Re: Michael Brown

1

Very sad. The "[shot] more than a couple of times" comment was a bit nauseating.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
2

When the best the police spokesman can do is "suspect was shot while fleeing in a threatening manner" it's hard to take seriously the story they're telling.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
3

||

NMM Robin Williams

God, damn. Suicide sucks.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
4

2: Nice, but no.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/us/police-say-mike-brown-was-killed-after-struggle-for-gun.html?_r=0&referrer=

Just after noon on Saturday, the police said, an officer in a patrol car approached Mr. Brown and another man. As the officer began to leave his vehicle, one of the men pushed the officer back into the car and "physically assaulted" him, according to the police department's account. A struggle occurred "over the officer's weapon," and at least one shot was fired inside the car, Chief Belmar said. The two left the car, and the officer shot Mr. Brown about 35 feet away from the vehicle, the police reported. Several shots were fired from the officer's weapon.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
5

If he was 35 feet away, how does that contradict 2?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
6

It's nice to include the little things like the violent felony involving a gun just prior.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
7

I believe an "alleged by the person who just shot a fleeing, unarmed man" might be appropriate in there...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
8

I believe an "alleged by the person who just shot a fleeing, unarmed man" might be appropriate in there...

That would be unpossible! Cops, unlike crooks and children, always tell the truth!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
9

A banker, a cop, an intellectual property lawyer, and a professor: which is most likely to be history's greatest monster?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
10

I'm really, really, really not inclined to give the police the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Eyewitness interview.

If he's even approximately accurate, the DOJ should take over the case completely.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:45 PM
horizontal rule
11

7: Naw. Swifty is trying to intimidate the thread.

Better is "Cops lie. Fucking Cops always lie and kill people and cover for each other."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:45 PM
horizontal rule
12

And, not to make this overly personal, gswift, but I wonder if you might be over-generously assuming the competence of your department is reflected in others. (Maybe I'm doing the reverse.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
13

Eyewitnesses seem pretty unanimous in disputing that part of the official account.

And that particular part of the story makes approximately no sense to boot, so the best I can manage is to think that a very paranoid, twitchy (cough-racist-cough) cop tried to throw his weight around by forcing him into the car and panicked when Brown tried to get away.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
14

12: Could be! I will only be checking the thread here and there around the campfire and such with a sketchy cell connection up here in Yellowstone.

13: Go ahead and put your bets with those eyewitnesses but they seem a tad off. Was running for his life with his hands in the air? I've chased a lot of dudes, nobody runs that way.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
15

14.2 To be fair, I am betting you haven't chased a lot of unarmed dudes that you were shooting at.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
16

14.2: Not according to this article:

Johnson said the first time the officer fired, he and Brown got scared and ran away.
"He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, and he started to get down," Johnson said. "But the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots."

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
17

The witness in 10, where that looks like it comes from, seems pretty coherent. Here's a quick transcript of him talking about that part specifically:

So as he was running the officer was trying to get out of the car and once he got out of the car he pursued my friend but his weapon was drawn.

Now he didn't see any weapon drawn at him or anything like that us going for no weapon. His weapon was already drawn when he got out of the car.
He shot again and once my friend felt that shot he turned around and he put his hands in the air, and he started to get down, but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and he fired several more shots.
And my friend died.
He didn't say anything to him, he just stood over him shooting. By then I was so afraid for my life I just I got up and ran.

Does that seem more like how people you've chased have acted?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
18

"He was a great guy who was giving up and was murdered by the cops for no reason"...said the friends and family every shitbag shot by the cops.

Yes, if that account is accurate then that cop should go to prison. But, I'm just saying, a bit of skepticism might be advisable.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
19

18: why in God's name should any cop get the benefit of the doubt in this situation?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
20

Also, "friends and family" versus random people on the street.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
21

One of the things that is really bothering me are the police department press statements that it happened X way. No. The officer involved reported that it happened X way. Eyewitness accounts are to the contrary. If you want to take the position that we don't know what happened, that seems fair enough. But if you are the police and you are already picking sides before you could possibly have done any, much less a complete, investigation, then the only message you are communicating at your little presser is that you are going to protect your own.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
22

I think the FBI is investigating now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
23

People's friends and families do tend to think well of them, yes. That doesn't make them unreliable. And the various eyewitnesses seem to be telling basically consistent stories. Not all of them are Brown's friend.

Look, there's very good reason to think the police officer involved is giving unreliable testimony (such as, he murdered an unarmed kid), and little to no reason to think any of the other eyewitnesses are here unless "conflicts with what a police officer says happened" counts. (And it doesn't.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
24

How often do unarmed young black men grab for an officer's pistol without getting shot to death? Also, how often does anyone except a young black man grab for an officer's pistol and get shot to death? Doesn't it seem just the tiniest bit suspicious that virtually every young black man who gets shot by cops nowadays was going for the officer's pistol? 10 or 15 years ago, they were always pulling something shiny out of their pocket and brandishing it, but now the supply of shiny objects seems to have been somewhat curtailed, so they have to reach for the officer's pistol instead. We're back in dsquared's Law territory here -- when it is obvious that someone, or some group, has lied over and over and over again, a rational observer is not obliged to extend the benefit of the doubt.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
25

I thought dsquared's Law was now "Bankers are the only group more vulnerable to mistreatment by law enforcement than young black men."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
26

But then I stopped reading that thread a while ago, so maybe I've missed something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
27

Apparently the town of Ferguson is 67% black and 3 of the 53 cops are black. Why does this happen? Also, why do the cops have such incredibly powerful and terrifying weaponry?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
28

In several stories I've read it says that the "major calls for calm". Just once I want a major to say "things are fucked-up and bull-shit, burn everything down".


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 10:07 PM
horizontal rule
29

So let's go back to the official PBA version of events:
1. A police officer sees three young black men
2. The officer stops his vehicle and gets out to confront them
3. Michael Brown physically assaults the officer
4. The officer places Brown in the vehicle
5. Brown grabs for the officer's weapon, and a shot is fired inside the vehicle
6. Brown exits the vehicle
7. The officer shoots Brown several times

That's about the most cockamamie, ridiculous line of bullshit I've ever heard in my life. What probable cause did the officer have to stop these men? What did he say to them? Why did Brown initially assault the officer? What were his friends doing while this was happening? How did the officer place an uncooperative Brown in his vehicle? How did Brown manage to grab for the weapon while inside the vehicle? How was the shot fired inside the vehicle, exactly? What was Brown doing after exiting the vehicle that justified lethal force? No part of the police version of events hangs together for even a moment.

Patented Natilo Paennimâ„¢ Miscarriage of Justice Prediction: Police investigation will exonerate officer. FBI investigation will lead to an indictment. Venue will be switched to all-white suburb. Prosecution will be mishandled. Defense will concoct a bizarre theory involving Brown being some kind of hyper-fast contortionist. Jury will believe it. Acquittal. Riots. Hand-wringing. Same thing will happen two states over the next week, but nobody (white) will pay any attention.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
30

Also, police officer will be held up as a right-wing hero, a la Zimmerman.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 4:37 AM
horizontal rule
31

29

Apparently they are getting a head start on the "riots" part.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
32

Sigh. You know what? I don't even care anymore. "Another plastic bullet and another Irish child, but nobody's bothered, no, the telly Facebook keeps 'em mild" It's the same every week, the same game.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:56 AM
horizontal rule
33

The difference between the police story in this case and the eyewitness stories is just straightforward plausibility. While it's a very small minority of police who do that kind of thing, caveat caveat caveat, police shooting an unarmed man because he's non-compliant is the kind of thing that does happen. It's not an implausible story.

