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    From CNN earlier this year:The successful efforts in 2011 of Bill Clinton's wife, the Secretary of State, to start a war with Libya and kill Col. Muammar Gadafi, a colleague of Bill's leading rival on the international lecture circuit, Tony Blair, couldn't have been bad for business.Clinton delivered 54 paid speeches in 2011, roughly the...
  • "DirkY said…

    He was our greatest modern president: no major wars, kept taxes high and spending low, generally meritocratic appointments to the executive and judicial branches. Biggest black mark by far was bombing Serbia."

    Kept spending low? Spending hasn't been low since the Kennedy administration. Meritocratic appointments? Janet Reno as attorney general? Robert Rubin (of Goldman-Sachs) as Treasury Secretary (May as well appoint a fox to be Secretary of Henhouses)? That ridiculous little dwarf, Robert Reich, as Secretary of Labor? Breyer and Ginsburg for the supreme court?

    Clinton never started anything bad, but he continued and amplified everything bad that was already going on: outsourcing and de-industrialization, massive immigration, the creeping police-state nature of our government, ceding authority to international bodies, the celebration of the impending minority status of whites, the primacy of the financial sector.

    George Will once remarked, and I agree with him, that: Clinton was not the worst President we've had, but he is the worst man to be President. And that has not changed. Both Bush and Obama have been worse Presidents, but they are both better men. As many here have pointed out – Clinton's reputation is an accident of history. He was President during a relatively quite period.

    Clinton is a a swine, both in private and public life. He is a user of other people (even more so than most politicians) and a shamelessly opportunistic liar. I remember when he signed the Defence-of-Marriage-Act (which act I agreed with). While he was signing it – during the very act of signing it – he denounced it as divisive and wrong. WTF? If a President thinks a law is bad, he is supposed to veto it – that's why the Constitution grants him that authority. If it's as bad as he said it was (while he was actually signing it!), then why did he sign it? (answer: he wanted to get re-elected).

    I don't like G.W. Bush or Obama, but I don't think that they are completely bad. I don't like Jesse Jackson, but even he has some redeeming qualities.

    Clinton has none. He is an absolutely amoral louse. If he were portrayed in a movie, you'd have to get the guy who played the mayor in Red Dawn to do him justice. He is a pustule.

    And yes, those speaking fees are bribes – ex-post-facto bribes. I'm sure that other politicians have noticed, and are paying attention.

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  • Anon:

    Last I heard, she got a Masters in economics from the LSE. Though she could cure cancer, and that would be the *second* line in her obituary.

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  • By the way, whatever happened to Monica?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    He had bombs dropped on Serbia for 78 days, a nation that didn't threaten or harm America in any way; past, present or future. How would Americans like it if Serbian warplanes dropped bombs on their homes and cities for 78 days? All the bridges over the Danube leading to the Serbian capital were knocked down. How would Americans like it if Serbs knocked out all the bridges over the Potomac? Kosovo had been a part of Serbia since the 1300's, a lot longer then America has controlled the southwest. What right did America have to decide what Serbia's boundaries should be? How would it seem if China bombed America late this century when Mexicans launch a separatist war in the border states and America tries to keep its national territory intact?

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  • I strongly suspect speaking fees for presidents are done for reasons other than bribery, even of the subtle kind. By contrast, I suspect speaknig fees for journalists are a massive source of corruption, probably comparable in effect to lobbying jobs for congressmen who leave office.

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  • I know people who are Republicans who are proud to display photograps of themselves with Clinton- it's a staus thing, helps them in business and with women, who LOVED him (another reason why female suffrage is one of the worst ideas of the modern era).

    I am extremely tuned in to certain local politics in my corrupt town. I've had to bribe politicians. The national scene is handled the same way. The bribery now is done after the fact, to avoid breaking laws and being prosecuted. It is almost impossible to prove a quid-pro-quo if it's done by payment for a speech after the person is out of office. First, no-one cares enough to prosecute (Clinton sold nuclear warhead secrets to the Chinese for campaign cash- WD45 model, IIRC). Remember, even though one guy is out of office, his friends can make life difficult if someone welches on the deal. Second, it's a career destroyer for anyone who tries to prosecute after the perp-s left office, especially if he's going after a democrat. I mean, $700,000 from a speech to a local publisher in Nigeria? Really? On what planet does that not seem absurd? Nigeria has oil- who knows what that money was really used for- or where it came from!
    Read Alex Daoud's book on his political life- "Sins of SOuth Beach". A $50,000 bribe was paid to a city councilman to get the permit for a strip club. The story is public, and the club is still there. It's simply the cost of doing business. Successful friends of mine regularly make "campaign contributions" to both sides- so they have a guy who can pull strings for them when necessary, and also so the government will leave them alone. These are people worth 70- 300 million. Spending $20,000 an election cycle is no big deal. That's the way it really works in America today- and most other places I've been.
    Larry Flynt said it best, in his autobiography- I'm paraphrasing here: "The strange thing is not that politicians can be bought, it's for how little that's surprising".
    As Jonathon Swift put it: "I do not wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.".

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  • Things have been so miserable since Clinton left office that this former figure of fun is now a distinguished elder statesman. Reminds me of Suetonius' theory that Tiberias named Caligula as his successor so that the Roman people would miss him.

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  • These speaking fees are the delayed swag the elite offer up to politicians who toed their line while in office (e..g., the abolition of Glass-Steagall).

