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Just in case you thought there were two parties...

.... welcome to your government of national unity. Steve Clemons:

A senior Obama campaign official shared with The Washington Note that In July 2008, the McCain and Obama camps began to work secretly behind the scenes to assemble large rosters of potential personnel for the administration that only one of the candidates would lead.

Lists comprised of Democrats and Republicans were assembled, sorted into areas of policy expertise, so that the roster could be called on after the election by either the Obama or McCain transition teams.

Well.

Let's just nail that Overton Window firmly in place, shall we?

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

(but you know--i'm not really that surprised--it's seeing it admitted, and printed, that's surprising)

I'd really like to know what real basis anyone has for being optimistic or expecting actual good things--now more than ever.

and I betcha Hillary's name was not on that list.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

It's not that I'm really all that partisan or even ideological. I don't see this as a game where I cheer on my team and hate the opposing team. So I wouldn't really care so much if people were Democratic or Republican. But ...

If the last 8 years didn't convince you that "politics as usual"[1] was destroying the country, then the last 8 weeks surely should have. What's tragic about all of this is that there are no solutions in the traditonal mode of political operation. It's really going to take new and creative ideas to get us out of the multiple messes we're in and the solutions are hard.

You can't keep letting lobbyists write legislation and expect to have a well-regulated financial system or solve climate change. You can't just lend billions to the automakers and expect them help reduce oil imports and CO2 emissions and at the same time you can't let the automakers fail if you want to avoid becoming a third world country. You can't throw out simplistic solutions like "free markets" or "raise gasoline taxes now!" (the 2nd diary at Cheetopia today advocating that) or all the other myopic programs people support that pretend to fix one problem while ignoring all the other problems their pet solution creates.

We watched the Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butthead) film Idiocracy last night. It would have been a lot funnier if it wasn't so close to the truth as it exists today.

Electing and defending Democrats because they're 2% less evil isn't going to solve any of the problems that have been created by the Predator State, and there isn't any hope or even any change in a government whose leadership has been assembled with the aid of McCain's organization. It turns out the cynics among us were right - it made no difference at all who you voted for. It's all the same Versilage.

It makes me want to scream.

[1] "Politics as usual" being the influence of big money and lobbyists and the pretense of governing in a way that solves problems or helps the country instead of destroying it.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

Reminds me of an old Johnny Carson joke that went something like:

"It's terrible in Vegas, terrible. I was driving down the Strip and signalled left, and somebody grabbed the martini right out of my hand...."

Submitted by ohio on

That is scientific fact. Well, it was, in the way back, when Vegas really meant something.

I have this on good authority. My aunt Marilyn was a Las Vegas hottie then. She and her best friend had driven out from the Twin Cities in her new white Caddy convertiblefor a week of "fun," when fun really meant grown-up fun, and the week stretched out long enough she can't quite remember how long they were there. Dean Martin and Joey Bishop even bought them drinks at the bar at one of those fancy-ass hotels. When she glanced over, Dean Martini raised his glass in their direction and that was all. "It was so classy," she said, and still gets all dreamy-eyed.

She told me about this trip to Vegas when she was comparing how men were in those days, as opposed to what she'd been encountering. "Back then, "she dragged on her Newport, "a man would buy you a nice drink---mine is a naked vodka martini straight up, colder than the ass of an Eskimo mooning a moose---and would never hit on you. These days, some guy sends you over some shitty pink fizzy think he got with a two-for-one coupon and is over rubbing his crotch against you before you'd taken out the toothpick with the maraschino cherry on it."

If Marilyn says it is so, it is so. And she has a smoker's roughened, vodka rasped Suzanne-Pleschette sorta voice that makes all the stories sound funner and dirtier than you can possibly imagine.

Submitted by jawbone on

"hopers"?

I'm pretty stunned. Not sure if I'm angry, but definitely amazed.

And, yes, even more so that anyone let this cat out of the bag.

Wow.

