Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last Call For Number Three

Slate's John Dickerson:

Mitt Romney never "genuinely" believes anything.

Supporters say that what’s still true about Romney is that he has the skills that would be useful in the White House. Since his defeat, a series of management failures in government agencies like the IRS, Veterans Affairs, and the botched rollout of Obamacare have demonstrated a need for someone with Romney’s talent for turning around big institutions. Romney and his boosters also say his foreign policy assessment about Russia was validated after the election, giving him standing in a field that at the moment doesn’t contain anyone with substantial foreign policy experience.

Romney’s supporters also say that while he may have flaws, other candidates do too and he has advantages they don’t have. He has run before and they describe him as more relaxed and looser. With his name recognition and ability to raise ready cash, Romney could possibly take advantage of a shortened campaign calendar that party strategists say will favor well-funded candidates who can compete in multiple states and afford the complicated delegate husbanding operation.

The big question for Romney to consider is this: Now that he has enjoyed a resuscitation of his reputation among Republicans, could he handle coming in fifth in a primary or enduring the everyday indignities of a modern campaign? That would be an especially deep price to pay if he shows the more personal side that he—and particularly his wife, Ann Romney—believe he was never allowed to show in the last race.

I honestly don't know who's the bigger idiot, Mitt or the people who enable him.

Seriously, Mitt may think he's entitled to the White House by dint of being Mitt Romney, and yeah, 60 million people voted for him.  It's possible he could win.

Two losses to Obama says he can't.

Three Days Of The Orange

A not-so-gentle reminder that as many death threats as President Obama gets, he's far from the only person in DC to get them.

Ebola, evil voices and the devil.

Those are just a few of the things a Butler County bartender cited as reasons he was going to kill House Speaker John Boehner this past fall, federal agents said.

Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, was indicted Jan. 7 on charges of threatening to murder the congressman in a plot police said included poisoning his drink at a country club.

Hoyt served drinks to Boehner for more than five years at the Wetherington Country Club in West Chester and was known as “Bartender Mike” to employees there.

Hoyt called police on Oct. 29, a week after being fired from the club, and blamed Boehner for his woes, police said.

When officers visited Hoyt at his home on Matson Avenue in Deer Park, they said the plot thickened.

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”

Officers said Hoyt told them he regretted not having enough time to put something in Boehner’s drink. It was also discovered Hoyt emailed Boehner’s wife about the plot a day before he called police, Desrosiers said.

Wetherington is just about as swanky as country clubs get up in Butler County, the heart of Boehner Country, in the suburbs north of Cincy. Boehner's an asshole and he's a terrible Speaker of the House, but that's not an excuse for this idiocy.

Liz Warren Gets The Win...Maybe

The battle over Deputy Treasury Secretary Antonia Weiss is over, and Liz Warren has prevailed over the Obama administration. Weiss has withdrawn his name from consideration.  Chuck Pierce:

This, of course, is the handiwork of Senator Professor Warren, who put together a coalition against Weiss's nomination that ran from, well, her, all the way over to Joe Manchin (D-Bituminous) that fought Weiss's nomination. Weiss will get some job at the Treasury that doesn't require him to go through that pesky confirmation process in which he would have to explain how getting $20 mil from his current employers just for taking a government job isn't merely a pro-active Too bad. I was looking forward to how he would explain that one to the Senator Professor.

Already, of course, the financial press is agog at the whole notion that the Senator Professor actually would do what she said she would do. This kind of thing makes for a nice "narrative," but trying to break the grip of the financial-service industrial complex over the institutions that are supposed to regulate it, well, my dear Ms. Warren, this simply is not done. 
Most of Weiss' banking experience is in international mergers and acquisitions, and he spent much of his career overseas. As Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, he would have been responsible for decisions on national debt, consumer policy, and Treasury stability. A number of former Treasury officials thought Warren was way out of line, and that Weiss' experience was perfect for the position he was being nominated for.

Here's the "number of Treasury officials" who thought the Senator Professor was "out of line." Two of them worked for the Avignon Presidency, whose stewardship of the national economy you may remember from the days when you were sleeping in a van down by the river. The point of opposing Weiss was to demonstrate clearly that the interests of the financial-services industrial complex, and the interests of the political entity known as the United States of America, are not always in line with each other, and that the former has to be accountable -- seriously accountable -- to the latter, as inconvenient as that may be to people like Antonio Weiss who, I assure you, will be doing just fine. This also is not merely a symbolic victory. This is a demonstration that business is not as usual any more. There are serious policy implications to that simple fact.

The fact is Liz Warren walked up to President Obama, told him to go to hell, and followed through.  This nomination wasn't sunk by the GOP.  It was sunk by Liz Warren, period.

Say what you will about party loyalty.  She picked her fight and won, which is more than I can say for basically any other Democrat in Congress in the last two years.

Having said that, the key is to look what happens next.  Weiss will still end up in Treasury, his replacement will still be somebody from Wall Street, but Liz Warren already made her point.  It's a win for Weiss, for President Obama, and for Sen. Warren.

For us, eh.  Not so much.


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