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  • Well, Clinton has twice the smarts of Obama. Its a shame that Hillary did win.

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  • "[Clinton] became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more – nothing less."

    Bingo. In his first years, bankruptcies were climbing, and his tax increases were all set to hammer the economy. Then the tech boom and the mortgage bubble gave everyone gobs of Monopoly money to spend for a few years.

    We were just lucky that nothing serious happened during his presidency — like the first WTC bombing failing — so he could afford to get blowjobs while ordering cruise missile attacks when he needed a distraction from his peccadilloes. And to say that he's smarter than his successors isn't exactly high praise — that's probably true of 90% of the commenters here.

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  • "He was our greatest modern president"

    he allowed bin laden to attack the US, so he's not all that great.

    he also deliberately disabled the INS from interdicting the mexican invasion, under doris meissner. then extolled the virtues of the coming european american minority, to raucous applause. then bombed slavs for trying to resist being overrun by muslims.

    not exactly a laudable ideological position, unless you are a far left liberal.

    he was decent in many other ways however.

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  • "Obama keeps calling Romney greedy. Romney should give him an an ultimatum: he'll release ten years worth of tax returns if Obama and his wife sign a contract pledging to donate any honoraria above, say, $500k/year to charity."

    I truly don't see what one, remotely has to do with the other. Romney is the one that has hammered home his point that "making money is good."

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Clinton at least had brains, even if he doesn't have them any more.

    The last two presidents have not approached his intellect.

    Not to say that Clinton didn't let us all down; he did.

    But he didn't screw up majorly.

    I agree with the Serbia comment, by the way. The 2008 economic collapse was Bush II's attempt at getting even, by bombing Suburbia.

    Anon.

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  • Why the fuck would anyone believe Hilary?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What do you mean not fumbling the ball? Dotcom bubble, remember this one? I suppose it almost forgotten now but at the time it was declared the Worst-Thing-Since-Depression and the End-Of-America-As-We-Know-It.

    Come to thing of it, the real estate bubble also started under him. So he started two bubbles but skipped the responsibility for either one and left his successors holding the bag.

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  • Ex Post Facto Bribery.

    As plain as that. The Obama Admin has prosecuted few finance industry hotshots. Why? Because many of the paid speeches (esp. from Clinton's first 5 years after leaving office) were from Goldman Sachs and similar companies.

    These groups don't just pay Bill Clinton because his wife is senator or SecState. They pay him as a way of signalling to current officeholders that, if their bidding is done, there is money to be made.

    Obama keeps calling Romney greedy. Romney should give him an an ultimatum: he'll release ten years worth of tax returns if Obama and his wife sign a contract pledging to donate any honoraria above, say, $500k/year to charity.

    Obummer would be stumped.

    "Based on how badly Clinton's successors screwed up, he should at least get credit for not fumbling the ball."

    Clinton appointed Ginsburg and Breyer to the SCOTUS.

    Under Clinton, illegal immigration became truly massive.

    The housing bubble began under Clinton.

    And, of course, he failed to kill Osama Bin Laden – a trillion dollar mistake.

    Yep, besides that it was all unicorns and Skittles.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Bill Clinton's legacy is one of the most overrated myths in modern American history. He became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more – nothing less. Harold Stassen would have left a good presidential legacy under those conditions.

    Based on how badly Clinton's successors screwed up, he should at least get credit for not fumbling the ball. What more could you ask of a president during peace time?

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  • I was deployed to the Mediteranean for Libya. It was an amazing mix of militaries from many nations. It was also a huge waste of time. I made a lot of money from it – over $9k a month as a mechanic.

    Business is booming for undeclared wars in tourist locations.

    (We spent most of our time drinking wine, enjoying the local cuisine, and having cookouts while watching American sporting events on big screen TVs. Thanks, taxpayers)

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  • Elmer Gantry is doing well

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  • Steve, you sound so certain when you make these assertions. But previously, you asserted that speeches are after the fact bribes, to encourage current office holders.

    If you believe Hillary that she will retire from government after 2012, it doesn't make sense as an on-going bribe.

    Finally, what happened in Libya? Was it the work of Hillary, or was she just trying to avoid the appearance of the UK acting alone?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Kibernetika napisal:

    As I drove past Bank of America Stadium last weekend, carefully avoiding the potholes that have resisted recent efforts at repaving for the convention, I found myself involuntarily following a car that had two (2) prominent bumper stickers:

    1) "Dangerously
    Overeducated"

    [Awww...] and

    2) Our president's visage superimposed on a rainbow background. Wonder what that signified?

    I've driven this route weekly for more than two (2) years.

    Exited area ASAP. I gotta say, though, that they have cleaned up the place. There used to be open field parking, and now that seems fenced off. I don't want to know what's going on there.

    Can't wait until this spectacle is completed :)

    Da, ia sam vse napisal

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  • "He was our greatest modern president: no major wars…"

    Bill Clinton's legacy is one of the most overrated myths in modern American history. He became president at the dawn of internet commerce, nothing more – nothing less. Harold Stassen would have left a good presidential legacy under those conditions.

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  • I paid 10k to get a photo with the big dog. It was tax deductible so really 6k. It impresses potential partners and customers, was part of a fun event, and I think he puts it to good use with his foundation.