Or..is this a bone to keep the Villagers from going too crazy about the appointments/nominations?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

have been so many Clinton people actually appointed?

I'd say they'd eat something like this up--it's pure High Broderism--but i dunno.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

http://action.credomobile.com/sirota/200... -- Sirota-- Ghettoization & The Difference Between Politics & Policy --

"... use the argot of progressivism in their public presentations (to "hold power with the left hand") - all while wielding conservative policy ("playing the music with your right"). ...

the initial structure seems to resemble the principle in American politics of politicians publicly selling their policies in progressive terms, while having those policies be crafted with much more conservative ideology.

... does he believe that if he combines his own personal salesmanship talents with a strong political team that is skilled at the language of progressivism, he can sell a right-of-center Establishment agenda as huge "change?"
..."

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

of the "Unified Field Theory" of "we are so fucked, and it won't ever change due to our permanent ruling/drooling class which exits without regard to party, which is in turn just a pathetic charade put on for the distraction of the rubes."

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

And, if anyone thinks that only McCain and Obama have participated in this (i.e. Village incest), then they are fooling themselves. Though, I'm sure that this being both McCain and Obama that between the two they absolutely had no problem with doing this.

I just love that no matter when this happens, there is never a president-elect left wanting for cheering for the race to the center of the political earth.

BTW, I'd like to add that I'm not against bi-partisanship, in general. In fact, sometimes it is absolutely necessary. But, let us make it clear; this is not one of those times, not even a little bit.

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

...as defined by Peter Dale Scott.

"...the investigation of parapolitics, which I defined (with the CIA in mind) as a 'system or practice of politics in which accountability is consciously diminished.'...I still see value in this definition and mode of analysis. But parapolitics as thus defined is itself too narrowly conscious and intentional... it describes at best only an intervening layer of the irrationality under our political culture's rational surface. Thus I now refer to parapolitics as only one manifestation of deep politics, all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged."

The other term is deep politics:

“...in every culture and society there are facts which tend to be suppressed collectively, because of the social and psychological costs of not doing so. Like all other observers, I too have involuntarily suppressed facts and even memories about the drug traffic that were too provocative to be retained with equanimity.(1)

It's important to realize the level of deception is such that the players, themselves, are being played.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Not only diminished expectations but diminished accountability towards even the most modest expectations we may collectively have. For example the expectation that bridges not fall down without warning, or that we not lose a major American city due to arrogance, misplaced "economy" and incompetence, or not saying stupid shit on the teebee like we are so stupid we are not even "able to imagine" that terrorists could fly planes into buildings. Or maybe, just maybe, that we not start wars and kill millions over made up bull shit.

Just for starters, I mean, your mileage may vary.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I’ll just be a wet blanket here. Of the appointments made or considered settled thus far, which of Obama's new government would McCain also have selected? Clinton? Emanuel? Holder? Geithner?

Is there even one? I don’t think so. I see no evidence at all that this claim is true, yet the assertion is accepted here and elsewhere as being somewhere between plausible and accurate. Provenance is a reasonable concern, and it applies here as well as elsewhere. I for one am still waiting for Larry Johnson to roll out that “Whitey” tape and this has the same smell of fuckwittery.

Very effective though at alienating the Progressive community; stir them up, get them angry and hostile and inspire them to denigrate Obama and the Democratic Party, to separate themselves from the political process.

For those who enjoy speculating, a good question might be: Who could possibly benefit from that?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

just for a start. Napolitano too, probably -- to get her out of the state.

And there will be many others as well. Every single Wall St.er or trickle-downer or lobbyist for big business is a likely choice McCain would have made as well.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"... The Kissinger of the Obama administration will be Marine General Jim Jones, who is poised to become Obama's new national security adviser. (There was previously some talk of Jones taking the veep position.) This piece makes clear that Jones is demanding as much power as possible, so I don't think that my Kissinger/Rogers reference is wide of the mark.

