host the prime-time show by himself.

I'm sorry, was there someone actually there with him? I never noticed.

Is it me, or have there been a lot of criminals working in Bush's White House?

I think you'd have an easier time picking out the non-criminals — you know, like the cook, the maids, etc.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on November 25, 2008 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

I hope no one missed BoingBoing with some bailotology fun facts: "Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*!"

Posted by: jhm on November 25, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

When does Lou Dobbs get cancelled or switched elsewhere? Or was I dreaming when I read that a while back.

Let us count the days.

Posted by: Lou Dobbs is yet another overpaid and overweight bigot on November 25, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

A little know law about job improvement in government. Better put just lately the media brings this forward after the eleventh hour. Typical mainstream creeps bring out stuff like this. But it is great love it.

For me more and more those of deep study and future skill kill people are in play here. Especially here if a party, like the Neo-Con’s would want to kill Clinton in any job offer or anyone else possible in the future. It also shows the “Cut and Run” politics involved.

Isn’t it interesting that all my life going from interview to job interview to be sure you all have too, sit before a manager and talk about improving those personal goals like a better income and better benefits. I thought this was basic to the free market debate, I guess it does not apply to the political market debate. All and all this thing about being an entry level senator as Clinton was during an existing legislation that raised pay and increased benefits is going to stop progress for personal growth in politics shows the limitations during the time needed early in the Constitution but is this good for times of the future.

This is a constitutionally debatable situation, just like executive privilege is not anywhere in the constitution which is also debatable, or ear marks, or pre-emptive wars, or secret spending by the Federal Reserve, or the actual, existence of the Federal Reserve. Holy smokes folks there is a whole trillion dollar play ground in what is called Quasi government positions that are appointed by the president that are totally out of control. Fred Mac, Fannie Mae, Sally May, heck it sounds like a southern operation specifically designed for money funneling for the rich the good old boys.

Posted by: Megalomania on November 25, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

* Karzai wants a timetable on the war in Afghanistan? -- Steve Benen

Well, and why not? Maliki got his and, in at least part of the popular opinion, was promoted from "American puppet" to "elder statesman". Since Karzai's hold on Afghanistan is tenuous at best and since elections will eventually happen, he's staking his territory. And he's only got 50-or-so days to lay the foundations for that, 'cause Obama is saying we'll go after you as soon as may be.

He might even be successful, who knows? Bush has been progressively more acquiescent to withdrawal timetables in Iraq and everyone knows that he had been much more "invested" there than in Afghanistan...

Posted by: exlibra on November 25, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

>>* It looks like Robert Gates will stay on as Defense Secretary.

The topic of change with reference to the Iraq War has been indefinitely postponed. Suckers!

Posted by: Larry on November 25, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Outer Wingnuttia

"Great, Glenn Beck is talking about secession."

Better idea for wingnuts everywhere:
Move to Alaska. Your princess awaits you...

Posted by: koreyel on November 25, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Beck wants out? I'll hold the door.

Also, if Ms. Clinton has an emollient problem, a dab of petroleum jelly works wonders. She might also cut back on her use of drying soaps.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on November 25, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck, you sure show how patriotic the conservative base really is. Everything conservatives say is a big fat lie. Everything.
Conservatives are patriotic my ass

Posted by: Palinoscopy on November 25, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*!"
Posted by: jhm

If your president hadn't been such a colossal failure, bailouts wouldn't be necessary. But it's just further evidence of what we've always known about Republicans: they say government doesn't work, and when elected they bend over backwards to prove it.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on November 25, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with hark and koreyel above.

Couldn't we just give Alaska to all of the wingnutters, and keep the lower 48 for the sane contingent of American citizenry?

As compensation for the sane and liberal elements in Alaska, we could subsidize their migration to other states.

Alaska is remarkably beautiful, of course, and the decent folk would be really sorry to leave...but there's Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, grand places like that.

When I lived in South Africa, there were lots of Afrikaaners who wanted to secede from South Africa proper and set up their own "homeland," far away from all the "blecks." Publicly, everyone said they were nuts. But I heard lots of people say privately, "well, why the hell not?"

/snark (not really)

Posted by: JM on November 25, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is coming to dominate our political world. Pbama!

Posted by: Neil B on November 25, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Here IMHO from the TNR link's comments is the best answer to the Clinton "emolument" problem, and it has the added benefit of needling George Bush!:

poldpf said:

Here's my take on it. The President acted illegally when he increased (by appropriating funds without going to Congress) the Secretary of State's salary by Executive Order. I wasn't aware and I think it should not be the case that the President have authority to appropriate monies through Executive Order. Therefore, since the order was illegal and has no standing in the law or statute, the Secretary of State's salary has not been increased and Senator Clinton is eligible to serve.