    He was our greatest modern president: no major wars, kept taxes high and spending low, generally meritocratic appointments to the executive and judicial branches. Biggest black mark by far was bombing Serbia.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Much is made of W. Clinton's charisma. But something else is going on here.

    My own little city rustled up something like 150K a few years ago for him to address the chamber of commerce and gladhand around a bit.

    The speech itself was boilerplate about the dot-com revolution and inspirational one-world lurv platitudes.

    His cultural role must be 'secular shaman'; there to reassure the masses that they are not abandoned in a Godless world.

    Gilbert P.

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  • Clinton never drowned a girl. Not with sea water, anyway.

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  • OT:

    Latest solution to the problem with urban public schools: randomly distribute all children throughout the system without regard to where they come from; then middle-class parents will care about maintaining the system as a whole. Apparently, this idiot has never heard of private schools and the abandonment of major urban areas for the suburbs precisely to get away from the public schools. Also, here's a choice indication of the seriousness of the proposal: "In addition, a basic level of awareness about acts of microviolence in the classroom is necessary. Most teachers in urban areas are middle-class white women who may not grasp, for example, that the young African-American girl in the class who refuses to remove her scarf is not being disrespectful, but is rather trying to manage an otherwise paralyzing 'bad hair day'." 'Cause we all know that the most disruptive aspect of black behavior in class is the disrespect shown by girls wearing scarves (and that nice white ladies are totally clueless about this)!

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  • "Bush’s standard speaking fee is reportedly between $100,000 and $150,000."

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  • When someone is trying to get a slice of a 4 trillion dollar pie, I guess an iffy $500,000 bribe isn't the worst of bets.

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  • At least Clinton can talk. Wouldn't it be funny if W. was pulling hundreds of thousands per speech too?

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  • Wow. $89 million has to buy a lot of hookers and coke.

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  • Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson is quite worked up in the NYT over that Hillary Clinton "Red Phone" television spot. You know the one (as explained by the NY Daily News): Patterson uses his super racism decoder ring to explain the subliminal hidden message: ON first watching Hillary Clinton’s recent “It’s 3 a.m” advertisement, I was...
  • Vaguely Latino is the name of my fantasy football team this year. It's a nod to "The Life and Times of Tim."

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  • As recently as 2004, the Obama family enjoyed merely the kind of upper middle class income ($250k) that many Americans could imagine themselves making if a few breaks had gone their way. This comprehensibility of the Obama family financial situation can put them at a PR disadvantage relative to the Clintons, whose finances are evidently...
  • “franklyn said…

    If he is getting hummers in his plumber mobile, whatev. What if the president rents porn or plays Super Nintendo or yegads, watches Nascar. What of it?”

    I don’t own the plumbers van. We DO own the white house. It is the President’s house. It is ours. And if you really don’t think there’s anything wrong with the President of the United States, the chief magistrate of the Republic, getting serviced by an intern in his – in our – official place of business, then you’re beyond reasoning with, as far as I’m concerned.

    “And what is the big deal with ex presidents getting paid to go on speaking tours? Give these guys a break. What else are they supposed to do in their twilight years?”

    Play golf, write their memoirs, and collect their pension. Period.

    “I know about the financial services industry, and it just doesn’t make sense to consider speaking fees as a source of political bribery. First, these firms are huge, and Conference Planner A has no idea what the political motives of Executive B might be.”

    Here’s a hint: Conference planner A doesn’t need to know anything. Executive B tells A to give $250,000 as speaking fees to politician C. Executive B then talks to politician C informally, on the golf course, at the hunting lodge, in the mens room at Davos, wherever. What are policitian C’s inclinations thereafter? Probably a lot more in line with those of Executive B.

    Speaking fees are an excellent way of bribing people – it’s completely legit. The speaker really speaks, collects his dough, and reports it to the IRS. And as there seems to be no limit to what can be charged, it would seem to be a very lucrative form of corruption.

    A lot better than what Edwin Edwards, a former governor of Lousiana, did. He claimed that the $400,000 windfall (i.e., bribe) that he got from casino interests was money that he had won playing craps.

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  • Anyone making 250k/year would qualify as Rich/Upper-Class anywhere in the US except New York, LA and DC. Since the cost of living in these places is so high (and virtually the entire mediacracy lives in these cities), upper-class status there requires at least 1 million/year.

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  • ben franklin: Maybe, but the comparisons aren’t simple. Chicago is *much* more expensive that Arkansas, and we’ve had consistent low-level inflation for the 10 or so years that separate the Clintons’ and Obamas’ situations, especially in housing. And failing local public services impose extra costs–if the local schools are bad, you have to send your kids to private schools or move to a better neighborhood; if the police and courts can’t keep the streets safe, you have to move to a better neighborhood, install an alarm system, limit when and where you go, etc.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Per “william”,no one has pressed Hillary on what really happened with Osama bin Alladin. The story was that Clinton had several chances to grab that filthy S.O.B. but for whatever reasons,it never happened,much to the chagrin of our putative friends,like the Pakistanis and the Sudanese. Ditto for Marc Rich,who made so much money trading Iraqi oil on the black market. Why dont reporters ask some hard questions!?? As for Barry it comes out today that,oops,ha ha,he just remebered that Tony Rezko gave him more money than he had allowed before. “This time,I’m really telling the truth…y’all!” And $250,000 for a Hillary speech?? I had never heard of that one! But look,guys,Bill is trying to economize. he put his offices in Harlem…not downtown! -Josh

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  • >>…I’m sure that kind of eventuality never crossed Citigroup’s mind when hiring Mr. Clinton. Instead, they clearly must have done a cost-benefit analysis of the value of Mr. Clinton’s oratory and saw that his wisdom was indeed worth $100 per second.

