Wednesday, March 4, 2015
She - and Bubba, in his time- just have that air about them of entitlement on steroids- how could anyone not give them whatever they want, forever? And why can they not set up their daughter as dauphin?
We were, however, inclined to give Mrs. Clinton the benefit of the doubt as she contemplates the apparently inevitable, holding her party in thrall to her whimsies, her leaden jokes, her inability to speak without talking points, and her cackle. She did her time as Secretary of State, a job that, increasingly, seems to involve living on an airplane for years at a time.
But not, it seems, she and Bubba are at it again. From WaPo's Chris Cilizza:
Hard on the heels of the New York Times scoop Monday night that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private e-mail account to conduct business as secretary of state comes this report Wednesday morning by the Associated Press:
The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family's home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.
The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton's secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.
There's any number of problematic phrases in those two paragraphs but two stand out: (1) "impressive control over limiting access to her message archives" and (2) "secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians."
Let's take them one by one.
The first phrase speaks to the suspicion that has long hung around the Clintons that they are always working the angles, stretching the limits of how business can be conducted for their own benefit. It seemed clear that Clinton went out of her way to avoid the federal disclosure requirements related to e-mail by never even setting up an official account. That she took it another step and created a "homebrew" e-mail system that would give her "impressive control over limiting access" is stunning -- at least to me -- given that she (or someone close to her) had to have a sense that this would not look good if it ever came out.
Yes, her allies have maintained that she turned over more than 55,000 pages of e-mails from her time as secretary of state. But, the decisions over which e-mails to turn over were made by Clinton and/or her staff. That's not exactly the height of transparency for someone who is the de facto Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.
The second phrase makes clear that Hillary, Bill or Chelsea Clinton didn't (a) dream up or (b) set up the e-mail system the former New York senator used as secretary of state. This wasn't some garden variety home e-mail system; it was "sophisticated" in ways that went well beyond what candidates like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin -- both of whom used private e-mail accounts to do official business -- put in place. That level of sophistication speaks to the fact that this was not thrown together at the last minute; instead it was a planned maneuver to give the Clintons more control over their electronic correspondence.
Again, at one level that's entirely defensible. This is not your average family; it has a former president and a once-and-future presidential candidate in it. Some level of caution is warranted. Makes sense. At the same time, Clinton is virtually certain to run for president in 2016. She will run on her long and deep record in public life; an ability then for voters to have as complete a picture as possible of how she acted in key moments as secretary of state is critically important. Any attempt to purposely alter that picture by withholding e-mails -- or simply keeping them in a place that makes it harder for people to access them -- is politically problematic.What is it about this lot that always makes them try being too clever by half? And when will they do the Kennedy things and begin to diminish- in influence and power, if not in numbers? We begin to understand how some got weary of forty years of Roosevelts gallumphing about in the last century.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Catching up on our reading, we were pleased to come across a story at the redoubtable Cotton Boll Conspiracy on how the meaning of "generations" has, sometimes, a highly flexible- even elongated- meaning:
It seems rather remarkable, but two grandsons of John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States and a man born less than year after George Washington was first inaugurated as president, are still alive.
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., who turned 90 this week, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, who turned 86 last November, continue chugging along, nearly 175 years after their grandfather assumed the nation’s highest office.
John Tyler’s father, also named John, was Thomas Jefferson’s roommate at the College of William & Mary and the two remained lifelong friends. John Tyler Sr. was speaker of the House of Burgesses and he and Patrick Henry organized a militia company just prior to the American Revolution.
Also, John Tyler Sr. served in the Virginia legislature, where he, along with James Madison, proposed a meeting of states in Annapolis, Md., in 1786 to discuss granting Congress power to regulate commerce. The Annapolis Convention led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. He would later serve as governor of Virginia.
From Seth Godin's Blog, some useful thoughts about the things we talk ourselves into- and out of:
The trolls inside
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It was just as well that we sat out the election, with its hundred million plus pricetag for the North Carolina US Senate race. The upside of it being over is we don't get 10 Thom Tillis ads per hour.
The down side is we get Thom Tillis for the next six years.
The best part of Tillis' elevation will be tracking his committee meeting attendance record. You asked for it, Thom. Just sayin.'