November 25, 2008 5:15 AM

Posted by: Neil B on November 25, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

That's some hard hitting stuff about the online list of the "coalition of the willing" being exaggerated and shifting over time. Extra! Extra! FDR had polio! Read all about it in the NYT.

Posted by: joejoejoe on November 25, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Wall Street was relatively quiet today, for a change.

- Diapers take time to change

* It looks like Robert Gates will stay on as Defense Secretary. More on this tomorrow.

- Put another way: It looks like "He ain't Rumsfeld" will stay on as Secretary of Defense.

* Karzai wants a timetable on the war in Afghanistan?

- I can lose this by myself! Thank you very much.

* Hank Paulson has used half of the $700 billion bailout package, and is now eyeing the other half.

-Mmmmm Beer.

* Obama will limit contributions to his inaugural committee. While recent presidents have accepted donations as high as $250,000, Obama will cap contributions at $50,000.

- Do they get the Commemorative coin set too?

* Is it me, or have there been a lot of criminals working in Bush's White House?

- If you mean a Republican regime that routinely breaks the law for political reasons and the financial gain of its cronies pisses on the Constitution and tramples the Bill of Rights then the answer must obviously be reasonable people can disagree in good faith.

* Fox News won't replace Colmes, and Hannity will host the prime-time show by himself.

- First to notice wins.

* Bush granted 14 pardons and commuted two sentences yesterday, but they didn't involve any well-known names. (There was, however, a certain regional imbalance.)

- Most criminals are too sure of their own cleverness or too stupid not to fuck up the endgame.

* Obama's healthcare team means business.

- Citi, Ford, Fannie, Freddie, GM, AIG and Doc...

* You know, counter-terrorism really can be a law-enforcement issue, Republican talking points notwithstanding.

- You mean enforcing the law against this lawless Republican administration is counter-terrorism? Now that my friends...

* The White House has played fast and loose with the list of "the coalition of the willing."

- aw c'mon... gimme something to work with here.

* Great, Glenn Beck is talking about secession.

- GG and Sarah sittin' in a tree..

* Mark Halperin's complaints about the media and Obama are pretty tiresome.

- Mark Halperin and Dick Morris walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says: what's this? Some kinda joke?

* Does Hillary Clinton have an "emolument" problem relating to the Secretary of State job?

- Bill... never mind

* CNN will have to re-hire 110 workers who were dismissed for being union members.

- I can think of several "workers" they can fire for being assholes.

* Duke Cunningham apparently doesn't have a lot of friends.

- Does he really have 13 close relatives? And why did it take them so long to kick in?

Posted by: paulo on November 26, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Re: Glenn Beck and secession. I wouldn't miss most of the states McCain carried were they to secede. I would encourage quite a few of them to go.

Posted by: allbetsareoff on November 26, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

I think we need a new phrase for Bush in these final 50 days. Lame Duck sounds far too benign.

More like "Shame Duck".
Posted by: 'Lame Duck' just doesn't fit anymore on November 25, 2008 at 6:50 PM

I think that Fuc* Up will do just fine.

Posted by: SteinL on November 26, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

related fake news


NETWORKS COMPLAIN ABOUT OBAMA NEWS CONFERENCES

In a joint action, the nations television networks sent a letter of complaint to the Obama transition team regarding the incessant barrage of news conferences now taking place. The letter conceded that President-elect Obama needed to speak out about the current economic crisis and to announce major appointments. However, they saw no need to have a news conference every time a new White House adviser is appointed.

The letter expressed the hope that there would not be a news conference to announce that Defense Secretary Gates will stay on for another year. Also, the letter noted, since the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State has been going on for over two weeks, therewould really be no need to hold a news conference to introduce her to the American public.

Of particular concern is the practice of holding these daily conferences in Chicago rather than in the news capitols of Washington or New York. In a separate statement, NBC news director Roger Isles said that, in these times of belt tightening, the burden of travel to Chicago was overwhelming. Already, he noted, Andrea Mitchell was complaining bitterly about having to fly in coach and stay in cheap hotels.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on November 26, 2008 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

No one linked to the liberal secession diatribe that has been a classic for years. Important for those who somehow missed it:

California's Secession Letter to President Bush

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the North East.

We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzler. You get Ken Lay. (Okay, we have to keep Martha Stewart, we can live with that.) We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Old Miss.' We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama. We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms to support, and we know how much you like that.

Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts.

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope,really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously. Soon.

Sincerely,

California

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 26, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

SteinL:

Combine your suggestion to get "Lame F**k" President W.

Posted by: Neil B ‼ on November 26, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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