    I know about the financial services industry, and it just doesn’t make sense to consider speaking fees as a source of political bribery. First, these firms are huge, and Conference Planner A has no idea what the political motives of Executive B might be.

    Second, it’s much more about client relations. Having Bill Clinton (and others) speak at your conference generates buzz for your firm. The fees that a firm like Citigroup can collect from a single institutional account can run into the millions of dollars. If the average annual fee from an institutional client was $250K, and Citi manages to attract or retain just one client as a result of hiring Clinton, then the speaking fee pays for itself.

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  • $250K as upper-middle class? I’m not saying you should divide lower/middle/upper into neat thirds since like you said there’s a huge difference between the affluent and the really rich.

    But $250K family income puts you at the very least in the top 4-5 percent. If that’s not, at a minimum, lower-upper class, I don’t know what is.

    Of course the term “lower-upper class” is rare, confusing to some and doesn’t carry the snide emotional baggage of the term “upper-middle class.”

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  • Fact is, Clinton was a very popular president. The Clinton years were golden years for America.

    Yeah, and retirement is often referred to as the “Golden Years,” then follows death.

    Nearly all of the problems we now face, save the idiotic response to the 9/11 attacks, were present and growing during the Clinton years: growing technology transfers to India and China, often via H1B workers; soaring levels of legal and illegal immigration and declining enforcement; soaring trade deficits; the continuing decline of America’s education system, ad infinitum.

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  • Of course there’s all that profit the Clintons reaped in through allowing all of the major southern US drug traffic to flow from Colombia through Mena Airport in Arkansas; but why split hairs, huh?

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  • Fox News indicates what they’ve shown so far is “just the tip of the iceberg” and that it has “hours of tapes” of Wright’s crazy talk.

    It’s all right. I’m certain Obama just happened to miss every Sunday the good pastor spouted off.

    I get the feeling Fox is going to drag this out real slow. Hannity is a real sleaze and will play this to a hilt. Wright has just provided McCain some ready-made political ads and heaven forbid the faces of Barack and Michelle are visible on any of these tapes during an occasion Barack claims he wasn’t there.

    Senator Obama is going to have to change his story on the matter just like he’s been changing his story on the extent of his financial involvement with Rezko.

    Obama may be the candidate of change, but the more things change…

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    With apologies to ben franklin – I didn’t see your nick.

    If my plumber is getting hummers in my kitchen, we have a problem. If he is getting hummers in his plumber mobile, whatev. What if the president rents porn or plays Super Nintendo or yegads, watches Nascar. What of it?

    And what is the big deal with ex presidents getting paid to go on speaking tours? Give these guys a break. What else are they supposed to do in their twilight years?

    Now, real estate zoning shenanigans: that is another story. That is directly misusing power to corrupt the system. That one does buzz my sleaze alert.

    I remember when Bill Clinton hosted a talk with Steven Hawking and actually came across as passingly familiar with his work. Fat chance of seeing anything like that in the future, a president with any intellectual curiosity. Maybe Michelle can host a conference on the Isis Papers or Nuwaubianism (look it up, it’s worth it).

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  • “Ben Franklyn said…

    The Lewinsky witch hunt disgraced the Republicans more than anyone else, by making them look like idiots out of the Scarlet Letter……

    At least I can rest assured that good time boy John McCain is not going to spend our national resources finding out who gave whom a hummer.”

    Clinton was getting hummers in the oval office while conducting state business (like talking to congressmen on the phone). And you don’t think that’s shameful? And relevant?

    So, if you hired a plumber to come to your place of business and fix the faucet, and he brought along a hooker to get him off while he was working, you wouldn’t have any problems with that?

    The President is OUR employee, just like that plumber is.

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  • “Hillary was making about $125,000 at the Rose law firm, a real commercial law firm.” Yeah, but they were probably paying her that for being the Governor’s wife.

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  • Of course, in this case, your neighbor with a cow aspires to be the Czar, so that he can get his hands on that palace full of rubies and diamonds.

    When Ronald Reagan left office, he was offered (and intended to accept) $2 million from a japanese millionaire for a speaking tour in Japan. The press hounded him for it (and rightly so), and he eventually had to decline the offer.

    It seems that Bill Clinton is doing the smae thing, although perhaps in smaller chunks. Of course, you might argue that Citigroup is an American entity – not a foreign one. Yeah, right. Citigroup probably has less loyalty to America than that did that japanese millionaire of 20 years ago.

    It all goes to proove that the key to getting away with scandalous behavour, is simply not being the FIRST to get caught at it.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s amazing the media hasn’t paid more attention to the huge fortunes Bill and Al have wracked up since leaving office. The last estimates I saw – well over a year ago – were $50 million and $100 million for Bill and Al, respectively. My guess is that they’ve done substantially better than the Dow over the past year.

    What honest work could they have done that could have earned two lifelong career politicians that much loot? It’s influence peddling, pure and simple.

    Bill’s huge fortune is to Hillary what Rev. Wright is to Obama – a major, untapped vein of scandal and controversy that could play off for McCain in the general election.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is why the morality of a man in politics is so important and why tells like histories of divorces, cheating, lying, threats, and extortion are important and revelent predictors of how much power will corrupt a man.

