“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Sestak Coverup by The Obama White House

18 U.S.C. § 600 : US Code - Section 600: Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity: Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.


May 28th 2010 — Posted to News Flash

So how did it happen? How did a straightforward question and blunt answer bring anxiety to the White House? I’ll tell you the story.For over three months now, friends and others have asked me to recount the events of February 18th of this year, when a single question from me to Congressman Joe Sestak unleashed a controversy that remains to this day. Is it a political issue? Is it illegal? I can’t answer those questions, but I can tell you how casually it all happened, and what basis I had for asking the question,

“Were you ever offered a job to get out of this race? (The contest against Arlen Specter).

Sestak didn’t flinch .

“Yes,” he answered.

“Was it Navy Secretary?”, I asked

“No comment.”

He proceeded to talk about staying in the race but added that “he was called many times” to pull out.
Later, I asked, “So you were offered a job by someone in the White House?”

He said, “Yes.”

When the taping stopped, Joe Sestak looked surprised .

“You are the first person who ever asked me that question.”

And that was true. But why was I the first. There was buzz about this story since last summer. A few days before the February 18th taping of Voice Of Reason for The Comcast Network, I was advised by two reliable sources that someone in or close to the White House had dangled a high level job offer to Sestak, to give a clear path to Senator Specter for the nomination. I thought it would be a good thing to pose the question to Sestak in the upcoming interview.

The Sestak interview was the second in this contest. I interviewed Specter a week before.

I prepared for the program with an outline of questions. But on that Thursday I was having a very hectic day. I was a little overwhelmed with work. I forgot to put the question in my outline. Suddenly, with 90 seconds left, I remembered!

The news business can have moments that are so unpredictable. I knew the questionwas a good one, based on some really good sources, but I was flabbergasted when Sestak said “Yes.” There was no hesitation. No delay. He just said, “Yes.”

As the Congressman left the building, there was an obvious dilemma. The show wouldn’t air till Sunday the 21st. The story could be big. I called Comcast executives. With their blessing, I broke the story with an audio interview on KYW Newsradio. But first there was work to do. I needed a White House response.

I called the White House Press Office. I played the interview for the individual who answered the phone. She said someone would call me back. A few minutes later, another individual called. She said the White House would call back with a reaction “shortly.” That was 3:45 in the afternoon.

The report aired all night without a White House response.

At 6:45 the next morning, 15 hours later, a Deputy Press Secretary called. She said, “You can say the White House says it’s not true.”

A similar call was placed to the Inquirer’s Tom Fitzgerald. Tom was in the studio during the show taping. He was following Sestak around, working on a feature story. He took the story to page one of the Friday Inquirer.

A few days ago, both of us were still wondering why it took the White House 15 hours to issue a simple denial.

The rest is history, peculiar history. The “job offer” story never became an issue in the campaign although some would suggest the story played well to Sestak’s argument that he was a real Democratic independent.

But on May 19th, a day after his upset victory over Specter, the February interview became an internet hit. Republcans, arguing that it may have been a crime to offer a job in return for a withdrawal from a political contest. Democrats, only recently, called for the truth on this story. The President, saying nothing was improper, promised a White House statement “shortly.”

The entire episode, now broadcast and printed around the nation, is also a popular item on the web.
There are several things I want you to know. I’m surprised that Washington reporters never asked the question in the first place, I’m surprised that Sestak answered so quickly when I posed the question.

But most of all, I’m stunned that a rather simple question, turned into a political firestorm. You never really know where the pursuit of news will take you.

The story may not be over. Republicans will want more than just a White House counsel’s report.

But the beginning to this saga may be more interesting than the end.

One thing I do know is that, as the question was being asked, Joe Sestak never hesitated. In a split second, he just said, “yes.”


Sestak Message Ran Through Clinton


WASHINGTON—The White House said Friday that it tapped former President Bill Clinton last year to try to nudge Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak out of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate primary contest.

Mr. Sestak has said since February that he was offered a high-level job in exchange for dropping his challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter, which Mr. Sestak ended up winning. Republican critics have alleged that the approach may have broken federal law.

Amid the GOP accusations of a scandal, The Obama administration on Friday released a memo giving its most extensive description of events, which the White House counsel's office investigated beginning in February. The memo said "no impropriety occurred."

The memo said Mr. Clinton, acting at the request of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, raised with Mr. Sestak the possibility of an "uncompensated advisory board" position. That would have given Mr. Sestak a new opportunity for public service, allowed him to keep his House seat and "avoid a divisive Senate primary," the memo said.

Mr. Clinton made the approach during a phone call in June or July 2009, according to an official familiar with the matter, who provided additional details in a briefing. Mr. Sestak declined the offer, the memo said.

Mr. Sestak, talking to reporters Friday, used the White House's terminology in describing the offer as a "presidential board," not his earlier description of a job offer. One of the possible advisory posts the White House had in mind, according to the person familiar with the matter, was on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. Its 16 members are unpaid and may not be federal government employees, meaning that Mr. Sestak may have had to leave his House seat to accept the position.