A man who (as far as I've heard so far -- if I'm missing something someone should point it out) wasn't out-of-control drunk, or high, or in the midst of a psychotic break, or trying to escape arrest for some immediately prior violent crime making a grab for a cop's gun and trying to shoot the cop with it? That is implausible. Not impossible, but there's no explanation for why Brown would have done that.

Mostly, people don't engage in sudden, unexplained murderous attacks on each other. A story that relies on something like that happening is going to need a lot of evidence in its favor before I believe it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
34

Plus, even by the police story, he shot a guy in back who was 35 feet away and leaving. Apparently, that's legal in some circumstances (I looked it up on Wikipedia), but it isn't the sort of thing that's going to get people to give your judgement the benefit of the doubt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
35

Relevant (and interesting).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
36

I should add to 33 the word 'unarmed'. It's not that no one unarmed is ever going to violently attack an armed police officer. I'm sure it happens all the time. But I have to believe that when it happens, it's overwhelmingly likely to be someone who's drunk, high, psychotic, or actively trying to evade arrest for an immediate serious crime.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
37

I read the link in 35, and it is very interesting.

To me the most striking thing was how many of these veteran officers report having a conversion experience, when their investigations suggested to them that a suspect might be innocent, let alone that there might be police misconduct involved.

Isn't that odd? The idea of police misconduct is very widespread in the folkways of this country, and is a theme in countless movies and tv shows. Had these cops, and by extension many, many others convinced themselves that the reality of unjust accusation, of police misconduct was a complete fantasy, vanishingly rare if not nonexistent?

It would have seemed to me that one could and probably would think that the folkways were wrong or misleading in how much misconduct they suggested occurred, without denying to yourself that it did occur, and perhaps altogether too often. That would have been my notion of the sane cop's sense of things.

I wouldn't have thought the more extreme position could be so widespread.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
38

I agree. The hopelessly utopian solution that came to mind is that it would be a good idea to rotate serving police officers through the public defender's office for six months (say) at a time, perhaps as a prerequisite for promotion above a certain rank, in order to broaden their minds and give them a more realistic idea of how their colleagues could go wrong.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
39

The idea of police misconduct is very widespread in the folkways of this country, and is a theme in countless movies and tv shows. Had these cops, and by extension many, many others convinced themselves that the reality of unjust accusation, of police misconduct was a complete fantasy, vanishingly rare if not nonexistent?

This is fairly explicable - you feel sympathetic to the people you know, and are reluctant to believe bad things about them. We all know that all sorts of things are very widespread, not just in TV shows but in reality, but we still wouldn't believe them readily about people we like, absent pretty good evidence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
40

37.3 -

I'm pretty sure the answer here is "yes", or at least that it comes very close enough to that to make very little practical difference. Certainly defending people you know is a large part of it, but in my experience it goes beyond specific individuals to cover pretty much all police officers, no matter how professional.* It's understandable since police officers spend a lot of time around people who have, let's say, negative views of police activities. And similarly a lot of time around people who instinctively deny things they're openly and transparently doing, so developing a "the not-a-police-officer is just a liar" reflex is a very human response.

Of course it's exactly the sort of response that makes people of certain political persuasions think that the "there are corrupt/brutal/bad police officers, but the majority of cops are solidly decent public servants doing hard jobs as fairly as they can" line should have "..while covering for the bad ones" appended to it.

*Consider, ahem, this comment thread where an entirely reasonable and, barring a remarkable talent for making up stories, upstanding police officer appears to be taking a very questionable story from a different (much more questionable) police officer to be far more credible than the entirely plausible story being told by multiple civilian witnesses...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
41

There's also the fact that most police officers aren't committing misconduct the vast majority of the time; the intolerable amount of police misconduct we're talking about, that makes people like me systematically believe witness stories in a case like this over the police version, is 0.0002% (don't hold me to an order of magnitude here) of police-officer hours. That's different for different varieties of misconduct, of course -- things like abusive stop-and-frisking is much more common, but much less intense in terms of misconduct. And even the small amount of shooting/strangling unarmed people they do is intolerably much.

But from a decent police officer's point of view, he spends all day, every day, interacting with people who are behaving in violent/otherwise socially unacceptable ways. One of his standard interactions with the public is with someone who is completely in the wrong with regard to everything about the interaction, and the cop is just trying to resolve things without anything bad happening. If that's your daily worklife, as it honestly is for most police officers, it's got to be hard to look at any story with a cop in it and not have a strong prior assumption that the police officer's actions were justified and everyone else was a criminal or otherwise a violent lunatic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
42

41 crossed with 40, and saying most of the same things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
43

40: Yeah, but there are numerous studies showing eyewitness accounts from "multiple civilian witnesses" tend to be full of errors and omissions.

Bottom line, unless this cop has a record of being a hyper-aggressive menace, I'm going to believe him. It's the flip-side of the Zimmerman psyche, where it was clear he was looking to shoot someone and finally found a target.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
44

In this case the bits that no one is disputing are pretty strong evidence that the police officer is a hyper-aggressive menace all on their own...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
45

Yeah, but there are numerous studies showing eyewitness accounts from "multiple civilian witnesses" anybody, including absolutely cops tend to be full of errors and omissions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
46

Errors and omissions are one thing. But no one's suggesting that there's an error about whether Brown was armed, or whether he was fleeing and posed no threat at the time he was shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
47

I seem to have gotten onto heavy rotation on the list for jury duty at the criminal court, and it has been rather striking that in the voir dire the prosecutors spend a LOT of time trying to ferret out biases against police testimony based not just on background assumptions but also on many different factual scenarios. Such as, if an officer admits to having really seriously screwed up some part of the investigation would you therefore not believe anything else he/she testified to? or, if an officer lied to the defendant in order to provoke a confession, would that make you biased against him/her? Obviously, weird, small sample, but none the interesting as these are the cases the prosecution us bringing to trial and presumably thinks are solid.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
48

if an officer lied to the defendant in order to provoke a confession, would that make you biased against him/her?

Presumably you would not want somebody who says yes to this because they would be under the misapprehension that cops aren't supposed to lie to extract confessions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
49

The way the prosecutor led up to that one was interesting to me, she analogized to telling your child a lie in order to extract a confession along the lines of "we all do it, right?" And I thought hard and carefully - nope, never done it, and would think it a huge betrayal to do it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
50

47. Ironically that's the sort of question where people tend to think they'd react one way ("wow, his credibility isn't as high as it was before I knew he did that") but often react the other way ("well, if he's willing to admit to that he must be a pretty honest guy").

The reason I think the automatic default to taking a police officer's word in these sorts of case is worrying, actually, is that by the time a case gets to the "neighborhood erupts in anger making national news" stage the likelihood that there really was something going wrong is a lot greater than it would be for most cases where people accuse police officers of something like this. That's not to say that there aren't available examples of exactly this happening in cases where the police officer was in the right but it does tend to tilt the scales in favor of something going wrong. One of the reasons for this, I think, is that people do generally default to taking authority figures to be trustworthy and to get a lot of people really het up about potential misconduct requires either (1) a really good reason to think it happened or (2) a serious tension between the community and the police force, which is certainly true here. And the second counts as a subset of the first one.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
51

Well, in the first example the prosecutor said he was going to take a month to try one count of gun possession with a gang multiplier, which seemed like an awful long trial for the charge. He got M out of that box on his 3rd or 4th peremptory, and once I was excused I poked around in the local news and turns out the defendant was suspected of several murders. My conclusion was the police had seriously screwed up the investigation, he had huge proof problems and didn't want a lawyer on the jury.