    Low brows like the Clintons and Huckabees inevitably go hog wild when in power trying to sell or steal anything not nailed down. Only a well publicized outcries stoped both from selling even the furniture from the Whitehouse/AK governor’s mansions.

    However, the high-born also can be deft swindlers although it’s not as clear if they would’ve acquired such wealth without trading political favors. Bush Sr. has done exceptionally well with the Carlyle Group and his Saudi connects in retirement. More unlikely, Gore has been invited to status and wealth via venture capital and media interests that he certainly would’ve have earned on merit.

    That is why it was so disappointing to see Romney bounced by the MSM and conservative Christians. He obviously had the morals and money to best withstand the temptations of power and at least temporarily reverse the corruption of the POTUS office. That and the fact that he’s was the only one who actually accomplished anything remarkable both in government and the real world.

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  • ben franklin,

    In 1992, Clinton had been a southern governor for 12 of the previous 14 years. Arkansas might not be as corrupt as Louisiana or Chicago, but I’m sure it’s corrupt enough for its governor to earn some private, bonus income. Didn’t Whitewater and the cattle futures happen while Clinton was still governor?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Fact is, Clinton was a very popular president. The Clinton years were golden years for America.

    The Lewinsky witch hunt disgraced the Republicans more than anyone else, by making them look like idiots out of the Scarlet Letter. The only thing that changed the tacit Evangelical tone of Bush Jr.’s presidency was 9/11.

    This whole Obama-Republican smear campaign of “we don’t want a repeat of the Clinton years” is coming out of la-la land.

    Obama is tacitly referring to Bush and implying for blacks and young whites that we don’t want older white people in charge anymore. I have no idea what the Republicans think they are implying by getting on that bandwagon. The fact that Republicans are getting on Obama’s rhetorical bandwagon makes me wonder if they are simply washed up at the moment.

    At least I can rest assured that good time boy John McCain is not going to spend our national resources finding out who gave whom a hummer. At least wars employ people and remind America’s enemies who is boss.

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  • Steve,
    That’s a pretty perceptive observation. I vaguely recall (although I couldn’t come up with a citation on the spot) some study that looked at debates of non-specialist groups of people about budgets. These could be parent boards in a school, owners in a condominium association, etc. They found that the greatest amount of time was spent discussing items that cost roughly $10K. The convincing (to me, anyway) explanation was that smaller items were just too piddly to get worked up over and the really big ones were too abstract and too far removed from people’s experience to get any traction (e.g., how many people can really say that the new gym should cost $1 million rathern than $1.5 million?) But we all have a feel for what $10K can get you and it seems big enough to matter.

    From a different angle, Hill’s and Barry O’s various financial shenanigans should serve to remind us that we are not Sweden and that what may work there, i.e., socialism, (for the time being, anyway) might run into slightly stronger headwinds here. For example, Sweden had an enormously popular (young, female) government minister. There was then a “scandal” whereby it was revealed that she had charged a few hundred dollars worth of toys for her children (sic !) to her government credit card. Apparently she had repaid this debt before anything was published about it. But she still resigned. Sitting in Chicago, one doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

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  • I’d guess that the Obama’s were actually better off than the Clinton’s were at the point Bill & Hill ran for president and co-president back in 1992. I seem to recall that Bill Clinton’s salary as governor was around just $36,000(thirty-six thousand dollars) per years. Hillary was making about $125,000 at the Rose law firm, a real commercial law firm. By contrast, the Obama’s were making slightly more even a decade ago, while neither was really as accomplished in terms of either a high ranking government official or a useful player in the private sector.

    It is after the Clinton’s left office that they really cashed in, via book deals an Bill’s relentless speeches and deal making. There really hasn’t been that much grumbling about it in the MSM, although there should’ve been. It is as if the media now wants to make up for giving the Clinton’s all that favorable coverage, so now they make the same mistake in favor of Obama.

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  • Hey Steve,

    Did Bonfires score another hit with Spitzer?

    Is Spitzer the hard charging prosecutor who sought fame, approval and advancement through prosecuting wall st big shots at the expense of some moral center?

    This character was later caught at the end of the book keeping an ex-juror as his mistress in a rent controlled apartment?

    Or are those characterizations too general?

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  • THAT is a very good insight. And yes it will hurt Obama greatly.

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  • Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson is quite worked up in the NYT over that Hillary Clinton "Red Phone" television spot. You know the one (as explained by the NY Daily News): Patterson uses his super racism decoder ring to explain the subliminal hidden message: ON first watching Hillary Clinton’s recent “It’s 3 a.m” advertisement, I was...
  • svigor:

    I wonder if anyone has good data on this. I suspect a lot of this is that (for reasons that probably seemed good at the time), we’ve made a bunch of intellectual and political ghettos for black intellectuals. At least three parts of this are:

    a. The PC requirement to treat blacks with kid gloves intellectually, and thus not respond to silly crap like the “blacks can’t be racist” argument with a derisive belly-laugh.

    b. The existence of sinecures like “black studies” programs and “diversity coordinator” jobs.

    c. The Civil Rights Act creation of reserved black districts, which makes it pretty uncommon for successful black politicians to have to appeal to whites.