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Still burning through lieutenant governors at the rate of one a year, SC governess Nikki Haley unbound her surgically repaired arm (jangled up from signing 39,000 letters of no consequence whatever) to veto a law giving librarians the power to exclude disruptive patrons. Too much power to the unelected, she said.
"Uh, Governess, there's a drunk peeing up the State Library again...."
"State Library? I thought I vetoed that. Not a core function of government. See if you can get the private sector to gift them a mop. I've got 1400 more letters to sign before I go to that Scott Walker fundraiser. "
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Governor Rick Perry says his hip eyewear is to lay aside his swagguh for a more humble-and presidential-look.
Perry is so newly humble he didn't buy them. His wife did. They're by designer Jean Lafont. In good Republican cloth coat tradition, the frames are just over $500.
The lenses, being completely unnecessary, are free.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
What a burden it must be to be the she-Clinton.
First, there's the Big Dog to deal with. Where is he? Who's he doing on Ron Burkle's jet?
Then there's the certitude that the she- Clinton is owed the presidency.
If nothing else, she's earned her turn.
For a meritocrat, that is a big deal.
You do your time. You stack your offices. If being a senator won't get you the golden ticket, you take the gig Obama offers you. You spend four years on an airplane- free, at last from Sinbad and the Balkans- and then you calculate how long till you can turn on your benefactor.
The one I feel for- aside from the long-suffering American public- is her daughter. It must be tough having a pollster tell you Mom needs to warm up: a baby scores well.
When I met Lauren Bacall in 1980 I'd only seen here in television and in the star-studded Murder on the Orient Express.
I stopped in at Blackwell's, the Oxford bookseller, one day looking for something else. They didn't do booksignings much, but there was a sign and a line and there she was.
Lauren Bacall radiated the star power of a Mexican border radio station.
She caught my eye and boy howdy I was in line with a copy of her book, Me.
I don't remember what we talked about when I reached her in line. I just remember thinking if she asked me to marry her on the spot, I'd have said yes on the spot.
And that's how I met one of the great Hollywood legends, who has died at the age of 89.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Politico has an interesting article up about the Republican obsession with appearing to offer something new while doing nothing of the sort.
Elise Stefanek, 30, went to work in the Bush White House out of college. She rose fast.
The end of the Bush Restoration pending, Stefanek looked for a new patron.
And that's where 21st Congressional District voters have cause to question her judgement as she seeks to be a New York congresscritter.
She went to work for Tim Pawlenty.
That was over in a minute. Elise turned up as a coauthor of the GOP platform,which puts the lie to claims she is anything but a good little Movement conservative.
Fresh from making America safe from abortion, homos and gun haters, she moved on to be Mitt Romney's policy director.
The Age of the 47 Percenters was Pawlenty-brief.
What does a young Republican gal with a Rolodex on steroids do next (besides questioning how she was wrong so much and so fast.
Elise moved to her family's upstate New York vacation house and started running for Congress while affecting an interest in the family plywood factory.
And now Karl Rove's writing her big checks.
She's new and fresh. And she'll know her place on day one.
Friday, August 8, 2014
Waldo is on holiday, contemplating a mint julep, the chill rising off the glass, and trying to adapt to a smart phone that mainly seems intent on making Waldo feel Not Smart. He feels like Stephen Hawking tapping out the unified theory of the universe.
Anyway, hie yourselves over to The Cotton Boll Conspiracy and read-well, everything- but, for Waldo's money-the excellent appreciation of Flannery O'Connor there.
Her collected letters, The Habit of Being, are a worthy companion to her literary works. When she and her mother went to Lourdes seeking a cure for her lupus, she wrote a friend that her policy was to stick to what she knew at home:"When in Rome, " she wrote, "do as you done in Milledgeville."
Friday, July 25, 2014
"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"*
At last, someone's getting back at the French:
Colin Furze, a plumber and inventor from Stamford, Lincolnshire, has begun building the biggest fart machine ever, which he plans to place on top of the cliffs of Dover and aim across the Channel towards France. His hope is that the French, 21 miles away, will hear the blast.
The machine, which Furze will house in a pair of specially constructed buttocks, is a giant pulse valveless jet engine – as used in Nazi V-1 bombs during the Second World War – that creates a plume of fire to go along with its deafening roar. Furze hopes to mount the contraption on the cliffs of Dover on July 24, between 6 and 7pm.Of course, this begs the question of who keeps records on the escalation in size of fart machines through history.
*Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)