The second situation was horribly sad and I was so relieved not to have to serve.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
52

I seem to have gotten onto heavy rotation on the list for jury duty at the criminal court, and it has been rather striking that in the voir dire the prosecutors spend a LOT of time trying to ferret out biases against police testimony based not just on background assumptions but also on many different factual scenarios.

This is actually diametrically opposed to my recent experience in voir dire. The prosecutor there was at pains to ferret out any bias *for* police testimony (particularly relevant in that case because the charges were interfering with a police officer in the performance of his duty, plus an assault charge for one of the defendants).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
53

Yeah, but there are numerous studies showing eyewitness accounts from anybody, including absolutely cops tend to be full of errors and omissions.

Very true. See the (unscientific) study I carried out myself; class of 30 or so students, I'd just finished teaching them how to describe a person correctly (age, build, clothing, distinguishing marks etc, only give what you're sure of, if you're not sure then say "possible" or "probable") and another instructor came into the room by prearrangement, chatted with me for about 30 seconds and then left. Then I told them: "OK, your test on this material starts now. Question one: write down a description of that guy who was just talking to me."
Ideal conditions: the students were rested, they weren't under stress, the subject was standing about 10-20 feet away from them in a brightly lit room for a significant time, and they were asked to describe him not more than a minute after he walked out the door. Probably more like 15-20 seconds.

Did they get it right? Did they hell. They got the clothes wrong - he was in jeans and a polo shirt, and they thought he was in everything from shorts to uniform; he was 5 foot eight, or maybe six foot; he was slim, medium build, heavy, balding, wearing glasses, 25 years old, 45 years old, carrying a bag, a folder, a pizza box, a newspaper. One student handed in a sheet of paper entirely blank except for the single word "BLACK". (Which the subject was; but, as he pointed out between helpless giggles, "there's more than one of us out there you know".)

Interesting point: the women were way better at this than the men, especially at getting the clothing right.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
54

I agree with 41. To 47, worth noting that those are different kinds of "misconduct" -- I think most cops would agree that they have brethren who seriously screw up investigations sometimes, and for better or for worse lying to provoke a confession is generally just fine. Killing a citizen without a remotely reasonable basis (and I agree without knowing anything that it seems plausible that this is what happened here) is a totally different thing.

Another thing to remember is that criminals lie, all the time, especially to the police. One of the core cop skills is seeing through bullshit, especially bullshit directed at them. This very quickly produces certain habits of mind.

I guess I should also say that my belief (not based on any real non-anecdotal knowledge) is that cops fairly frequently "lawyer lie" (that is, they don't affirmatively make a false statement, but omit things or shade language in a misleading way) and occasionally but much less often lie lie. When they do so, however, it's usually in the service of avoiding a bureaucratic hassle or to make slightly easier the prosecution of someone whom they have reason to think guilty, not to cover up sadism or brutality. Not that lying to protect the last never happens, of course, but it's definitely at the "this is serious bad career ending shit" level, at least in most departments.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
55

"Interesting point: the women were way better at this than the men, especially at getting the clothing right."

Least surprising result ever, wrt clothing!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
56

55: So, so sexist.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
57

When they do so, however, it's usually in the service of avoiding a bureaucratic hassle or to make slightly easier the prosecution of someone whom they have reason to think guilty, not to cover up sadism or brutality.

But, should the latter happen -- which it very rarely does, I'm sure, so it's not like you're prepared with how you're going to approach it! -- you use the tools in your toolbox.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
58

I mean, it's sort of the converse of how people who are not used to dealing oppositionally with cops react to that situation: "well, if I just trust them and do what they say everything will be fine."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
59

55, 56: I would be interested to repeat the study with the students describing a female subject and see if the same result applied.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
60

53. Yeah, but if you'd asked them to describe what you'd just explained to them how many do you think would have gotten it right?

Cynicism about how much college students pay attention in lecture? Me? I have no idea why you'd suggest such a thing.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
61

Apparently Anonymous has set its sights on the Ferguson PD.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
62

For clothing, I would expect a similar result, just because women are culturally conditioned/allowed (your viewpoint may vary) to spend far more attention on it than men.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
63

60: good point, but I think they had actually grasped the material. Their answers were presented in the format I'd described; it's just the answers were wrong.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
64

While this response is easy to understand, in the situation, it probably was not a good idea from the perspective of community relations of, um, not looking like people trying to get away with murdering some kid.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
65

All of those studies about how unreliable eyewitness memory is -- people believe their memories are reliable and accurate, but in practice they're astonishingly bad -- fascinate me, because my subjective sense of my own memory is that it's just about as bad as people's memories generally turn out to be. That is, I wouldn't have described the guy accurately, but I would have been completely unsurprised by being totally wrong. And I would love to know if I'm just astonishingly self-aware about my level of reliability, or if my memory is even worse than the already terrible norm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
66

One thing I will say is that, aside from psych professors, cops are probably the people in the world most aware of the problems with eyewitness testimony, because they deal with its flaws and problems and errors all the time. Doesn't mean they don't make mistakes themselves but standard cop training and cop experience deals a lot with this issue.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
67

65: that strikes me as liberal wouldn't-take-own-side-of-a-fight self-reflection and reasonableness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
68

65: if I recall, your memory for faces proved out as notably bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
69

65: I like to think I'm fairly observant, but perhaps not as much as I'd like. A couple of years ago, I had a student/trainee I'd been working with for a couple of months when my boss and I ran into his old boss at a conference. My boss had waved me over ask whether I'd noticed my trainee was missing a leg. Actually, I hadn't. His prosthesis was quite good (thick enough that his pant leg could hang normally), no limp, walked with even strides, and he was required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for safety reasons. My boss gave me no end of shit over it - "Call yourself a scientist, huh?"


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
70

68: I remember faces perfectly because most of them look the same to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
71

66 - True, but that doesn't necessarily make them immune to the assumption that their own memory is straightforwardly reliable in situations, or at least situations where you think you ought to have known what happened.

A lot of the people I've met who know a lot about cognitive biases/etc. also seem to believe that knowing they're there makes you immune to them, which, obviously, it doesn't because cognitive biases are precisely things where you don't react the right way to reasons. I suspect that that's a cognitive blind spot in its own right (and my favorite one, if so).

Also, ajay, I'm guessing the results were more dramatic than they would have been in a lot of cases since "professor wraps up lecture and then turns to talk to someone I don't know" is exactly the sort of situation where I would immediately tune out/focus on something else/continue checking facebook on my smartphone/etc. In the interests of Science! you should repeat the experiment only have the confederate shoot you several times before running out.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
72

68: Right, I was giving myself credit for that being a face-specific deficit, and hoping that my memory wasn't abnormally bad otherwise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
73

"take out... (gasp).. take out a sheet of paper. I want... you to write down... a description of.. oh god oh god the blood.. a description of that man...I feel cold..cold all over...you will be graded on this assignment.."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
74

I was kind of shocked that they don't have dashboard cams, I thought that was pretty standard for police these days?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
75

I was kind of shocked that they don't have dashboard cams, I thought that was pretty standard for police these days?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
76

Apparently the town of Ferguson is 67% black and 3 of the 53 cops are black. Why does this happen?