    I think (a) is especially poisonous. IMO, one reason Thomas Sowell seems about twice as smart as other black pundits is that, by virtue of being conservative, he wasn’t protected from criticism of his arguments. So he actually had to make good ones.

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  • Is it affirmative action or just something about blacks that makes even their smartest folks sound like cranks?

    I think part of it is the flip side of the confidence coin; they have a relative lack of that little critical voice that tells them, “man that’s just loony.”

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  • Yes, it’s really irritating how long and carefully you have to look to find a white male child in pictures of elementary schools, and in political ads. Usually, when you do find them, they are sitting mournfully somewhere in the last row.

    Or having their existences legitimized by interacting (subordinately) with non-whites.

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  • ” danindc said…
    Funniest Sailer post in 8.5 months- about time, Stev”

    Steve has funny posts almost every day. That’s the main reason I come here: to have some fun. Politics are actually soooo boring, so Steve makes it really interesting and laughable.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s not just commercials that have gone crazy with showing blacks looking like geniuses and whites looking like doofuses. Watch any TV show, particularly nighttime drama. Every black is protrayed as the rational, decisive character, often the scientist, and always the one who doesn’t want to go soft on the perp, especially when it’s another black.

    At any given time, scroll through the television channels and count the number of instances in which a black appears on the screen. You would swear they make up 75% of the population. I’ve got black fatigue in a big way.

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  • “ron guhname said…
    Is it affirmative action or just something about blacks that makes even their smartest folks sound like cranks?”

    Ron, its their track record. Even many Afrikaners in South Africa, who can be undoubtedly labeled racist in the modern sense, were willing to give blacks a chance in the many countries in southern Africa where they took control (Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mocambique, Namibia , South Africa). But invariably they “fucked it up”. This is why Afrikaners are not interested in black leadership anymore.

    Its not the racism which keeps blacks from serious office, as people like Obama and Michelle like to hold forth. Its their abysmal track record. I know nothing about the US, but the stories I read about the majors of New Orleans, Washington and Detroit remind me very much of what is going on in Namibia, South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe.

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  • Funniest Sailer comment in 3.0974 mackrel weeks!

    By the way Steve, if Harvee saw racism in that Clinton ad, can you just imagine his reaction when he sees this one?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BEPcJlz2wE

    Talk about subliminal messaging, ey? :-)

    mnuez

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  • Oh, c’mon, what about that post 6.75 months ago?

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  • Funniest Sailer post in 8.5 months- about time, Steve.

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  • Steve, thank you for that. That was fan-tastic!

    As an aside, I’m touched that you’re sticking up for Hillary, but really that truly is a beautiful piece. The fact that the NYTimes could get away with publishing that is amazing. I mean wow. Seriously, among you readers around these parts there are some serious racists, right? You know who you are. Please tell me, did even one of you think for a second, “children are sleeping safely in bed and there’s an international crisis… please don’t let it be a black man who picks up the emergency phone.

    Clicking over to the NYT (I just had to see this published there with my own eyes) I quickly scrolled down to the bio to see whether it would say: Orlando Patterson is a proud black man.

    Heck, if The Onion can do it, the New York times ought to show the same honesty.

    Maya Angelou Honored for Courage, Blackness

    Seriously, The Onion is God.

    mnuez
    http://www.mnuez.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    So I’m not the only one to notice the sudden and strange over-representation of Blacks in ads?

    The Staples one is for IIRC Dell ink not toner, and the white guy is not bald but bearded, there’s a white woman and a black man who condescendingly push the “Easy Button” while the guy acts like an idiot.

    Another agency problem. Ad buyers for companies don’t care about reaching customers (they don’t get evaluated on such and are mostly young women mid twenties with lots of churn). They want to be COOL and express their coolness, principally their disdain for uncool white guys who look them over.

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  • Hilary needs about a half a million (literally) hyper-PC people to scrutinize every ad she runs for any possible traces of racism, the way this is going.

    She’s got ‘em. They work for Obama’s campaign. And every time they spew garbage like this, for every black or whiterperson vote he gains, he losing at least three votes from normal whitehispanic or asian voters.

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  • Martin,

    Absolutely correct on the bias in commercials. Another similar one is the Staples spot where the bald white guy is in a panic about toner, only to be rescued by a white woman and two black men.

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  • Someday, I’m going to design an internet encyclopedia of all the most lunatic garbage the left has come up with over the years. It should make for humorous reading.

    This would definitely merit an entry.

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  • I don’t know why you put in useless links like ETS which go to … ETS! I was expecting a story about Michelle’s low test scores, something value-added. Linking to ETS itself – why bother?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Paterson is crying racism because the ad WORKS. It works because people perceive (accurately) that Obama is weak and indecisive and appeasement driven. And will be shoved around easily by hard men like Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Raul Castro, Osama, Nasrallah, etc.

    Hillary is playing off her “tough bitch” image … that she may be a “tough bitch” but she’s “your tough bitch” the way McCain plays his tough old bastard image up.

    Obama has made a fetish of weakness, appeasement, “talk” as a magical substitute for action, and people are waking up to the fact that appeasement ALWAYS means more blood and money in the end. The world isn’t going to be milk and honey just because “a Black Man” is elected President.

    Ironically, someone epitomizing masculine toughness ala Dennis Haysbert on “the Unit” could walk all over both McCain and Hillary. Americans, particularly men, like a tough guy who won’t brook nonsense and garbage from foreign enemies. But Obama very pointedly is not THAT. No military experience. No toughness. Nothing but soft, soft, soft PC namby pambyness. His very appeal to rich white yuppies means he’s soft.