He said Mr. Clinton called him and said, "Joe, if you stay in the House, Rahm has brought up being appointed to a presidential board."

When Mr. Sestak interrupted the former president to refuse, he said, Mr. Clinton chuckled and replied, "Joe, I knew you were going to say that." The two of them never discussed it again, Mr. Sestak added.

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation declined to comment on Mr. Clinton's role. Mr. Sestak, a former Navy officer, had served on the White House National Security Council under Mr. Clinton.

Some Republicans say the White House may have violated Section 600 of the federal criminal code, which makes it illegal to promise anyone an appointment in exchange for political activity, or in exchange for supporting or opposing a candidate.

"It says you can't offer an appointment, and that is exactly what the memo admits they were doing," said Hans von Spakovsky, who was appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President George W. Bush and is now with the conservative Heritage Foundation. "All the admissions they made provide the elements for a violation of the statute."

The administration's defenders say that interpretation misses the point of the law, which they say was aimed at machine politicians who offered people jobs to support their candidates.

"It's not about offering someone a job to sideline them," said Richard Painter, who was chief White House ethics lawyer under Mr. Bush. "It was about the spoils system and getting people to get out there and support someone in exchange for a job."

The attorney general has the power, without White House interference, to order an investigation or to decide whether one isn't merited. In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) last week, the Justice Department said its career prosecutors and investigators were capable of handling any criminal probe "if warranted." It rejected Mr. Issa's suggestion of a special prosecutor, but didn't say whether a Justice inquiry was being conducted. Congress also has the power to investigate, a development that seems unlikely under Democratic control.

An additional internal complication for the Obama administration is that Mr. Emanuel and Attorney General Eric Holder have clashed on major national security policy matters, most notably on Mr. Holder's decision to order a civilian trial in New York City for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Mr. Emanuel opposed the move, and White House officials have signaled that Mr. Obama is expected to overturn Mr. Holder's decision.

Another possible legal avenue for a probe could be to look into whether Mr. Emanuel's actions violated the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from interfering with an election's outcome. The penalties for a transgression are civil, rather than criminal.

"If Sestak had taken the offer, not only would it have interfered with the result, it would have changed the result," said Scott Coffina, who specialized in ethics and elections in the Bush White House counsel's office.

But others say the Hatch Act was intended to prevent administration officials from pressuring subordinates into political activity. Mr. Painter says it makes little sense to interpret ethics laws too sweepingly in a world where every administration is involved in politics.

"You would make illegal a great deal of what government does," he said.

The White House said that reports that Mr. Sestak had been offered the position of Navy secretary were untrue. At the time of Mr. Clinton's conversation with Mr. Sestak, the Navy secretary job was already filled by Ray Mabus, who was nominated in March 2009, and confirmed two months later.

The White House memo said that the advisory post possibly filled by Mr. Sestak would have been related to intelligence or national security. Mr. Sestak served for 31 years in the Navy and is a former three-star admiral.

In the primary, Mr. Sestak defeated Mr. Obama's favored candidate, Mr. Specter, a former Republican who switched parties. Mr. Sestak faces Republican Pat Toomey in November.

Was Blago Right?


  1. Interesting course of events, that Obama pulled the biggest gun he has in the political arsenal, Mr Clinton, saves his ass.

    Clinton will perjure himself, if need be. He has before, would again if he thought it important.

    Sestak, he a Government man to the core of his being. Never having a real job in the economy. He studied political economy at Harvard and is a Master of Public Administration.

    He is 2nd generation immigrant and 2nd generation US Navy. Both he and his father, who came to the US a three years of age from Slovakia, are Naval Academy grads.
    There is, it seems, only Federal Socialist employment in his personal family history.

    He'll stay on message, now.
    He is a friend, its' said, of Mr Clinton. Birds of a feather, flocking together.

    A cover up, decidedly so.
    It's now buried under a stonewall.

  2. The Sestek family story, another example of Deuce's immigration thesis.

    Immigrants come to the US, exploiting our system of Federal benefits, then compromise our Republic with their foreign, unAmerican ways.

    Seems true enough, in the Sestek case. Those folks have never even had a real job in the United States, outside the Federal system. That Sestek immigrant family, never contributing to the economic growth of the US, only living of the sweat of us taxpayers.

    They never even cut grass or raked leaves for a living.

  3. "This is the UK Telegraph back in June of 2008. It's by Tim Shipman in Washington and Philip Sherwell in New York, and it's June 28th, 2008. This is after Operation Chaos is over and the Democrat primaries are over.

    "Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama's victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support. ...

    The Telegraph has learned that the former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronizing attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence. A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could 'kiss my ass' in return for his support."

    So here it is, UK Telegraph, the media. Clinton's "lingering fury has shocked his friends. The Democrat told the Telegraph: 'He's been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn't.