Just last week, I was in a conversation with a group of mothers of black children, the rest of whom were white, where the moms were all hoping none of their children would grow up to be cops. The army if you have to, sure, fire department is fine, but they felt there was just too much history of misbehavior and it wasn't a safe place to be black.

I was on the committee hiring teachers for the girls' school and only one candidate out of maybe 30 did not visibly present as white and we didn't hire that person. Things would be so much better if we had teachers who looked like the students and shared their backgrounds, but we're not having any luck with that. Didn't hire any more male teachers, either, even though we're trying to do that too. The candidates have to be present and willing (and I suspect that outreach to candidates has to go better and I'm hoping to make some connections at the local education programs to see if there's more we can do) and that's just not happening even though there's a need.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
77

71: seems related to the bias blind spot or the introspection illusion. Also, if you've never looked at this page, say goodbye to the rest of your afternoon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
78

Don't disagree with 71.1 or .2, at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
79

77.last: Been there, done that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
80

76: A thought: can you be sure jobs postings looking for new (as opposed to senior) teachers get circulated to HCBUs? Not sure whether they'd share backgrounds, but it's a different pool than State U. I suspect most departments have mailing lists for job seekers. (This is something I've been thinking about, too - how to reach a pool of underrepresented applicants for a particular position. If anyone has brilliant ideas, I'm all ears, but I'm looking at a pipeline problem to a large extent.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
81

80: Don't a large portion of the HCBUs have a history of being normal schools at some point, and so might have larger than the usual education programs? Your idea, if it isn't already applied, seems like an obvious win-win.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
82

80: I've thought about that, but the two nearest are a 90-minute drive. We have hired a few people from more than an hour away, mostly Appalachian areas, but I don't know what schools the principal was sending to. I'll be actively involved in hiring the new principal and so asking how this is going to be addressed will be part of the screening process. It's just depressing. (And, really, "Come work for what is on paper the worst district in the state and get paid less than you would at another school!" is a tough selling point to anyone.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
83

Also traditionally African American fraternities/sororities. My secondhand impression is that they are extremely effective at job networking/dissemination.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
84

And we actually do really well in terms of hiring people who've come to teaching from non-traditional channels and who have themselves experienced poverty at various points in their lives. Just white ones.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
85

Our local police union mainly seems interested in removing or having a court remove the requirement that they live in the city. Somehow I don't think doing so will help make a police force that is more like the people being policed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
86

83: We've reached out to them for other service projects within the school and had good results, though probably only because Lee and I insisted on it. I know it's a building process. It's just not going to be a priority unless someone makes it one, and so it seems like I'll have to do that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
87

My kid brother is a black cop. I'm not totally thrilled about it, but he seems to like it.

My impression was that fire departments are super racist, but maybe that's just New York?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
88

I'm actually feeling really positive about the leadership at our state's only HBCU right now. But I'm not sure how that will translate into more active connections there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
89

82: Maybe there are folks who left your area for school and would like to return. At any rate, just making a connection to someone who could add your listing (departmental secretary is likely) might shift your applicant pool slightly.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
90

So when should we expect Brown's drug test results to be leaked? (Assuming there's even a hint of marijuana metabolites in them.)


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
91

I'm guessing approximately five minutes after we see the inevitable right wing "these thugs are out of control" response making its way out of Fox News comment threads.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
92

87.2: Actually, around here the criticism is that too many white firefighters have the proverbial Cherokee great-grandmother, because it gets you 2 extra points on the seniority chart.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
93

My city's fire department seems pretty diverse, and not to virtue of "Native Americans", but there were decades of court battles and a five-year period with no hiring.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
94

Great. Now the FAA has shut down the airspace above Ferguson.
https://twitter.com/chrisgeidner/status/499279518436458496/photo/1


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
95

SOP nowadays: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/12/journalists-threatened-michael-brown_n_5671155.html


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
96

if I recall, your memory for faces proved out as notably bad.

You might be thinking of me (20th percentile on the gold standard test - just above the threshold for a diagnosable disorder, I think).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
97

That was me too. I actually felt kind of good about it, as providing an excuse for me not to remember people (even people I like quite a lot! I gave Smearcase a blank stare on the A-train once -- no idea at all who he was until he said something. Voices, I recognize.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
98

"Bring it, all you fucking animals"

Hard to imagine an officer in that department not giving a second thought to shooting a young black man. The Ferguson police department seems to be working from the Alabama 1963 playbook.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
99

Now, to be fair they say it's a local police officer but he could still be from one of the nineteen or something other areas whose police ran over to Ferguson to get in on some of that action.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
100


Every so often (a few times a week, really) I am reminded of why it makes such a difference that Obama is in the White House and not a Republican - any Republican. Does anyone believe that the John Ashcroft justice department would be swooping in to investigate the Ferguson police department? Maybe they would, if loud nationwide protests made inaction untenable. But just to uphold racial justice? Not in a million years.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
101

100: I regularly spend time with people who can't differentiate between Hillary Clinton and the generic Republican nominee. She's far from my first choice but I can't see a Republican getting past the dual filters of the Tea Party and the Neocons who wouldn't be vastly worse. I can't stand Hillary but the alternative seems so much worse that I can't imagine voting for anyone else if it comes to that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:30 PM
horizontal rule
102

100 You'd think with Justice about to come down hard on their ass they'd tone it down a bit instead of going for the full Bull Connor.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
103

can't differentiate between Hillary Clinton and the generic Republican nominee

I have trouble differentiating Hillary Clinton from Joe Lieberman.

I can't stand Hillary but the alternative seems so much worse that I can't imagine voting for anyone else if it comes to that.

Yeah, this. Honestly, in a matchup between HRC and Rand Paul, it's about 50/50 on the issues. But the next president will shape the courts for decades, and most of those issues are the ones that go to Clinton. So she wins my vote by default, but I think she's going to make a terrible president.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
104

You think HRC would be particularly worse than Obama? Maybe on foreign policy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
105

Yay! Another 27 months of fighting about Hillary Clinton on Unfogged has begun!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
106

It's hard to know, I wouldn't have thought that Obama would be this bad, but yes I think HRC is way way more hawkish than Obama. She strikes me as more likely to start a war than some republicans.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
107

Definitely on foreign policy, though Obama's no great shakes there either.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
108

105: HRC supporters would add 96 months to that count: Yay Hillary 2020!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
109

105 made me laugh.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
110

"The carrier was named after Hillary Clinton, America's most uncompromising wartime president." -- some John Birmingham novel set in around 2020.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
111

I can't imagine any of us have much fight left in us. Least bad electable candidate!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
112

Ohhhh you said electable


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
113

Yay! Another 27 months of fighting about Hillary Clinton on Unfogged has begun!

Oh God no


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
114

103: in a matchup between HRC and Rand Paul, it's about 50/50 on the issues.

I, uh, really don't want to start this, but, um, this really confuses me.

What on earth does Rand Paul have in his column, apo?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
115

Foreign policy isolationist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
116

What on earth does Rand Paul have in his column, apo?

Two catheters and a candiru.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
117

Which I think is stupid. Maybe people disagree.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
118

It's just instinct that they swim up there. You can't really call it stupid or smart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
119

117 to 115.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
120

Is there any more accurate prediction of the future than 105? I guess a nuclear bomb could prevent it.