Yeah, I know: Jim Jones. You may as well get your Kool-Aid jokes out of the way right now, although a better use of your time would be to check the man's resume.

Following his retirement from the military, General Jones became president of the Institute for 21st Century Energy[3], an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce[8] and chair of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council of the United States.[9] He also served as chair of the Independent Commission on Security Forces of Iraq, sponsored by the Atlantic Council of the United States.[10]

General Jones joined the Board of Directors of the Boeing Corporation on June 21, 2007. He serves on the company's Audit and Finance Committees. [11]

On May 28, 2008, General Jones was elected to the board of directors of Chevron Corporation. [12][13]

Diplomatic roles

Jones was asked twice by Condoleezza Rice to be Deputy Secretary of State after the resignation of Robert Zoelick. He declined. ..." -- http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2008/11/m...

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

or with his mentor, Scowcroft. As to Jones serving under McCain, as you noted he twice turned down Rice for positions at State. He didn't want to be associated with mindless military adventurism, and that is exactly what McCain would have done.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

just like the GOP and big business, of course.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/arti...

"... Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, has been a strong advocate of increasing H-1B visas ...
n testimony, speeches and a letter sent last fall to congressional leaders, Napolitano, a two-term governor, has left a clear trail of support for increasing the H-1B visa cap to address what she has argued is a shortage of skilled workers. ..."

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Total H1-B allotment is currently 85,000 out of a total US science and engineering (S&E) workforce of approximately 20 million; that is less than 1/2 of one percent.

Overall unemployment in the S&E segment is under 3%, one of the lowest of any job skill demographic. Based on historical rates and future needs projections, the demand for S&E labor in the US will exceed the rate of new US S&E graduates by 2:1 for the forseeable future.

The US can either expand the H1-B program or choke to death for lack of available talent in the areas we most need to remain globally competetive. The H1-B program should in addition be used as a screening tool towards fast-track citizenship for the best and brightest talent from around the globe. If in future the market for S&E talent slows then the number of visas can be cut back.

Submitted by hipparchia on

if they're all [or mostly] concentrated in one sector. then they can be used to depress wages/salaries for the hottest jobs. there's some evidence, if you wade through enough crap, that this is exactly how they've been used in the computer biz. google and microsoft are in the forefront of calling for moar! moar! moar!

there's also some evidence that the best and brightest americans, the math- and computer-inclined ones at least, found they could make more money on wall street than in chemistry labs, so that's where they all went. and before it all blew up and went to hell, the investment banking industry had announced that they were planning to offshore 200,000 jobs in 2009. quants in mumbai were willing to work a lot cheaper than quants in manhattan.

otoh, poaching the best and the brightest from india and china is a nice, peaceful means to keep those countries from rising up and challenging our superpower status.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

They can be valuable when used responsibly and damaging when use abusively.

Has H1-B been abused, to the detriment of both US and immigrant workers? Yes, it has been. But it has also been beneficial in many ways, filling jobs that literally could not be filled because there were no skilled Americans available. A whole range of new anti-fraud and anti-wage-depression restrictions on H1-B will roll out in 2009 that should put a major crimp in the abuse. Will H1-B ever be perfect? No, but neither is anything else. If you want to see a program full of abuse, take a look at the L-1 visas. At least 50% of those are fraudulent and it will probably get worse as the H1-B laws become more stringent. Managing immigrant skilled labor is both an opportunity and a potential problem; the solution is in adjusting how it is managed and not in simply chucking the whole thing out.

Specific to your question, hipparchia, the numbers I've read put just under half of H1-B workers into computer/IT related jobs, about 40,000. In my part of the world there are far more openings than talent to fill them, even with the H1-B and other programs, and that shortage is projected to worsen. Either we clean up and expand foreign temporary work programs or we stunt growth in the Science and Engineering sector; there simply are not enough American citizens to meet demand.