    I've spoken to a couple of people who he's been in contact with and he is mad as hell. 'He's saying he's not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support." Well, it appears that it happened yesterday. It appears that it happened. (laughing) Clinton finally got what he wanted. He was asked to bail Obama out of this, and has -- has done so. So this has been a building. It's been building to a crescendo here and people have been wondering, "Well, who did what to who?" because, you know, Sestak, the onus has been on him. He's the one that revealed this had happened but he wouldn't provide any details

    - Limbaugh

  4. "Every time the Democrats break laws, we need to "reform the laws," as though the law was the problem. The Democrats are just fine people. Even if the White House and Clinton are not lying about this (which is unlikely) it's still a very tough argument to make, since a high position in the government has real value besides and beyond just monetary compensation.

    No matter how they slice it, it's still a quid pro quo offer.

    So Fox News was first on this saying the White House counsel's office going to say that Clinton offered Sestak a vague unpaid position or possible positions through Sestak's brother.

    Buried way, way back in the New York Times on their website, the Caucus Blog: "White House Used Bill Clinton to Ask Sestak to Drop out of Race -- Obama's chief of staff" that would be Rahm Emanuel "used Clinton as an intermediary to see if Sestak would drop out of the Senate primary if given a prominent but unpaid advisory position."

  5. The Dispersant BP is using is illegal in British waters.

    EPA decree not to use it has not seemed to carry the weight w/BP that they have dealing with California Farmers, and etc.

  6. RUSH:

    Have you noticed the Democrats always throw their brothers under the bus when a controversy comes up?

    I mean look at the brothers of Democrats always get thrown to the wolves.
    Billy Carter got thrown to the wolves.
    Roger Clinton got thrown to the wolves.
    Hillary's brothers got thrown to the wolves.

    Hugh Rodham was thrown to the wolves and now Sestak's brother. It's all Sestak's brother's fault!

    Do you know what the two most dangerous jobs in the world are?

    The two most dangerous jobs in the world are being number three at Al-Qaeda and being the brother of an American Democrat politician -- and of course look at Obama's brother!

    This guy, he's still stuck in a hut. He's still living in a six-by-nine-foot hut in Kenya. His brother is president and he hadn't even sent the him a little sign "Home, Sweet Hut."

    Living in a hut for crying out loud! Twenty dollars would change this guy's life.
    No running water.

  7. CALLER: I just think that this is absurd with this Sestak job offer. Nobody's going to offer somebody a job with no compensation to give up a Senate race? That's absurd.

    RUSH: Well, but the Democrats understand they've got a sympathetic and supportive stenographer-like media to report this -- and they have, of course, the august stature of Bill Clinton to stand behind the veracity of this. I mean, what better guy could they have found to carry the story than a guy that has been willing to commit perjury before.

    CALLER: Yeah.

    RUSH: It's made to order.

  8. RUSH: Here's Sestak's response, and this from NBC. "Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer."

    This kind of garbage just makes me want to throw up:
    Pennsylvania's working families.

    "Yeah, our only consideration here, the only consideration I had in considering this offer was for Pennsylvania's working families.

  9. ...and his ears don't stick out and flap like Dumbo.

  10. Bill Clinton says Barack Obama must 'kiss my ass' for his support

    Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama's victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support.

  11. The party strategist, who was allied to one of the early rivals to Mr Obama and the former First Lady, said Mr Clinton was "very unhopeful" about the nominee's prospects in November.

    "Bill Clinton knows the party will unite behind Obama, but he is telling people he doesn't believe Obama can win round voting groups, especially working-class whites, in the swing states," the strategist said.

    "He just doesn't think Obama will be able to connect with the voters he needs."
    Yeah, well Bubba, in his rage, overestimated the White Electorate, and underestimated the power of the stenographic MSM, and the Madness of Crowds.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. The First Golfer brought his duffer’s game to Martha’s Vineyard this week. By Thursday, Mr. Obama had logged three golf games in four days, appearing at one island course after another. He spent five hours on Monday afternoon playing 18 holes at the Farm Neck Golf Club here, two and a half hours on Tuesday playing nine holes at Mink Meadows Golf Club in Vineyard Haven, and several hours playing Thursday afternoon at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown.

    While Mr. Obama has indulged in other vacation activities — he took his family bike riding Thursday morning, went to the beach on Wednesday and took his wife to dinner Tuesday night — golf has been the only recurring one.

    So, clearly, the president likes to hit the links. But is he any good at it, especially compared with his predecessors?

    “His golf games are long because he’s not very good,” said Don Van Natta Jr., a reporter for The New York Times

  15. Numb Minds:

    "In the minutes after a cascade of gas explosions crippled the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, confusion reigned on the drilling platform. Flames were spreading rapidly, power was out, and terrified workers were leaping into the dark, oil-coated sea. Capt. Curt Kuchta, the vessel's commander, huddled on the bridge with about 10 other managers and crew members.

    Andrea Fleytas, a 23-year-old worker who helped operate the rig's sophisticated navigation machinery, suddenly noticed a glaring oversight: No one had issued a distress signal to the outside world, she recalls in an interview. Ms. Fleytas grabbed the radio and began calling over a signal monitored by the Coast Guard and other vessels.