I personally think that the belief that HRC is materially worse (or, for that matter, better) than Obama on any issue, including foreign policy, is crazytown. Also I find 103 last affirmatively disgusting and I will respond to any hint -- any hint -- of Rand Paul support or accommodationism by unleashing the fucking fury. Just want to stake out that position early.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
121

Oh. Never mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
122

120: Halford, while you and I don't get along, I believe I have staked out that position. In much, much milder terms, of course. I do want to hear from apo or whomever else just what Rand Paul supposedly offers: I swear I won't unleash the fury in Halfordian terms.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
123

"The fury" is basically a drunken Yngwie Malmsteen lurching forward, so it's not that threatening and shouldn't prevent too much debate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
124

I'm not going to google that because I don't think it's porn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
125

How best to distance myself from 111...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
126

It's some Swedish heavy metal guy. Curse you, Halford!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
127

125: change the pseud to "Wry Cooter"?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
128

103 last: wld happily settle this bare-fisted.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
129

125: Hire Mark Penn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:35 PM
horizontal rule
130

Change Mark Penn's name to Wry Cooter.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
131

I am a lover not a fighter and would therefore like to propose to 118.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
132

Going up the urethra with fish is an usual form of loving. But Rule 34, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
133

I'm reminded of an unpleasant rhyme about how to tell if you're performing oral sex on a woman with a yeast infection.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
134

Somebody decided to paint Cardinal Richelieu watching Aragorn land on the quays at Harlond.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
135

134 might have been off topic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
136

What on earth does Rand Paul have in his column, apo?

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, war on drugs, NSA, aid to Israel. It's not that Rand Paul is a candidate I like. I don't like or trust him at all. It's just that on foreign policy, Clinton is so terrible.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
137

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria

That is, ending the War for the Greater Middle East is a big fucking deal that affects everything else the federal government does thanks to the enormous amount of money it's swallowed and continues to swallow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
138

From where I sit, it's as big a deal for reorienting American government in the 21st century as the composition of the SCOTUS.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:21 PM
horizontal rule
139

"The fury" is basically a drunken Yngwie Malmsteen lurching forward . . .

Wouldn't you rather unleash Chang?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
140

We could elect the second coming of [peacenik leftist] and our larger policy on the War for the Middle East wouldn't change.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
141

Has to start somewhere. The commander in chief is as good a place as any.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
142

a big fucking deal that affects everything else the federal government does thanks to the enormous amount of money it's swallowed and continues to swallow

Obviously, I agree.* But even after he saves gazillions of dollars with his isolationist policies (that he would abandon the minute he's inaugurated), President Paul would surely starve those parts of the federal apparatus that you (we?) care about the most, because he would cut taxes and offer corporate kickbacks that would make W blush. Which is why I honestly can't fathom how you can make a statement like the one you made above.

Then again, I don't really care, because there's just no chance at all that you or anyone who shares your views will vote for Rand Paul or, really, anyone but whichever war-mongering shithead the Democrats run.

* Seriously, I do.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
143

War-Mongering Shithead, 2016!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
144

Clinton could be really good on domestic issues though, like Johnson was. Also, at least she's honest about being a hawkish conservative who loves Israel and has no use for DFHs or union members. Can't say that about the Big O.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
145

Clinton could be really good on domestic issues though, like Johnson was.

Sweet troll, bro! [terrorist fist bump]


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
146

If I was unclear, I'm not considering voting for Rand Paul.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
147

Oh, I know that. I was thinking more of the nonsense one sometimes hears about a left-libertarian alliance. And then you got me all worked up with, "Honestly, in a matchup between HRC and Rand Paul, it's about 50/50 on the issues."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
148

To be clear, I meant Andrew Johnson. No more waving the bloody shirt!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
149

Personally, I'd only consider a left-libertarian alliance in order to do something like invite all the libertarians to a royal wedding and then murder them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
150

I am willing to bet $20 that by January 2016, Rand Paul, if still running for the Republican nomination, will be fully supporting aid to Israel. Probably also will at least sound more like a hawk, but that's harder to quantify.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
151

Oh, he's already backpedaling on that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
152

Oh, I missed the "I voted just last week" part - thought he was just saying "I never said that" to straddle the fence.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
153

Holy shit, enough about fucking Robin Williams already! I have acute Robin Williams fatigue.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-14 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
154

enough about fucking Robin Williams already

I didn't know anyone here had even fucked him.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:29 AM
horizontal rule
155

On the Rand Paul thing earlier in the thread - I can't be the only person who remembers the last time you guys elected a Republican president who swore up and down that he was opposed to military mucking-around in other people's countries?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 2:16 AM
horizontal rule
156

||

I read shit like this, and I'm tempted to get on board with Halford's Libertarian Punishment Island scheme. (via DeLong).

|>


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 4:45 AM
horizontal rule
157

I can't be the only person who remembers the last time you guys elected a Republican president who swore up and down that he was opposed to military mucking-around in other people's countries?

No, me too! I recall an email exchange I had with [famous liberal blogger] in which I conjectured and he concurred that the appointment of Colin Powell as Secretary of State augured excessive reluctance by the new Administration to use military force.

Good God, how could I have been so naive?



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 4:49 AM
horizontal rule
158

I hereby invoke Charles Pierce's 5-Minute Rule on the discussion of Rand Paul.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 5:21 AM
horizontal rule
159

What on earth does Rand Paul have in his column

The Redeem Act


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 5:39 AM
horizontal rule
160

Yeah, but those nickel deposits are a huge nuisance.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 6:15 AM
horizontal rule
161

156: Christ on a bicycle.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
162

Though, as we shall see below, in a libertarian society the existence of a free baby market will bring such "neglect" down to a minimum.

Surely this is a pisstake.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
163

162: SRSLY. IME, parents who are starving their babies are often not doing it out of malice or to "allow" the child to die.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
164

157.2 is a reminder of how weird and beligerent the late 90s mainstream Democrat foreign policy world was, which I think also helps explain why there's not much reason to expect that HRC's foreign policy would be materially more (or less) belligerent than Obama's.

The libertarians are all such morons, and don't think you're going to escape Monster Island, "bleeding hearts."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
165

Monster Island
You just have to tell them it's in international waters.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
166

Was late 90s mainstream Democrat foreign policy noticeably less belligerent than Democratic foreign policy at any previous time? Carter tried to rescue the hostages in a military operation; JFK and LBJ had Vietnam; Truman had Korea.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
167

I'd say the late 90s were a high water mark for post-Cold War, maybe post-Vietnam belligerence from mainstream Democrats (Madeline Albright - "what's the point of having this world class army if we can't use it") but you're right of course that the party has been aggressively internationalist and war-willing since at least Wilson.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
168

159: The Redeem Act

True! Of course the Democrat Cory Booker is also involved in that, and it's not clear at all that we need a Rand Paul in order to correct the course there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
169

True! Of course the Democrat Cory Booker is also involved in that, and it's not clear at all that we need a Rand Paul in order to correct the course there.

My impression is having two primary co-sponsors from different parties carries a certain cachet in the Senate. McCain-Feingold, etc.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
170

151: Rand Paul is also backpedalling on Iraq. Given all this backpedalling and reconsideration and on-second-thoughtfulness, I'll strike his faux foreign policy isolationism off the column for him, and he's left with resistance to NSA spying and the war on drugs. Which is good but doesn't call for a libertarian. Plenty of mainstream Democrats also resist those things.