Speaking from personal experience, I have over the years hired or placed quite a number of foreign skilled workers into American corporations. Some got homesick and returned, some just didn't work out - it happens. But most of them thrived, eventually became citizens and contributed greatly to their new companies; many went on to found new companies of their own, doing just what we as a nation need to expand the workforce and increase productivity.

I call to mind one person in particular. When I first encountered him in his late 20's he was working at a menial job, just above minimum wage, for an employer who didn't do background checks. After a couple of encounters it was clear that he was very bright indeed, and entirely out of place. I watched him for six months, trying to spot something wrong that would explain why he was so underemployed, but I couldn't see anything bad and so I offered him a technician job. That's when he fessed up that he was in the US illegally and had been for several years, since he finished his Master's and his student visa had expired.

Took some doing, many many visits to Immigration, rounding up lots of people to vouch for his character, changing the job offer to a professional level and getting the company to pay for his legal bills but we were able to work through the thicket. In less than a year he had a green card and could sleep at night without worrying about being arrested, and do work that suited his talents rather than sweeping floors. In the years since he became a citizen and has founded - at last count - four companies, employs well over a thousand people, and is just the nicest person and most decent and fair employer you could ask for.

No American workers were harmed in the making of his success.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

None of those would be chosen by McCain.

Here are two conservative blogs discussing possible McCain picks, with comments. Some of it is silliness but there are several thoughtful proposals and none of the names overlap with what Obama has done or seems likely to do.

As to Gates, I find that an interesting proposition. Gates is no fool, a skilled manager and much less of an ideologue that anyone else Bush has chosen. By now he knows where, so to speak, the bodies are buried and is pragmatist enough to decide that helping his new master might be enough to regain some of what he's lost in reputation. It may be a good idea to keep him on for a while, both to provide some administrative continuity and to deflect any attitudinal uprising from the uniformed military. Couple of years and then replace him might be a not-all-bad strategy for several reasons.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that's more the point anyway--if the people will push for the exact same policies whether they are D or R, then does it really matter?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

But the assertion in this claim is that there was a shared list of common names who would be appointed regardless of which candidate won. Shifting now to arguing that somehow this claim is valid because some appointees have positions that overlap with some other non-appointees fails to support the claim. ANY assemblage of competent people around the Center, and Obama is a Centrist tilting slightly rightward, will have positions that overlap with some people who might be considered by the FarRight. So what?

The claim is bogus. It is designed to spread rancor on the Left and divide the Democratic base. That it is swallowed whole, disregarding the obvious evidence of it being false, speaks to both the cleverness of the VRWC in disrupting the Left and the massive lack of critical analysis that cripples the Obamaphobic fragment of Leftist thinking.

I am at this point not at all certain which is the most dangerous.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

all along many of us have pointed out Obama's extreme non-Democratic (as in party) stances and his emphatic non-partisanship--and what it meant.

now we're seeing the fruits of it--conservatives are happier with his appointments than most Dems by far. and his stances match Dubya far more than any Democrat--both domestically and foreign-policywise.

why wouldn't this be true? it fits like a glove. and many many other things like this that have come up all along have been shown to be true--tons of things.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

be my guest; it is your reputation. The need for proof is with the original claim, one so unfounded it is without either a verifiable source or an independent confirmation and clearly refuted by a widely available list of obvious exceptions, exceptions beyond dispute. Do you really thing Obama's cabinet was also McCain's short list? If so, it is a delusion I do not share and apparently neither does anyone else; this story sunk like a stone and for good reason - it stinks.

why wouldn't this be true? It wouldn't be true because it doesn't fit any reality; it is only comfortable within the fervid imaginings of Obamaphobes. Everything you state as though a fact is actually nothing more than unfounded assertion; I understand it fits your desired narrative but that does not make any of it true.