    "Mayday, Mayday. This is Deepwater Horizon. We have an uncontrollable fire."

    When Capt. Kuchta realized what she had done, he reprimanded her, she says.

    "I didn't give you authority to do that,"
    he said,
    according to Ms. Fleytas, who says she responded:

    "I'm sorry."

  16. There Was 'Nobody in Charge'

    Capt. Kuchta told everyone who remained on the bridge to head for the lifeboats, according one person who was there.

    One boat was long gone. When they reached the boarding area, the second was motoring away, according to several witnesses. Ten people were left on the rig, including Mr. Wheeler, the injured toolpusher, who was lying on a gurney.

    The deck pulsed with heat. The air was thick with smoke, and the surface of the water beneath the rig—covered with oil and gas—was burning. Crew members attached a 25-foot life raft to a winch, swung it over a railing and inflated it. Mr. Wheeler was lifted in and several others climbed in with him. As the raft began descending, Ms. Fleytas jumped in. The remaining people on the rig, including Capt. Kuchta, leapt into the Gulf.

    Journal Communitydiscuss“ Something did not just go wrong. Something was done wrong. ”
    —Glenn P. Morris Once the life raft reached the ocean, it didn't move, even as fire spread across the water. Some hanging on to its sides thought the heat of the rig was creating a draft sucking the craft back in. Terrified, Ms. Fleytas rolled out of the raft into the oil-drenched water.

    "All I saw was smoke and fire," she recalled. "I swam away from the rig for my life."

    Minutes later, the rescue boat from the Bankston plucked Ms. Fleytas and several others from the water. The crew of the small boat saw that a line attached to the life raft was still connected to the burning rig.

    "Cut the line," yelled one Bankston crew member. Another passed over a knife, the raft was cut free, and the last survivors were towed away from the fire. All told, the Bankston rescued 115, including 16 who were seriously injured. A Transocean spokesman says that the fact that so many survived "is a testament to the leadership, training, and heroic actions" of crew members.

  17. Two weeks ago, on CBS 60 min some guy who actually was on the rig came on to say that the TransOcean guys pulled out a stack of pipe over a closed BOP. The result was pieces of BOP all over the drilling floor.

    BP representatives were not aware of this grievous situation: that the BOP would NOT work.

    Having worked on rigs in the past, I can tell you the guys in charge (TransOcean) should have followed procedures and NOT allowed drilling operations if the BOP was compromised.

    I suspect TransOcean did not want BP to know that the BOP was compromised otherwise they (TransOcean) would be responsible for the EXPENSIVE down time in order to repair the BOP.

    Clearly, TransOcean is at fault.
    Formally jr.
    In any Environmental Catastrophe, it’s the animals that suffer and die.

  18. In any Environmental Catastrophe, it’s the animals that suffer and die.

    Lest we forget, a lot of humans died also.


  19. Obama/Sestak?

    Imperial hubris supported by gun-for-hire lawyers.

    We've seen it all before.


  20. "...Mr. Painter says it makes little sense to interpret ethics laws too sweepingly in a world where every administration is involved in politics.

    "You would make illegal a great deal of what government does," he said..."

    Tellingly ironic.


  21. That being said, I doubt this is big enough to change any votes one way or the other.


  22. He is still working for the American people.

  23. I am still working for the Elephant people.

  24. I did not have sex with that ignorant slut, Ash.

  25. Are you denying the Ashinsky?

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Ash is right, Doug. You're getting pretty racist. We've been all over Bob for that. It's not helpful.

  28. The election of this president has brought quite a bit of that to the surface. It was sadly inevitable.

  29. Despite never having adopted the metric system for day to day life, Americans are familiar with the basic units, like grams (especially kilograms), meters and such. But when it comes to lesser known units, they're clueless, so we thought we'd help the educational process along a bit.

    * 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope

    * Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

    * 2,000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton

    * Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond

    * Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram

    * Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong

    * 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

    * Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon

    * 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz

    * Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower

    * Shortest distance between two jokes = 1 straight line

    * 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

    * 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone

    * 2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles

    * 365.25 days = 1 unicycle

    * 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds

    * 52 cards = 1 decacards

    * 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 FigNewton

    * 1,000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen

    * 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

    * 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin

    * 10 rations = 1 decoration

    * 100 rations = 1 C-ration

    * 2 monograms = 1 diagram

    * 4 nickels = 2 paradigms

    * 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 IV League

    * 100 Senators = Not 1 good decision

  30. Yeah, but it's gotta be discouraged. You can't concentrate on "solutions" if you're blinded by racism.

    I'm sick over some of the things this guy is doing/has done; but they are actions of a "Man," not a "race of men." To approach it differently is debilitating to the culture.

    And, being associated with it is humiliating to me.

  31. "Yeah, but it's gotta be discouraged."

    I do not disagree. But that is the responsibility of the management.