(I think I'm done now regarding Rand Paul; I just remain a bit mystified that some liberals -- though I know Apo doesn't call himself a liberal -- find Paulism worth anything at all.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
171

169: Okay. Point taken. The Republican Party can become more libertarian if it wants to. I believe it already has. The parts of its libertarian sensibility that are just too far beyond the pale can be backpedalled out the ass. Like Rand Paul on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His answer to many troubling questions along these lines is: hand it over to the states! Federalism forevah! That's little different from the cast of the Republican Party in general in recent decades.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
172

I just remain a bit mystified that some liberals -- though I know Apo doesn't call himself a liberal -- find Paulism worth anything at all.

I read apo's comment as a lack of regard for the one rather than a regard for the other.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
173

172: Yes. There is no plausible scenario where I would vote for Rand Paul. I only pulled his name out of the hat because he has some slightly different rhetoric than the rest of the GOP field. My comment was about Clinton, not Paul.

*However*, I'm hard pressed to name many Democrats whose foreign policy philosophies are worse than HRC's, and the entire Robert Rubin economic wing of the Democratic Party (which includes both HRC and Obama) deserves multiple kicks in the crotch.

Then once she's the nominee, that will become the leftmost fringe of acceptable political discourse. It's such a frustrating and depressing scenario and yet here we go again, lining up to kick that football Charlie Brown-style.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
174

172, 173: Okay, I see. It was a diss of/on HRC rather than an endorsement of Rand Paul. Apparently I just lose my shit when Paul is mentioned.

She's not my preferred candidate either, and indeed frustrating and depressing that the liberal left hasn't more power to generate electable candidates.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
175

Apparently I just lose my shit when Paul is mentioned.

I have no idea what you're talking about. At least your mouth doesn't literally foam.

I still am baffled by the idea that there's a significant foreign policy gap between Hillary and say Obama (or, really any mainstream Democrat). Not that this is dispositive, but she was his Secretary of State (and an unusually powerful one).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
176

baffled by the idea that there's a significant foreign policy gap between Hillary and say Obama (or, really any mainstream Democrat).

I'm not baffled by the idea: some is coming from the recent (misleading) reporting on Clinton's ""Don't do stupid shit" is not a foreign policy" remark.

Clinton's rhetoric is more hawkish; Obama's is more, mrm, not dovish exactly, but more with the emphasis on diplomacy. I couldn't tell you why Clinton is emphasizing the hawkish language: is it really necessary given the disposition of the American public at the moment? And I must say that her remarks about American exceptionalism on the Jon Stewart show were just weird.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
177

a significant foreign policy gap between Hillary and say Obama

"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad - there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle - the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled."

Sure, because nothing keeps down transnational jihadism like helping to overthrow a government and create a power vacuum. Look, I know she has to find some way to distinguish herself from Obama in front of a campaign, but this is where she's going to start? It's fucking stupid and, unfortunately, it the same fucking stupid she has espoused all along.

or, really any mainstream Democrat

If you define "mainstream" as holding the same FP philosophy as Hillary Clinton, then I guess you have a point. But, for example, 21 of 50 Democratic senators voted against the Iraq AUMF in 2002.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
178

I couldn't tell you why Clinton is emphasizing the hawkish language

Because it is entirely consistent with the rest of her career. People keep intimating that it's just election year positioning, but this isn't a rhetorical switch for her.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
179

175.last is very puzzling. As apo notes, Hillary has been up-front about Obama having resisted her advice to intervene in Syria.

I was an Obama voter, but a Hillary sympathizer in 2008, because I didn't find either candidate's AUMF position as being indicative of how they'd actually govern.

However, I thought it would be a good idea for the voters to deep-six an AUMF-supporting candidate pour encourager les autres.

Turns out, les autres is apparently Hilllary herself, and it didn't do a damn thing to encourager her. One can only hope that something intervenes to render military interventionism politically toxic, but if the Iraq War itself didn't do that, I can't imagine what will.

Shorter me: Apo is right and we're fucked.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
180

I don't like her either. With respect to Syria, she was Secretary of State at the time. I gather that she's suggesting that Obama browbeat her or something.

Alright, well, do we have another candidate? Or, was it in fact right and proper to have left Syria alone? This is still a valid question.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
181

If we all believe in it hard enough then Elizabeth Warren will be president!

That's how it works, right? I think that's how it works.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
182

I feel certain that that's how it works.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
183

Alright, well, do we have another candidate?

In 2014, HRC is the 800-pound gorilla of political fundraising. I have trouble imagining anybody beating her for the nomination (but it seemed that way 8 years ago as well, so) or even mounting anything more than a Sanders- or Kucinich-style symbolic challenge. I also have trouble imagining any of the current GOP hopefuls beating her in a general election.

Obama didn't have to browbeat her. She was his advisor, not vice versa. I, of course, think not getting involved in Syria has been the smartest FP decision of the Obama presidency.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
184

Not getting involved in Syria is No. 2 behind not bombing Iran.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
185

Good point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
186

If we all believe in it hard enough then Elizabeth Warren will be president!

One step at a time. I'm focusing my will on compelling her to run.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
187

183: or even mounting anything more than a Sanders- or Kucinich-style symbolic challenge.

Or a Warren-style challenge. We've been around this block before. This is discussed at length at DKos and elsewhere. It's extremely annoying that the Clinton gorilla is sucking all the air out of the room, but again, we've been here before. The question is whether it can be changed.

As it stands, the American public is captured.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
188

Barring something completely unforeseeable (which isn't to say I think it's impossible, lots of stuff is unforeseeable two years out, I'm just saying we can't plan on anything else), Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee in 2016. If we're lucky, she'll win the general, and before then Obama and Reid will force through some reforms making it easier to get appointments through. By 2020 or 2024 Texas will be purple, Florida will be reliably blue, and enough Tea Partiers will have died off to have a more or less sane Republican Party.

If we're unlucky, in 2016 she'll lose the general, the conventional wisdom will blame it on Clinton being too liberal, and we'll have the 2000s all over again but from a worse starting point.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
189

The main reason I don't see Hillary getting beaten by a Democrat is that I have a hard time seeing a scenario where I'd vote against her.

Certainly I'd vote for Warren. Maybe Biden. Sure, I might vote for Sanders or Kucinich, but so what?

Will any of them run? Who else is out there?

At the beginning of the 2008 primary season, Hillary was my third choice. Nowadays, Hillary is the ship, and all else is the sea.

And in case I'm not being clear about how hopeless it all is, please note that Douglass's linked remarks came nearly 80 years before African Americans got de jure equality in this country.

The only available alternative to a grim American future is a catastrophic one.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:27 PM
horizontal rule
190

Biden. I'd go for Biden. He's not stupid. He's overshadowed by Clinton, and she's a bit of a bitch for doing that.

Unfortunately I think that Warren is better off with domestic policy and doesn't have much experience in foreign policy (not that Obama did, I know), so I'd like to see Warren focus on that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
191

Biden. I'd go for Biden. He's not stupid. He's overshadowed by Clinton, and she's a bit of a bitch for doing that.

As someone who's fond of Biden, both real-world Biden and Onion Joe, and doesn't think much of HRC, may I say WTF, parsimon? What a surprisingly misogynistic, and confused about how much of a chance VPs generally have of doing anything interesting, thing to say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
192

I'm getting really tired of my cell phone ringing six or seven times a day with either no caller ID or numbers that Google tells me are associated with democratic fundraising. I guess maybe I should try answering it once and telling them to stop bothering me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
193

He's overshadowed by Clinton, and she's a bit of a bitch for doing that.

Surely this isn't how you meant that to come out. Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to edit it to make any decent sense out of it.