"All along many of us" including me have pointed out Obama's Center-Right positions, and he is filling his government with Center-Right people from Joe Biden on out. That he is doing what any acute observer would have predicted does not make him in league with the VRWC, all of whom are Radical Reactionaries. Hillary, of whom you have voiced much approval, would have set exactly the same tone in staffing her government and both of them are a far cry from and an immense improvement over the VRWC.

You have convinced me that you cannot discern the difference between Center-Right and Rabid Reactionary, and nothing more from either of us is likely to change that; it still doesn't make you correct in your conflation.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

you're the one who still refuses to see reality.

you still are not treating him as you would other politicians--and that's your bias.

even tho you admit the massive lies and bs he peddled, and don't deny the reversals of almost all positions he had taken earlier--all to the right, btw.

we knew where Hillary stood--and it was always more hawkish on foreign policy, and to the left of him on health and other domestic things. this is not about her at all.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

bringiton writes:

But the assertion in this claim* is that there was a shared list of common names who would be appointed regardless of which candidate won.

Let me itemize the ways in which this single sentence is wrong.

No. (1) the "claim" Clemons makes is that there was a "large roster" ("a pool of solid policy experts," in comments) that would be "called on" after the election by whoever won. Roster: "a,b,c,d" say (right to left). McCain: "a,b,c", Obama: "b,c,d." A large roster of overlapping names is not the same at all as "a shared list of common names who would be appointed regardless" -- in the example, only "b,c" are shared. (I now issue a prophylactic against the rhetorical move claiming misinterpretation, a multiplicity of interpretations, etc.; the plain meaning of what Clemon's wrote is clear. The essence of a roster is that not all members of it are on the field; the essence of a pool is that only some are picked from it.)

No. (2) Clemon's story is not a "claim"; anybody can make a claim. It's reporting; it's sourced, and Clemons is just as reliable as any news source we quote, and more reliable than some.** Now, the reporting could be wrong, but Clemons is not making a "claim." (I now issue a prophylactic against ad hominem attacks on Clemons, as well as a prophylactic against the post-modernist idea that claims and reportage are somehow the same thing.)

Further, (3) on the "obvious [to some] evidence [links?] of its being false," and the ancillary pearl-clutching about "the [unnamed] Obamaphobic fragment [faction?] of Leftist thinking" who have ... Oh, why go on. (Alas, I could not issue a prophylactic against the trope that failure to submit to Obama/Biden Thought with sufficient joy can be diagnosed as a mental disorder. Surely that one's rather shopworn by now?)

In fact, what's obvious is that the process that Clemons reports is one the many possible implementation of Unity. To quote once more the famous pre-amble to the Democrat platform:

A great nation now demands that its leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good

Well, one good way to abandon the politics of partisan division would be to choose officials from a roster of candidates acceptable to both parties, would it not? Since the process Clemons describes is perfectly compatible both with Obama's expressed views during the campaign, and with platform on which he ran, then where on earth could any "rancor" and "division" come from -- except from Obama's own actions when their results are reported to Democrats to whom the Democratic Party is important?

Finally, (4), the story here -- or, as bringiton would have it, the non-story -- is not that centrists were chosen; Obama is a centrist, so that is hardly surprising.

The story is that an actual list was made and shared between the campaigns; it's the difference between independent actors coming to parallel results, and co-operating actors seeking a single, mutually acceptable outcome (the roster). Not the world's most important story, to be sure, but clear unless obfuscated.

And that will be enough time to invest on this!

NOTE * The comment to which bringiton responds is a question from amberglow, who makes no claim. The "claim" made is from Clemons, so far as I can tell. If the move is to say that I misread, then points (3) and (4) still apply.

NOTE ** Comparing Clemons to Larry Johnson... Well, what is there to say?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

he automatically dismisses and fights back against all this stuff.

'Gobsmacked' on the right --

"Max Boot, in Commentary, is surprised by Obama's national security team:
"... I have to admit that I am gobsmacked by these appointments , most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain. (Jim Jones is an old friend of McCain’s, and McCain almost certainly would have asked Gates to stay on as well.) This all but puts an end to the 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, the unconditional summits with dictators, and other foolishness that once emanated from the Obama campaign. ..." -- http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1...