  32. No, as long as we are here we have responsibilities, also. We're not Democrats, you know.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. "No, as long as we are here we have responsibilities..."

    C'mon, rufus. You're smarter than that. Doug doesn't give a shit what you think about his remarks. Bob doesn't either. Obviously.

    Either of them may, however, listen to the Voice of Authoritah.

  35. Deuce, I guess we can start deleting any comments we find objectionable.

  36. Perhaps the regulars would like to develop a "no-no" list.

  37. It wouldn't be the First Time, Whit. Several of Bob's comments have been taken down.

  38. I'm fond of the Sternly Worded Statement.

    That whole DOS thing, you know.

  39. Don't be passive-aggressive, Whit. If you think Racist comments are acceptable, say so.

  40. Dammit, I'm not a racist. What I think is some Cultures are better than others. Look what my ancestors the Nordics did in Germany last century. The Krauts. Made an unmitigated disaster. But Germany today, with the help of some B-17s isn't the same Germany. If I use the term muzzies, it doesn't mean I'm against the Arabs, it means I'm against the Koran. What I think is we have to keep our industrialized society going, or we are all screwed. I think, being a sort of rural, we're basically screwed anyway, but we better try to keep things up, or we're going to all end in starvation. I'd vote for Thomas Sowell in a minute, and I'm the guy that has sung the praises of Black Elk Speaks. Some Cultures are better than others. I will try to clean my language up.

  41. I don't think racist statements are any more acceptable than a lot of other crap that gets posted here without objection from the peanut gallery.

    We have tried to use a light hand re: policing the commentary because we don't know where that path leads.

    If several commenters find other comments objectionable, are we to delete the offending comments?

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. I have never urged for the deletion of a comment nor the banning of anyone. I will, however, comment upon comments that I disagree with.

  45. I agree with the "light hand," but Racist comments Have to be "Over the Line."

    BTW, I don't recall anyone saying, "take down Doug's comments." All I remember is that I suggested to Doug that his comments were becoming a bit unhelpful.

  46. "If several commenters find other comments objectionable, are we to delete the offending comments?"

    I repeat my 12:20. No one expects either of you to sit on top of every thread.

  47. "I haven't seen Doug display any overt racism before."

    I have.

  48. I must have missed the comment where Doug said he'd been sick. I hope you're feeling better, Dougie. I've missed the clubbing upside the head every morning. :)

  49. It's a racist world. We have racist leaders.

    Thinly vailed racist comments:

    "we need to spread some of the wealth around."

    "The rich aren't paying enough taxes."

    And so on.

  50. I don't think it is necessary. I have deleted a few that I thought were ugly.

    I have read more overtly anti Catholic slurs on here than anything else.

    I did not see any calls to take them down.

    Muslims are routinely castigated, including by me. No one seems to complain.

    I have quoted the Field Negro blog. He can be saucy.

    Some here have complained that anti-Israeli comments are anti Semitic. I have left them up.

    The word "nigger" is about the toughest. I have removed that on several occasions. I did not like the context and thought it inappropriate. As an aside, I think and would recommend the HBO series THE WIRE to anyone. It is brilliant , 90% by black actors and they use the word so often that you quit hearing it. It has no shock affect.

    I removed a comment about young girls that I thought could be misinterpreted.

    Personally, I do not like to see the use of the word "cunt" in writing. I have never removed that, but it has been used.

    It is obvious that I have strong libertarian and conservative republican views, well marbled with anarchic striations.

    If someone makes a habit of crossing the line that may be ambiguous at times, I will put a word in their ear.

    Is it selective indignation or chacun son goût?

    Over the next two weeks I will be in Central America and some of the Afro-Caribbean Islands, places where most people to not pay much attention to race. Neither will I.

  51. We all have racist impulses from time to time. It's part of the human condition.

    We shouldn't bring them out in public, though. Especially in a media where the comments last Forever.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. I, also, have been trying to dial back my profanity a bit. I'm working on typing "freakin'."

  54. Knob-Polishing

    M-F ing?

  55. Step back into the Belmont Club sometime and read the droppings of Whiskey, one of Club's most prolific commenters. He gets away with it because he largely avoids pointedly offensive language.

    It was the same with Habu. The more sophisticated racist recognizes certain social norms. The comments retain all the disparagement and offense without resort to, for instance, the N-bomb.

  56. This is going to be M-F ing Hard.

  57. The Belmont Club - Are they still open?

    Hmmm, imagine that.

  58. "Thinly vailed racist comments..."

    Sorry, no. Those are good old-fashioned liberal comments.

  59. "I, also, have been trying to dial back my profanity a bit."

    Obviously, I'm fond of the well-placed profanity. You know, for the sake of emphasis.

    In real life I almost never use it.

  60. "But then your older"

    I'm forty-three, Quirk. Thanks.

  61. Moving right along...

    Sestak and impeachment?

    Gimme a break.

    You want this President out of the White House, you're going to have to do aaaaaall the work of winning it back.

    Plenty of time.