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  • Is it affirmative action or just something about blacks that makes even their smartest folks sound like cranks?

    It’s the affirmative action.

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  • Yes, there exists a certain amount of unease over the prospect of a black man being in charge of protecting “us”

    Bulldinky.
    There’s a lot of black men in uniform protecting us, and if any of were to run they’d have no trouble on that score (though they might have lots of other problems. For example, though he’s a bit dovish for me, the Presidency was Powell’s for the asking if he had wanted it.

    The unease is at the prospect of a Democrat being in charge of protecting “us.”

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  • Hillary’s extensive government experience regarding 3AM phone calls was to roll over and say “Bill, it’s for you.”

    I think we should replace “roll over and say” with “get out of bed, walk across the hall, bang on the door and yell”

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  • Over at Althouse they went into even more detail about the ad. Apparently there is text in the ad designed to stimulate the deep White American desire to lynch the black male (Obama) because he’s a NIG…..

    Wow. Hilary needs about a half a million (literally) hyper-PC people to scrutinize every ad she runs for any possible traces of racism, the way this is going.

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  • Is it affirmative action or just something about blacks that makes even their smartest folks sound like cranks?

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  • I think Prof. Patterson is only half right. Yes, there exists a certain amount of unease over the prospect of a black man being in charge of protecting “us” (although there’s probably greater unease over the prospect of being protected by a white woman). However, nothing in the ad itself plays on distinctively racial fears. Simply casting white people as the mother and children in the ad hardly qualifies as conveying a racial message.

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  • She has to arise early, it takes hours for her to apply all that bondo goop.

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  • I suppose Orlando just neglected to mention the inherent racism of the fact that Clinton herself is blond? And both of her parents were white. Coincidence? [death grunt]I THINK NOT[/death grunt]

    You know Clinton wants to be the candidate for guys with white kids in their pickups. She’s totally as racist as Howard Dean. I knew it.

    That ad was stupid and utterly lacking in substance, but it’s no worse than anything else on the idiot box these days. (Quick, let’s write another treatment for a cop show with a season-long string of white criminals!)

    Honestly I don’t think anyone really gives a rip about “racism” any more. It’s a charge that is no more thought through than “jerkface”. Orlando is just sore that someone has thought to challenge his angelic figure … just as people always do when there are secretly ballots, and rarely do in caucuses. (Interestingly, Thomas Sowell points out that anonymous polls reveal that university decision-makers can’t stand affirmative action, while the actions that can be linked to their names specifically support affirmative action most of the time. Hmmph, I guess maybe that charge (“jerkface”, I think it was) really carries weight in some places.)

    … Not that her boss is even a half-decent candidate, anyone want to try to prove that Ferraro was actually incorrect?

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  • Shame on Orlando Patterson for writing that, and the Times for publishing it.

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  • Over at Althouse they went into even more detail about the ad. Apparently there is text in the ad designed to stimulate the deep White American desire to lynch the black male (Obama) because he’s a NIG…..

    NIG on the PJs

    more NIG on the PJs

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Best band name ever: The Rough Sex Defense

    And this Hillary commercial kind of reminds me of the image that Stalin wanted to convey. I remember reading somewhere that he kept the light on in his Kremlin office until late, even when he wasn’t around. You know, always on the job for the Russian people, etc…And the fact that this idiot Orlando Patterson is at Harvard and is considered some kind of academic. I wonder of he was an AA hire, couldn’t be, right? All I can really say is that he seems to have better grammer than Michelle Obama.

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  • Yes, Orlando Patterson’s “analysis” – if we can call it that – is simpy silly. This is similar to the “pop” analysis I read once involving a scenario with a white woman on an elevator, and a black person (presumably a black woman) present also. If the white woman “plays” with her hair, she’s supposedly sending subliminal “racist messages” to the black woman involving “hair supremacy” or some other stupid Black Studies 101 Marxist claptrap. This stuff is completely ridiculous. Of course, one wonders what the message is if an asian or latin woman played with her hair in front of an aggrieved black woman. No word yet either on what the message is if you clutch your bag, play with your hair, and chew gum at the same time!

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  • …wouldn’t “Vaguely Latino” be a good name for a rock band?

    Well, how about (nicked from “Black Adder”) “Strangely Brown?”

    :D

    JD

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  • “…..with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society.”

    Orland Patterson should read the recent stories from Auburn University and UNC (two coeds murdered) – black men are often lurking in the bushes around white society.

    The fact that a blond child is cause for alarm to Mr. Patterson, is not surprising. Images of black people have become so prevalent in advertising that you’d think they were the majority. For example: consider the recent Domino’s Pizza commercial, for their “Brooklyn” Pizza – a white guy, an east asian, and a west asian all acting like doofuses, while the black pizza delivery man is the one who doesn’t act like a nitwit. Actually, when was the last time you saw a black pizza deliveryman?

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  • Steve Sailer: But with Hillary, doesn’t this ad just re-open that question that we’ve all tried hard not to think about?

    Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton – Abedin Family Ties to Al-Qaeda
    freerepublic.com

    Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton – Who is Funding Huma Abedin’s Lifestyle?
    freerepublic.com

    Is Huma Abedin an Agent of Saudi Intelligence?
    freerepublic.com

    Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton flown to Aspen & wined and dined by infoUSA
    freerepublic.com

    Huma Abedin & Hillary Clinton wined & dined by Jobs Outsourcer Tata Consultancy & the Tata Group
    freerepublic.com

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  • I’ll admit I’m a little baffled by this commercial. Hillary’s extensive government experience regarding 3AM phone calls was to roll over and say “Bill, it’s for you.”

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  • thank you for calling this for what it is–paranoid idiocy. i’m kind of looking forward to the backlash on this one. hopefully it will be powerful enough to end the sociology department racism-is-everywhere cottage industry that nurtured patterson’s delusions.

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  • White people are getting to the point where we have to apologize for being white. Some “national repentence” in the life of nations might be appropriate in a well ordered society, but this is just envy and hate dressed up as Marxist redress for injustice.

    Anyway, your Michelle portrayal was friggin’ hillarious.

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  • Yes, it’s really irritating how long and carefully you have to look to find a white male child in pictures of elementary schools, and in political ads. Usually, when you do find them, they are sitting mournfully somewhere in the last row.

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  • Great post, Steve. Hilarious, except for the Michelle Obama bit, which is overstated.

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  • In the comments thread on Ann Althouse’s first post on the “3 am” ad a commenter noted that one of the kids looked black, and had the letters “NIG” visible on his pajamas.

    He asserted that this was obviously a subliminal racial dig, and Althouse inexplicably and uncharacterstically took this idiocy seriously and posted about the “issue” twice.

    Much hilarity ensues.

    So Clinton’s video producers are simultaneously racist for using stock footage of kids with no black representation, and for using stock footage including a black kid with “GOOD NIGHT” pajamas with the pattern only partially visible.

    Or are they just racist for daring to campaign against Obama?

    Barak Heather Obama’s supporters are doing their best to make a mockery of the “race card” and I’m loving every minute of it.

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  • By the way, wouldn’t “Vaguely Latino” be a good name for a rock band? No, you’re right, it wouldn’t.

    I heard Zack de la Rocha was originally considering that name but came to the same conclusion you did, and decided to go with “Rage Against the Machine” instead.

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  • We might as well just go ahead and concede that blond hair is a “racist marker.” But then again, what about those black women, and some black men, who dye their hair blonde?

    Just further evidence of how our implacably racist society has warped their souls. (Michelle Obama might want to look into this.)

    I suppose there’s something to be said for going grey after all.

    Best unclaimed name for a rock band:

    Mother’s Basement

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  • All too often, I feel embarrased to be a sociologist. It’s not as though he’s the only one who lets out this kind of stuff, you know?

    On reflection, yes, you probably do.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Barack’s next ad can be. “It’s 3 am. Is there a Latino in your bedroom?”

    We slowly pan over a darkened room. We see the faces of young children sleeping. One Melanesian. One Eskimo. One South African Albino. One innocent little Latino with a innocent mustache and sombrero, dreaming of chimichangas and the idyllic pinatas of childhood.

    We scroll through the room. In the moonlight we see a dashiki. Volumes of Franz Fanon and the collected Nuwaubic writings of Malachi York. Some uneaten food still wrapped from a gourmet organic Afrocentric supermarket.

    Oh no, the iPhone is ringing. It is on vibrate, and begins intoning the frantic sounds of Britney Spears.

    We are concerned. But then someone is hard at work at a desk. A hand puts the phone on speaker and holds it six inches from their face.

    “Hello? What? Who? iSteve? I’ll handle this.”

    “Barack! BARACK! Wake your sorry cocoa caramel *** up!”

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  • I always wonder about racism that’s so subtle you need to be a Harvard sociologist to detect it. I guess it’s kind of like being the emperor’s tailor.

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  • For those who haven’t seen it – the ad.

    What I wouldn’t give to live again in America where no one had to apologize if every last kid in the commercial had blonde hair and blue eyes.

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  • good band names:

    The Cambrian Explosion

    The Lincoln Bedrooms

    The Unfair Generalizations OR Unfair Generalizations OR Unfair Generalization

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  • “But with Hillary, doesn’t this ad just re-open that question that we’ve all tried hard not to think about?”

    Saturday Night Live–and (he claims independently) my father–beat you to that joke. They both had Hillary’s answer to the question “Is Bill there?” pegged at, “It’s 3 a.m.–what do you think?”

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  • “By the way, wouldn’t “Vaguely Latino” be a good name for a rock band?”

    You’re America’s greatest living writer, but Dave Barry you’re not.

    Although I have to admit, I don’t think it’s a _bad_ name…

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  • Now that there's still a chance that Hillary Clinton could wind up in the White House, I want to ask: Does anybody have a clue how the White House would function with a First Gentleman who is also an ex-President? Doesn't this seem like the premise for a farce? It writes itself!I presume F.G. Bill...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t understand the personalization of the Hillary candidacy coming from the right and now the MSM.

    My issue with her is massive medical welfare. Do we want that? On the down side, it’s welfare. On the up side, it would primarily benefit the aging Boomers. If Boomers are healthier, they can contribute more to the economy and even compete with immigrants for certain kinds of jobs. It would be a nice balance of power and also could make the country happier and more productive overall.

    But then again, it is an expansion of the welfare state that in the long term could be crippling.

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  • If its McCain vs Obama this fall I’ll vote for Obama. But if its McCain vs Clinton I’ll vote for McCain.

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