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and I quote from the cited article:

Clinton and Steinberg at State should be powerful voices for “neo-liberalism” which is not so different in many respects from “neo-conservativism”.

Boot's view, Clinton is not so different from Cheney and Wolfowitz. If that makes sense to you, then his opinion may matter. It doesn't to me, either make any sense or matter at all.

And indeed I am "listening" or rather reading, amberglow; what I'm not doing is agreeing.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Nothing wrong with being a wet blanket if there is a fire to put out, and I agree with you this would be better if sourced better.

Having said that, I'm not really all that sure what the difference is. Even if it is untrue, given that he is likely to retain Gates, has appointed Jim Jones, etc. he might as well have conferred with GWB to pick his administration regarding those key placements!

The real point is that Obama ran as a post-partisan, and he meant it (for all its rotten glory). Most progressives (who unlike yourself hadn't ALREADY come to grips with it) are coming to grips with it NOW, and I don't see anything wrong with hastening the process (short of truthiness though, which is ALWAYS wrong). Know who you are dealing with, what hand you are dealt and what's left in the deck and you have a better chance of coming out on top.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

but she still is delusional, overall -- "... So, he's likely to be more liberal in that area than any of us ever dreamed he'd be, as will all of his neo liberal economic advisors. ..."

on the shared list-- "... it's fascinating --- and horrifying. These two people allegedly ran on entirely different visions of where to take the country and were backed by millions of people who thought they were making a serious decision between the two. And yet according to this account months ago (before the current meltdown) they were secretly coordinating to assemble a common roster of people to run the government no matter who won the election. What the hell did we bother having a campaign for? If this is true it validates every political crank out there, including Ralph Nader, who says there's literally not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties...."

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/c...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

--on Emanuel, but applicable to all Obama's picks so far, no? And most if not all of McCain's too, if he had won, for sure.

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/11/hbc-9... --

"... Without even so much as a symbolic gesture in support of reform, the great agent of “change” immediately selected as his chief political enforcer a figure who epitomizes the Washington consensus of the past two decades—pro-“free trade,” pro-Iraq invasion/occupation and, perhaps most importantly, pro-pork barrel. ..."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

-- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12274754...

"Many of the Republicans emerging as potential members of the Obama administration have professional and ideological ties to Brent Scowcroft, a former national-security adviser turned public critic of the Bush White House.

Mr. Scowcroft spoke by phone with President-elect Barack Obama last week, the latest in a months-long series of conversations between the two men about defense and foreign-policy issues, according to people familiar with the discussions. ..."

Submitted by lambert on

but you make me even more right -- there has to be a way to get the anti-Imperial forces to connect!

Submitted by hipparchia on

kucinich did say that he'd choose ron paul for his running mate if he got the nomination. this whole election cycle has been weird weird weird.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

L: Let me itemize the ways in which this single sentence is wrong.
Itemized is good. Let me respond, almost in order.

No. (1) the "claim" Clemons makes is that there was a "large roster" ("a pool of solid policy experts," in comments) that would be "called on" after the election by whoever won. Roster: "a,b,c,d" say (right to left). McCain: "a,b,c", Obama: "b,c,d." A large roster of overlapping names is not the same at all as "a shared list of common names who would be appointed regardless" -- in the example, only "b,c" are shared. (I now issue a prophylactic against the rhetorical move claiming misinterpretation, a multiplicity of interpretations, etc.; the plain meaning of what Clemon's wrote is clear. The essence of a roster is that not all members of it are on the field; the essence of a pool is that only some are picked from it.)
You can stuff your prophylactic. ("I now issue...."?!?! Who made you Mullah?) As I read it, the claim is that there exists a common pool of names from which the new administration will be drawn. If there is not substantial overlap, what in the hell would be the purpose of joining forces to create the list? There would be none. If, on the other hand, it is as you suggest – Pool = "abcd", McC = "abc" and O = "bcd" – then we should expect to see a substantial overlap and thus far there is not. Projecting that someday there might emerge from Obama the names of nominees suitable for both administrations is not proof now that such a list exists; it is merely self-serving conjecture.