As an aside, I don't think you can non-ironically call women bitches any more. A few months ago, I had occasion to discuss an awful woman I know, with a person who knows how awful she is. I called her a bitch. The sound of it really clanged. I won't do it again.

But, see, this is why I'm probably going to have to pull the lever for Clinton. My wife thinks that a lot of liberal hostility toward Hillary is straightforwardly misogynist, and of course she has plenty of evidence for that view.

The Missus grudgingly permitted me to vote for Obama in '08, and I'm trying to soften her up for the idea that I'd vote for Warren this time. But to date, Hillary has chosen her enemies well, and whatever else she is, she is the enemy of my enemies.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
194

Hillary has chosen her enemies well,

This is true, and the extent to which her election would send certain people into headsploding freakouts is certainly a mark in her favor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
195

193 I think blaming misogyny is too convenient by half, because the same people are complaining about Obama on the same grounds: too deferential (Obama) or a source (Clinton) of the current Washington consensus. Clinton isn't showing any signs of understanding how much things have changed since 1995.

I'm going to vote for her, but I wish she'd get with the times a bit.

No one is going to deny her this nomination, and time spent speculating or wishing for a challenge is (a) wasted and (b) of no positive value. Instead, we should maybe spend that exact time and energy criticizing the Republicans. Who are worse in every conceivable way, as we've all agreed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
196

I've come to the same conclusion as Charley. I've never liked her, but I'm for both giving her some space, not being all over her about things like the recent interview, and especially hitting back and complaining about the press's self-admitted propensity to "cover her hard," about stupid stuff like speaking fees and the foundation.

I worked the phone bank for Obama during the early primaries, using my laptop to tell voters who called in from say Ohio where their polling place was; the wonders of the internet. I was a legal observer when the campaign came to Indiana, and we expected the possibility of some challenges from regulars supporting Hillary, which never materialized.

So Hillary was our opponent, then. But I have to say, I thought she got stronger and was a better campaigner as the campaign went on. No, she never recovered from the initial stumbles, but by summer I liked her more than I ever had.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
197

FWIW I'm with 195 & 196. I wish it were otherwise but it's not and it's not going to be so we'd best get to it with the best we've got because we know what they're all about.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
198

I'm really always out of touch on this stuff, so this is a genuine question. Last time, as far as I remember, Hillary was an unstoppable juggernaut. Is there something different that makes her really unstoppable this time? The additional experience as Sec. of State? Really no competition lined up (I don't think I knew who Obama was in '06, but I'm really always out of touch.)?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
199

198 -- Edwards was a formidable opponent early on, so it was always going to be a race, and Obama really was sui generis coming along and beating her like that. One has to expect that she and her team are making sure nothing like that ever happens again. And, more positively, one assumes she'll have her people read the rule books about how delegates are chosen etc this time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
200

Back to the OP: holy crap.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
201

?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
202

198 -- Iraq. She was tied too closely to the signature disaster of the man everyone hated.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
203

I think blaming misogyny is too convenient by half

My actual point is so banal as to be tautological. I'm only blaming misogyny for misogyny. And pointing out that Hillary is a woman, and thus subject to quite a lot of misogyny.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
204

201: reporters getting arrested, cops teargassing protesters and using those weird-ass sonic weapons... I dunno, see twitter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
205

200 is exactly right. Is there a Ferguson peshmerga we can arm?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
206

Somebody RT'd on my twitter was calling for white people to go to Ferguson to be, for lack of a better word, human shields for the black protesters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
207

204.last: Twitter list reporting from Ferguson


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
208

The WaPo story on their reporter getting arrested.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
209

Hillary was quite unpopular in 2007 in a way that she is not today. Being Secretary of State gave her a sustained bump in the polls.

That poll series measures "favorability," but it doesn't convey how deeply despised she was by the people who didn't rate her favorably. My recollection is that there were periods when something close to half of Americans said they wouldn't vote for her for president under any circumstances.

Furthermore, as Charley points out, she might have learned to count delegates in the interim.

My hunch: We hate women a bit less than we used to; Hillary has compiled a respectable record in a highly visible, responsible role; and Obama's presidency opened Americans up to the possibility that old white guys are not the only folks fit for the presidency.

But she does seem prone to political stupidity. I can't help but summarize her recent foreign policy statement as "Do Stupid Shit." And on this occasion, at least, I'm not sure Americans are prepared to get behind stupid shit.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:33 PM
horizontal rule
210

208: And here's the Twitter page of the WaPo reporter involved. His own picture is perhaps the most revealing thing on the page.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
211

Here's a live stream. Holy shit. The police started firing tear gas a few minutes ago.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
212

Err, maybe that's not actually live. My bad. Still, jesus.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
213

Somebody had got to step in and stop this any second now, right? Right? !


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
214

191: VPs of two-term presidents do generally get the nomination (with the caveat that N is very small (4? 5 if you count Humphrey?) in the modern era). Cheney aside (I kind of doubt that he bowed out for fear of being trounced by McCain; he just wasn't interested), you could argue that it's Biden's "turn," for what that's worth.

198: Clinton was heavily favored in '08 but there were plenty of plausible candidates (including Biden, Edwards, Bayh, etc). Who except Biden is even thinking about running this time?

(None of the above should be taken to endorse applying the b-word to Clinton, which was foolish.)


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:58 PM
horizontal rule
215

Unfortunately I think that Warren is better off with domestic policy and doesn't have much experience in foreign policy

Well, this isn't a terrible thing. Bill Clinton had zero foreign policy experience. FDR had zero foreign policy experience. Obama had pretty much zero.

I don't think I knew who Obama was in '06, but I'm really always out of touch.

You'd probably heard of him because the Crazification Factor post was October 2005 and that's about Obama.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:26 AM
horizontal rule
216


I love me some Elizabeth Warren as much as the next tax-and-spend liberal, but I caution you folks not to impute the dovish tendencies to her that some of you seem to be imputing. AFAIK she has been mostly silent on foreign policy issues, and if she were ever elected president, she would be surrounded by the same foreign policy hands, more or less, that would serve in a Clinton administration. I would conjecture that she would feel under more pressure than Hillary to show "toughness", as the first woman president and a Massachusetts pinko to boot.

On Iran specifically, even if she had the right instincts, the institutional pressures (from Congress, friends of AIPAC, and the permanent foreign policy bureaucracy) would severely limit her flexibility to affect a rapprochement.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:44 AM
horizontal rule
217

...though, in fairness, there is a lot of middle ground between "refraining from bombing" and "affecting a rapprochement". I'd totally settle for the former.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:53 AM
horizontal rule
218

191, 193: I don't think you can non-ironically call women bitches any more. A few months ago, I had occasion to discuss an awful woman I know, with a person who knows how awful she is. I called her a bitch. The sound of it really clanged. I won't do it again.

Sorry. Mayhap I should have said "asshole" or "jerk" or some such. I really don't think my annoyance with Clinton is misogynistic, but if "bitch" is a troublesome term insofar as it's gendered, I won't use it again. What I meant, in any case, is that Clinton is sucking the air out of the room without even declaring her candidacy as yet, while pretending that she's merely on a book tour, nothing more. I feel that she should declare, or firmly decline, but this prevarication on her part is getting in the way of other potential candidates raising money and so on. It's hobbling the rest of the Democratic field, and it's obnoxious. I'd say the same if she were male.