  62. I would not want to deprive you of your foil.

  63. Enquiring minds would like to revisit the Obama, Blogo, Burris, Rahm Emanuel chit chats.

  64. As a budding neoliberal I will have to continue to make snide, snarky comments and to assiduously downplay every administration error.

    Talk about yer Dirty Jobs. But someone's gotta do it.

  65. I take it for granted that the lot of you is - like my own spouse, God have mercy upon him - well, well beyond political redemption and my part is merely one of exasperating and reflexive opposition to pretty much everything uttered here.

  66. Liberal comments, yes, but racist all the same. The liberal party of this country has kept Blacks oppressed and in a box for decades. If that isn't racism I don't know what is.

    Wealth redistribution is obviously socialism, but it is also racism. Encouraging people to not earn their keep by giving them hand outs is racist.

    Please know I am not referring to those who need it, but to those who abuse it.

    To all the veterans on this blog: Thank you for your service! And may God Bless all those brave men and women who are on watch and in harm's way.

  67. It's hotter than a blue blaze in North Texas today.

  68. "I'm forty-three, Quirk. Thanks."

    To me you are ageless and timeless Trish.

    An enigma.

    At times, the red hair, the gay insouciance, a chica, a coquette, spreading joie de vivre to all at the EB.

    At others, your keen analysis, the poise, the sophistication, a towering Athena, an unfathomable mystery, the presence of an ancient soul.

    Je ne sais quoi

    Your a peach.


  69. Actually,

    "You're a peach."

    (Also, number one on the Pop Charts in my view.)


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  73. Take my advice and never fall in love on the Internet, Quirk. Take my advice and just enjoy your wife, your daughter, and go fishing.

  74. :)

    Damn Bob, that's pretty damn good advice.


  75. What's going on? A lot of perfectly reasonable posts are being "deleted by author?"

  76. (Note from the Quirkster: Women always retain the memory of any slight. They compartmentalize and put each one away in a little mental box that can drawn on when they feel it will make a point or provide an advantage. Much to the chagrin of the offender who has usually forgotten the incident completely long ago.)----Actually, I think that's right. Underline the word forgotten, which is a true blessing. Men seem to have had lobotomies. We can forget. But what the women don't seem to understand, is what emotional apes we are, before we forget.

  77. "a towering Athena"----heh, where in hell did you get that line? Which is quite good.

  78. Mine was in response to another post. Didn't seem relevant without the proceeding posts.


  79. I had second thoughts about disturbing Quirk's reverie.

  80. here's a handy little website:

    Don't say I never gave you anything.

  81. I'm hurt.

    The curse of being a sensitive guy.

    And people wonder why I'm cynical.

    (If you could include a few bucks with the hat that would be nice.)



  82. "...a sensitive guy."


  83. Derision?

    Et tu?

    I'm going to go have some chocolate.


  84. "Women always retain the memory of any slight."

    Obviously this has some evolutionary value.

    We carry all sorts of unpleasant but useful traits. These are largely, gamely endured because most men don't wanna have sex with one another.

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  86. Men ARE sensitive, bob. And respond well to displays of keen interest and shameless flattery even more readily than do women.

    I married a man that women love. Positively adore. Because he always seems genuinely to like them. Whereas he either knows or suspects that we're all really just emotional freaks of some sort and he's simply cleverly disarming a bunch of borderline psychopaths.

  87. "Need to borrow money, Quirk?"----That's my definition of a friend, someone who will loan you money when you are desperate. By that definition, I've got, one two three four friends, and I count myself lucky. You're really lucky if you need two hands to count your friends.

  88. "The liberal party of this country has kept Blacks oppressed and in a box for decades."

    Black Americans are almost monolithically Democrat because of the extent to which the Republican Party is perceived to be racially hostile and/or indifferent.

  89. "To all the veterans on this blog: Thank you for your service! And may God Bless all those brave men and women who are on watch and in harm's way."

    But ditto on that.

  90. "Need to borrow money, Quirk?"----That's my definition of a friend, someone who will loan you money when you are desperate.

    Bob. Bob. Bob.

    A friend?

    Surely, you jest.

    Mockery, badinage?

    I don't think so.

    Thinly veiled ridicule is more like it.

    I am incensed, nay livid, not to mention hurt deeply.

    Like the proud Achilles I retire to my tent to brood.

    (Hey, now that I think about it, what the heck do you mean by calling me "desperate" buddy?)


  91. "...almost monolithically Democrat because of the extent to which the Republican Party is perceived to be racially hostile and/or indifferent."

    That is flat-out BS, not that I give a damn.


  92. Well.......if I can't express myself the way that I want then I'm outta here. I'm leaving forever and I'll be back in about five minutes.

  93. I can't understand why my lavender isn't growing and my mint is growing like a weed. Oh that's right mint is a weed.

  94. "One of Sunni Islam's most prestigious institutions is to discipline a cleric after he issued a decree allowing women to breastfeed their male colleagues."



    Torn between outrageously funny and flatly revolting.

    Don't go away, Brave Achilles. Election Day (Round One) is tomorrow. And we're neck-and-neck for the Run-Off.