No. (2) Clemon's story is not a "claim"; anybody can make a claim. It's reporting; it's sourced, and Clemons is just as reliable as any news source we quote, and more reliable than some.** Now, the reporting could be wrong, but Clemons is not making a "claim." (I now issue a prophylactic against ad hominem attacks on Clemons, as well as a prophylactic against the post-modernist idea that claims and reportage are somehow the same thing.)
(Another Issued Prophylactic? Does just anyone get to do that, unilaterally shut down anticipated dissent, or is there a class to be taken and a certificate required?) Don't care one way or the other about Clemons so no need for you to leap to his defense, although if I did have concerns about him I'd sure as hell speak my mind and Issued Prophylactics be damned.

As far “reportage” and “claim” I certainly do assert that they are not the same and this is not reportage, not by any standard of journalism I'm familiar with. One anonymous source may be enough for a gossip column, but not for something of this importance and uniqueness - “rare” is the descriptor Clemons chooses. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence but this one is made without any proof whatsoever. Considering the magnitude, not even another independent anonymous source would be enough without some sort of further corroboration - like a comparator list of names, for instance. That any authoritative listing of names coming thus far from the Obama camp would disprove the claim certainly explains why no such list is offered.

Further, Clemons asserts that confirmation of his claim is easy to obtain:

But the story is verifiable if the networks or other major news dailies just call the campaign directors. They have no reason to hide this now -- it's just no one has asked them.

So why didn’t he do so? Could it be he tried and everyone laughed in his face so he’s trying to foist off the responsibility to do his work onto others, and suggest it is only by their laziness that the story has no decent sourcing? On reflection, I am starting to have some doubts about this guy.

Now some interspersed commentary, so I’m going to blockquote it and go all Caro in reply:

Further, (3) on the "obvious [to some] [to me] evidence [links?] [examples given upthread] of its being false," and the ancillary pearl-clutching about "the [unnamed] [ah, but then I’d be guilty of “personalizing” and that would be bad] Obamaphobic fragment [faction?] [fragment; not big enough to deserve “faction”] of Leftist thinking" who have ... Oh, why go on. [I don’t know; why start?]

(Alas, I could not issue a prophylactic against the trope that failure to submit to Obama/Biden Thought with sufficient joy can be diagnosed as a mental disorder. Surely that one's rather shopworn by now?)
Barely used, Obamaphobe; plenty of mileage remaining. Nothing to do with submission (again with that D/s framing) but rather with the irrationality. How else to explain the discrepancy between an insistent demand for provenance in support of a video showing truculent, racist, angry, knuckle-dragging behavior by McCain/Palin supporters, behavior no different than seen displayed by the same cohort in a dozen other videos, and the eager acceptance here of an assertion damaging to Obama that has no demonstrable supportive evidence whatsoever? When a claim benefits Obama then absolute provenance is required, but one that hurts Obama needs no provenance at all; I took that difference in treatment to be the result of some uncontrollable psychological disturbance, certainly the kind view. Are you suggesting instead that it is a willful double standard? Surely not.

In fact, what's obvious is that the process that Clemons reports is one the many possible implementation of Unity. To quote once more the famous pre-amble to the Democrat platform: A great nation now demands that its leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good Well, one good way to abandon the politics of partisan division would be to choose officials from a roster of candidates acceptable to both parties, would it not? Since the process Clemons describes is perfectly compatible both with Obama's expressed views during the campaign, and with platform on which he ran, then where on earth could any "rancor" and "division" come from -- except from Obama's own actions when their results are reported to Democrats to whom the Democratic Party is important?
Or, it is unsupported bullshit that happens to be / was designed to be disruptive to any reconciliation by the Left to Obama’s already obvious Center-Right bent. One thing to be accepting however reluctantly if his choices are simply Centrist, quite another if they were made in some early stage collusion with McCain and the Republicans.