Sorry -- I'm a bit grumpy today.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
219

218: That's a bare thread to hang an argument on. She obviously running, even if she's not yet prepared to admit it. If the party wasn't fully convinced she was running, we'd be seeing other plausible candidates jockeying to be next in line. If she doesn't run, after quietly collecting endorsements and elbowing everybody else out of the way, that would be a real a-hole move, and potentially throw the election to the Rs.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:12 PM
horizontal rule
220

Right, that's idiotic. If she (without some good reason) didn't run now, then other potential candidates would have a reasonable basis for a grudge. But she (apparently) is running, and just hasn't formally announced yet, which is perfectly conventional. She's overshadowing other potential candidates by being a formidable opponent, not by doing anything improper.

And calling her a bitch or any non-gendered version thereof for overshadowing Biden particularly is really nuts. He's the VP. Traditionally, anyone in that role can be overshadowed by dust. See, e.g. Whatever Became of Hubert?, Lehrer, T.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
221

220: To recapitulate 214 a bit, I think you're exaggerating, particularly as regards presidential nominations. Barring Cheney, you have to go back to 1920 for a second-term VP who didn't get nominated. It's got to be quite a kick in the gendered balls for Biden to have the country look him over and say, meh.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
222

I thought it was understood from the beginning--from once he accepted the nomination to be VP candidate--that this would be the highest he'd go, he'd retire when he was done, and he had graduated to elder statesman status (I want to add "with dignity" although that doesn't seem quite right...let's go with "with gravitas"). He's older than Reagan was in 1980 (although not as old as McCain).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
223

221: Not that as a VP (without consideration of his age and so on), he'd be an implausible candidate. But thinking it's at all surprising that anyone in a position to speak and act freely (like HRC) is able to be more interesting than a VP is weird -- they have so little scope to do or say anything. They're likely candidates because they have access to the incumbent's machine, usually, not because being a VP is a good way to look good.

You don't have to be an asshole to overshadow a VP, you just have to be active.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
224

And 222 was my impression. I'm very fond of the guy, but I didn't think his selection as VP was in any way expected to groom him for the presidency. (I will always love him for getting confused, or impatient, or whatever happened, and forgetting that the administration wasn't in favor of gay marriage quite yet.)(Under the assumption that was a real screw-up rather than a stunt, but my impression was that it was real.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
225

They could just swamp places on the ticket. America has never had a black vice president and I think breaking barriers like that is important.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
226

By that I mean Biden-Obama in 2016.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
227

Actually, what about Biden-Michelle Obama? Keep the dynastic thing going. And she's young and healthy by politician standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
228

I think it's pretty clear that Biden, unlike Cheney, would love to be president if everybody could just do him a favor and ignore that he's too old and kind of a schmuck.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
229

225: It worked for Russia.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
230

The dynastic thing is my main worry about Clinton. It wouldn't be so bad if she were widowed, but it will be strange to have a former occupant of the White House back again as first gentleman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
231

Mostly, I worry about that from Hillary's point of view. It's all too easy to picture Bill lounging on that couch in the Oval Office kibbitzing, which would have to be irritating as all get out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
232

Maybe he'll stay in NYC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
233

231: Irritating, but a great idea for a multi-camera sitcom.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
234

Right, exactly. I see him with a bag of potato chips (although he probably doesn't eat like that anymore).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
235

At this point if Biden wanted to run for President in 2016 we would know. He doesn't (barring some catastrophic scenario, like Hillary dying). What combination of deals/personal decisions/involvement of Obama/calculation of likelihood of success led to this result I don't think we know, but the conclusion is dead clear that Biden is just not running in 2016.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
236

I worry that she's going to be dealing with leaders from places where men aren't accustomed to dealing with women as leaders and those leaders will keep asking her if Bill is O.K. with something she's doing and that she'll eventually get so frustrated that she bombs the U.A.E. or our local plumbers union here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
237

Are there any other Democrats at all running? I literally don't know a single name, but I generally wouldn't this far out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
238

234: Quinoa! I read in Modern Maturity that's his particular favorite now. That got me thinking if he could have been elected President if he ate like that in 1992. I'm thinking no.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
239

I don't know. The Peruvian vote is very powerful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
240

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/211227-biden-dont-forget-about-me


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
241

Also, why are you reading Modern Maturity?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
242

Bernie Sanders has openly speculated about runnng.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
243

He is the guy in position if she gets hit by a meteor, and while it's not likely that anything happens to her between now and 2016, it's not incredibly unlikely. So he could perfectly well be 'not running' but still keeping himself looking plausible in case she's somehow out of the picture.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
244

237: George Will wrote an editorial talking about what a great liberal Sherrod Brown is, and how he's so much cooler than Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren, but liberals are just too caught up in identity politics to see this. But I don't think Sherrod is stupid enough to take George Will seriously.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
245

241: What? You don't think I'm mature?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
246

Accusing a politician of deliberately overshadowing competitors is accusing a politician of being effective.

So the question naturally follows: Why would anyone think that being effective makes someone a b-b-b-ad person? The gendered insult is particularly unfortunate in the context of baseless criticism, because it suggests an answer to that question.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
247

Warren's not actually running, is she? Or is that in doubt at all?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
248

This factcheck of accusations about Biden finds him guilty of almost everything he's accused of, and makes me like him better.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
249

I feel that she should declare, or firmly decline, but this prevarication on her part is getting in the way of other potential candidates raising money and so on.

But does anyone seriously think she's not going to run? For good or ill, the coyness is a firm tradition at this point*, and other potentials can interpret it. Or more to the point, if she formally declared, would that return any air to the room, or would it just make it worse? I think the real main issue is the shallow bench besides her.

* A holdover from when it was Not Done for candidates to openly say they wanted to be president? Or something arcane about campaign finance?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
250

Warren has pretty emphatically denied any plans for a candidacy, and isn't perceived as engaging in the behaviors necessary to prepare for a bid. Us Warren fans are just engaged in wishful thinking.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
251

231: It's all too easy to picture Bill lounging on that couch in the Oval Office kibbitzing

Oh, is that what they're calling it now?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
252

I read somewhere that HRC polls much better when she's not a candidate. If true, then, one would expect her to delay as long as possible.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
253

One assumes she has to become a candidate before the actual election.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
254

Sure, but why have a bunch of unflattering things going on, when one can just quietly raise money and lock up support?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
255

Are vice presidents term limited? If you were a awesome veep could you just keep running? Like a executive branch Ed McMahon?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
256

Is Brian "my gaydar is 60-70 percent" Schweitzer now definitely not running now?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
257

He was never running, but telling the truth about Sen Feinstein was a step too far for the Village, so you won't be seeing him at all for a while.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
258

249: Or more to the point, if she formally declared, would that return any air to the room, or would it just make it worse?

I think the principal difference between my perspective on this and that of everyone else here who's voiced an opinion is that I'm not 100% sure she intends to run. I mean, I find it hard to believe that she won't, given her behavior -- looking for all the world as though she is indeed, sure as hell, going to run -- but on the other hand, I honestly would not be shocked out of my mind if she regretfully announced that she'd decided against it. She's getting up there in years; right around the time she retired as Sect'y of State, she was looking very tired, even haggard.

It's that possibility that has made me annoyed; it's that possibility that makes her current non-campaigning an air suck. If her answer is "No", she should say so. Feel free to explain that I'm nuts to even consider the possibility -- but it's probably not necessary.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:38 PM
horizontal rule
259

No, it's occurred to me too. We've got viable former candidates, Gore & Kerry, whom we could rally round if we had to. Lots depends on what the Republicans come up with, and there isn't an overwhelming favorite there either.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:11 PM
horizontal rule