  95. Hi, Melody.

    How's it going?

    Did you notice the abuse I've been getting?

    If you prick me, do I not bleed?


  96. "That is flat-out BS..."

    And in boldface type!

    You ARE a charmer.

  97. How do you breast feed someone if you're not lactating. And even if you are that's just down right nasty.

  98. You grow things? In an actual garden that you actually tend?

    I am impressed.

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  100. "And in boldface type..."

    I was kidding.

    I'm a kidder.

    I thought the indifference indicated at the end was a cute touch.

    You know I'm a proponent of facetiousness not a GOP apologist.


  101. "His fatwa stated the act would make the man symbolically related to the woman and preclude any sexual relations..."

    Kind if makes sense in an odd way.

    Probably wouldn't work or be accepted.

    However, I like to see a man thinking outside of the box.



  102. "Need to borrow money, Quirk?"----That's my definition of a friend, someone who will loan you money when you are desperate.---That is exactly my definition of a friend, but I live out here where such things do still exist.

  103. Is there really a difference between BS and bs?


  104. A gardener...Bwahahahahaha....My family is lucky that I go to the store and buy fresh vegetables. They're even luckier that I take the time to cook them. I would love to have a garden if it came with a gardener.

    I have about five planter filled with dirt and that's the way they have been for two years after the plants in them died. Lavender is my favorite scent of all time so I decide to plant some in one of my planters. The mint was taken from my sisters garden and transplanted in another planter. That's from last year and it died ove the winter and has come back plentiful. It's for my mojitos.

  105. I didn't mean it facetiously.

    My mother and father are avid gardeners and I wholeheartedly admire the results of their work. But since I was a child, even small amounts of painstaking outdoor ground maintenance is one of those things I avoid like the plague.

  106. "I would love to have a garden if it came with a gardener."

    : )

    I have to pay someone to weed the flower beds. How friggin' awful is that?

  107. "However, I like to see a man thinking outside of the box."


  108. "Kind of makes sense in an odd way."

    Are you kidding me?

    Trust me lactating or not that would definitely not preclude any sexual relations in a work place. If anything there would be orgies in the conference room everyday.

  109. Which will you choose
    A flirtatious Italian bitch
    Who says of her husband
    I've never cheated on him
    And never will-
    An honest woman-
    Or a non flirtatious Swede
    Who might do the deed
    With the right woman?
    The choice is yours
    We might have here
    A great American
    Cultural divide
    It's up to you
    You have to decide

  110. Gardens are actually a pain in the ass. Just plant some tomatoes, they don't take much. Other than that, go to Albertson's. I know the economics of it.

  111. And they're not even MY flower beds.

    Quite lovely, but they're the work of the original owner, who bred (is that the right word?) her own varieties of irises and whatnot.

  112. I don't pay someone and I hate doing it so if I let it get out of hand my excuse is that I'm going for the exotic wild life look and it took me a long time to get it that way.

    Or I just spay the shit out of it with weed killer and then my wonders why the nice bushes and plant he planted are dying. "Gee, honey, I have no idea."

  113. If anything there would be orgies in the conference room everyday.

    You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.


  114. I had a huge maple tree in my yard, until last year, that hung over my brick patio. You want to talk about weeds growing, good Lord. So I would acid wash the brick every year to kill the weeds. It would keep them away for a good 6 weeks but I would brush the acid to the end of the patio into the grass. My husband thought the dead grass was caused from the shaded tree.

  115. Gardens basically aren't worth it, unless you have a long growing season. It's basically just f'ing around.

  116. Yards, gardens, lawns, all that shit, give it up, it's just a waste of time and energy. Get a good concrete patio. Or, move to the country. You can't bring the country to the town.

  117. So my husband went out bought grass seed for the shade and when I didn't acid wash the brick that year the grass grew and he didn't know any better.

  118. I beg to differ. I've seen plenty of country settings even in Phila. And it doesn't matter I'm putting a pool in as soon as the Mexicans can build me a fence completely around my yard.

  119. Okay, that was a bad joke....but it made me laugh.

  120. "I'm going for the exotic wild life look"

    Many are the time during my husband's deployments and TDYs that our lawn looked like a hay field.

    Just before he came home, I'd mow the hay. Do you know how hard that is with a lawnmower?

    Same with leaf-raking. We had a shitload of leaves while my husband was in Kosovo. He's due to come home, so I rake. But I leave the leaves in two giant piles for, like, two weeks. Upon bagging them I discover, to my horror, that the piles leave big dead spots on the always-green grass.

    D'Outremont turns to me and says, "He'll be too glad to be home to care."

    True, but it's the maintenance of some false pride that matters.

  121. In my humble opinion trish, if you are raking and such simply to welcome home your husband you need, you deserve, a gardener. Dig deep an pay my dear, but given hubby's profession, and yours, make sure it's a legal hire.