Finally, (4), the story here -- or, as bringiton would have it, the non-story -- is not that centrists were chosen; Obama is a centrist, so that is hardly surprising. The story is that an actual list was made and shared between the campaigns; it's the difference between independent actors coming to parallel results, and co-operating actors seeking a single, mutually acceptable outcome (the roster). Not the world's most important story, to be sure, but clear unless obfuscated.
It is a “story” alright, in my view more of a “tale”. It would indeed be an important story, certainly worth this much discussion, if there were anything to it more than an unattributed claim. There is not, and so I say the story is not in the foundationless assertion but in who promoted it, for what reason and with what aims.

NOTE * The comment to which bringiton responds is a question from amberglow, who makes no claim. The "claim" made is from Clemons, so far as I can tell. If the move is to say that I misread, then points (3) and (4) still apply.
Yes, I speak of the claim made by Clemons.

NOTE ** Comparing Clemons to Larry Johnson... Well, what is there to say?
A false assertion. I made no such comparison. What I did/do compare is the nature of the claims: both extraordinary, both stretching the bounds of credulity, and both resting solely on the unsupported word of an anonymous source. The easy way to have your claims not be comparable to those of Larry Johnson, of course, is to provide some decent sourcing.

And that will be enough time to invest on this!
At last, something we can agree on; far too much time expended.

There are stakes in the ground here; nothing further in the way of dispute will change them. Let whatever emerges from the passage of time sort it out.

Submitted by lambert on

Bringiton wrote:

Provenance is a reasonable concern, and it applies here as well as elsewhere. I for one am still waiting for Larry Johnson to roll out that “Whitey” tape and this has the same smell of fuckwittery.

I respond:

Comparing Clemons to Larry Johnson... Well, what is there to say?

Bringiton attempts to backtrack:

NOTE ** Comparing Clemons to Larry Johnson... Well, what is there to say?
A false assertion. I made no such comparison. What I did/do compare is the nature of the claims:

Claims don't have wits -- even "fuckwits." Only people do. Ergo, bringiton is comparing Johnson to Clemons; the people, not the claim.

Of course, the article is thinly sourced, and Clemons, to his credit, is quite explicit about that. That doesn't put Clemons in the same class of "fuckwittery" as Johnson. The moral of the story of Johnson's long-promised, much posted upon, and never produced Whitey Tape is the Johnson, I believe, will do whatever it take to win; the truth has become instrumental to him. Clemons, I believe, has no such record. (If so, let the links be produced.) IOW, it's obvious to anyone who's been paying attention that (a) the cases are not comparable and (b) the two bloggers are not comparable.

For the rest, you don't have to eat the whole ox to know that it is tough. I, for one, don't plan to.

Submitted by lambert on

The readers will judge, then. Nice to see the ad hominem attack as the last move. As this is mine.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i wonder who else did?

http://www.uschambermagazine.com/content... -- "... Gen. Jim Jones (ret.), the Institute’s president and CEO, joined other national policy experts at Sen. Barack Obama’s “Conversation on Competitiveness” event in Pittsburgh on June 26. Jones is joining experts from the fields of energy, education, healthcare, infrastructure, and advanced science in a panel discussion being held at Carnegie Mellon University.

Jones also recently moderated an energy roundtable panel during Sen. John McCain's town hall meeting in Springfield, Missouri, on June 18. The event, featuring energy experts and CEOs, focused on how best to meet the nation’s growing energy needs. ..."

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

from the CoC on energy policy directed towards both parties. How many people reached out in one manner or another to both parties during the last year? Tens of thousands, at least.

Again, so what? Should the Chamber of Commerce speak only to one candidate?