  122. I bought this house because the outside maintenance didn't look so bad. There was a five foot parameter of pacasandra around my tree. I killed that after the first year we were here. Now you're wondering how someone can kill pac, I heard it was hard to do. It must have been the big pile of leaves I left on it over the winter and I could never get it to grow back.

    There WAS a flower bed the whole length of my house until I couldn't handle that anymore so I put garden fabric down and covered it in stone.

    Now all I have is my exotic garden in the front of the house.

    Can you tell I love to garden?

  123. Well, Ash, we now have the lawn and garden guys.

    It took awhile to give up the ingrained idea that we must do it ourselves.

    Next is the housekeeper.

    And I'll tell you what: Those last two housekeeper-less weeks in Bogota - what the fuck? where are our ironed shirts? why is there dog hair everywhere? - were maddening.

  124. We had a house-keeper for a number of years and then we didn't. I'm the laundry guy...

    ...anyway, something just struck me trish - you are 43 and an empty nester -- that makes you dangerously close to being a teen-aged mom didn't it?

  125. I didn't even know Little Brown Dog shed.

    THAT'S funny.

  126. I have a lawn boy. I gave birth to him 19 years ago. If I can just get him to weed properly then I'd be good to go. I also have a housekeeper, she's just not quite tall enough to do laundry and a three year old just isn't old enough use electric but she does everything else for me. God love her.

  127. "that makes you dangerously close to being a teen-aged mom didn't it?"

    Yes. Dangerously close.

  128. At least you're not a grandmother.

  129. The young lady who cashiered in the cafeteria at work was talking about her grandchildren. That was shocking enough but when she said that she is thirty-three, "I like to died."*

    *A good 'ol fashioned southern expression.

  130. That's not exactly how I put it 3 1/2 years ago but I can't even envision my life without her right now.

  131. To be honest, though, the expression is more often used by the GRITS than the bubbas.

  132. Poor old unca Jerry in Walla Walla had a two acre garden, where the growing season is long. It basically just doesn't work, maybe a co-op would be better. Industrial agricultural production is at the heart of it. For about $20 dollars of seed, fert and water, we get about $20 dollars of tomatoes back. Buy stock in Monsanto, I think you'd be better off.

  133. Good Lord, 33? And that was plural right? I would have died, too.

  134. She had her first child when she was thirteen years old.

  135. I read recently that the prime child bearing years are, like, 13 to 33.

  136. I have to give credit to my daughter for staying in college. She will graduate next spring with a bachelors in science and then off to graduate school...for what I have no clue but that's her plan. It's been a tough road for her but she's seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

  137. "That's not exactly how I put it 3 1/2 years ago but I can't even envision my life without her right now."

    : )

  138. but I'd suggest the prime child REARING years are 40+

  139. let me revise that a tad - 35+

  140. There is nothing better than having kids but I'm sooooo glad I waited til relatively later in life to do so.

  141. I couldn't even imagine raising a young child right now. By you standards I would have an nine year old right now. No way!

  142. Grandchildren are exceptional. They are nothing like you own. They make you smile in different way. Everyday she asks, "Granny are you my best friend?" "Of course I am, Lexi Rae. Are you my best friend?" "Yes. Do you love me?" "Of course I do. Do you love me?" "Yes. Granny, are you gracious?" "Of course are you?" "Yes."

  143. Have you figured out my situation yet, Ash?

  144. And now for something enrtirely different.

    Acid jazz from Wax Tailor

    Ungodly Fruit


  145. Melody, I hope you didn't misunderstand. The point of my little poem was to criticize, mainly, me. I'll bet your little grand daughter is a real knockout. If I had grand kids around, I think I'd have a heart attack. But as Joseph Campbell said, it's the grandparents and grandchildren that only have a clue, not those in the mad middle of life, that nothing really is going on, but love.

  146. "Grandchildren are exceptional. They are nothing like you own. They make you smile in different way. Everyday she asks, "Granny are you my best friend?" "Of course I am, Lexi Rae. Are you my best friend?" "Yes. Do you love me?" "Of course I do. Do you love me?" "Yes. Granny, are you gracious?" "Of course are you?" "Yes.""---------And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the best rendering into human prose, graceful, of the most basic human truth contained in Joseph Campbell, that I've seen in a long long time, natural, graceful, right to the point, of the nonsensical sense of life, captured by the poets and myth makers of mankind, at their best, and carried in the hearts of grandparents and grandchildren everywhere, in their poetical, playful fight with all the all to serious men of the world, and some women too, in the fight to convince us that, actually, there is nothing in the bucket but love and life. It's beautiful.

  147. I agree with that Bob. I have noticed that on several occasions. Her prose is honest and clear, from the heart.

  148. The first thing I thought after I woke was to check the EB to see if there was anything I needed to delete and my quote of my granddaughter came to mind because I never quote her words on any blog like that. Why...well just because. But after you put it like that, Bob, I will keep it up.

    Yes, I was officially intoxicated last night.

  149. And top kill didn't work. What's the next step? I haven't seen anything on it since the day before yesterday.

  150. I just answered my own question.