I haven’t found the heart to post anything for the last several days because, frankly, I’m bored with the stories that are out there.

I’ve pretty much said my piece on the scandals that are out there. I think they’re all scandals of various different degrees of severity and that none of them will touch the president himself although I think that Eric Holder has become a liability for the administration. The real question guiding whether Mr. Holder remains Attorney General is whether he’s a net liability and the jury is still out on that. As I’ve said elsewhere every administration needs a lightning rod and for the Obama Administration that’s Eric Holder. As long as he can satisfy that function, shielding the president, from the White House’s standpoint he remains a net asset and he’ll stay.

Even Benghazi is a scandal although it’s in a different class from the others. As far as I know nobody’s alleging any actual wrongdoing in the matter—just boneheadedness, recklessness, and a feckless and quickly untenable week-long attempt at diverting attention from what actually happened. It’s essentially a policy disagreement. Should Benghazi even have had a consulate? IMO Libya is barely a country at all at this point. We don’t generally send diplomats to cities but to countries and especially not to cities teetering on the brink of chaos.

Most American just don’t care what happens in Libya, even to American diplomats so I doubt the matter will go much of anywhere. It’s just an irritation.

The IRS affair, the Rosen thing, and the AP thing are still festering. We’ll know whether anything becomes of them in the fullness of time.

I think the economy is slowly stalling but today everybody has their own facts and can try and make their case that everything’s hunky-dory. I don’t see how that case can be made without at least a twinge of shame as long as so many people remain unemployed or underemployed.

Syria may expand into a regional war. Since we’re not going to back Assad (which would be the surest way to end the violence), we’re not going to do much there. Sad as it is our best course is probably to maintain a low profile.

The EU’s economic policy is, apparently, to muddle along. They don’t know what else to do. Nothing they can do as long as Germany has all the marbles.

Maybe Japan’s experiment in reviving its slow economy will work. I doubt that those who’ve been cheering Abenomics along will be at all embarrassed if it flops.

I wonder what Kim Jong-un is up to. No good, probably.

25 comments… add one
  • jan Link


    Your post seemed more melancholy than bored. But, maybe I’m simply projecting my own feelings on everything that is going on lately.

    There are times when I don’t see how Eric Holder can escape the ‘get-out-of-here’ trap door. However, this administration has so successfully deflected issues, sidestepping accountability, that it has become an admired talent of theirs by other politicos. So far, they have either been able to effectively blame others, apply rose-colored glasses to what is really a sad state of affairs, or simply move sideways from messes, misting the public with amnesia spray so that people get bored losing interest in the relevance of government abuses/overreach, and/or incompetence.

    Therefore, maybe all these controversies will slowly evaporate. Holder, Obama, et al, will continue to do what they want to do. The GOP will continue to complain about it. The dems will continue to defame the republicans. And, either nothing will change, or all will get worse.

    “Say goodnight Gracie!”

  • Afghaniman Link

    What if the conflict in Syria does become regional? Iran and the GCC are pretty much all in already, short of deploying their own forces. It’s already spilled over into Lebanon and it looks like Iraq, too. I fear we’re just sitting on our laurels, basically giving Russia a veto over taking action (I’m not talking about deploying forces or no-fly) which will be for naught as we’ll get sucked in anyway if it does become regional.

  • TastyBits Link


    … basically giving Russia a veto over taking action …

    Russia is not being given anything. Russia is playing a different game. The Cold War was a good time for Russia, and Putin is a throwback to that time. Syria is going to be run by somebody with Russian approval. Russia got burned in Libya, and it is not going to happen again.

    The solution in Syria is simple but brutal. Allow Russia to install their bastard, and allow their bastard to crack-down on the rebels. Then, Russia will need to keep Syria on a leash.

  • Afghaniman Link

    Russia has failed to keep Syria on a leash because it allowed Iran’s proxy to become militarily involved in the conflict, spreading the risk of even wider contagion. If they can’t do the one, why should I suppose they do the other?

    With regards to crack-downs, they aren’t as easy as they used to be for this region; if anything they only set the stage for the next uprising.

  • Russia’s not going to let Syria go. That would be disastrous to its strategic interests.

    Over the last twenty-five years or so Russia has seen its allies with Mediterranean ports peeled away, one by one. First Egypt, long ago, then Libya, and now Syria. It can’t lose access to Syria’s ports.

    There are only two outcomes satisfactory to the Russians. Syria could stay intact with Assad (or some equally friendly to them) in charge. That won’t be the rebels. Full stop. Or Syria could be partitioned with an Allawite stronghold friendly to the Russians holding the coast and an inland Sunni mess. Obviously, a disaster.

  • TastyBits Link


    To protect their naval base and contracts, Russia is supporting Assad. Russia is also supporting Iran, but they do not have either on a leash. I am not sure how Hezbollah fighting the rebels is a problem, and I doubt Russia is much concerned about spillover. Actually, Russia benefits through additional weapons sales and oil price increases, and the West in a conniption fit is a bonus.

    As to crackdowns, Assad’s daddy wrote the book on dealing with troublemakers.

  • steve Link

    ” try and make their case that everything’s hunky-dory.”

    Odd. I dont really see people making that claim.


  • You don’t have to look hard. Try this.

  • steve Link

    Oh. I dont read pop sites.


  • jan Link

    Oh. I dont read pop sites.

    What sites do you think are not ‘pop,’ Steve?

    And, BTW, Michael Tomasky, the author of the Daily Beast article is hardly a pop writer, at least IMO. His very liberal pieces have appeared in the The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Harper’s Weekly, The Nation, The Village Voice, The New York Review of Books, Dissent, Lingua Franca, George, etc.

  • jan Link

    Addressing the title of this thread, ‘Bored’, I wonder if you would still have that same feeling if we lived in an alternative universe of having let’s say a Mitt Romney as president since 2009, besieged by the same scandals, and reacting the same way as our real president has reacted?

    The link is how one writer sees the MSM’s play on the identical events, except with a different Commander in Chief at the helm. I concurrently wonder how the conservative media’s response would be. Would they be totally in the bag for Romney, or would they step away and view it more impartially?

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    You could always pontificate about the nation being turned into a lower-class rental nation with all the money the Fed and the Obama Administration has pumped into Wall Street.

    Wall Street played a central role in the last housing boom by supplying easy — and, in retrospect, risky — mortgage financing. Now, investment companies like the Blackstone Group have swooped in, buying thousands of houses in the same areas where the financial crisis hit hardest.

    Blackstone, which helped define a period of Wall Street hyperwealth, has bought some 26,000 homes in nine states. Colony Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, is spending $250 million each month and already owns 10,000 properties. With little fanfare, these and other financial companies have become significant landlords on Main Street. Most of the firms are renting out the homes, with the possibility of unloading them at a profit when prices rise far enough.

    Massive deficits “forcing” primary dealers to buy up Treasuries on the front end, the Fed buying them back via Operation Twist and Quantitavie Easing versions 1, 2, 3 and Lazy Eight, plus the Fed pumping up its own inventory of MBSs, and VIOLA! Easy money for the Big Boys to buy up tens of thousands of distressed properties all over the nation, creating an ever larger class of people that must rent. (We know a couple down here that can’t buy a house because damned near every house worth buying gets swooped up by some investor in an all cash transaction before they can even make a call.)

    What a great country!

    I dont really see people making that claim.

    You and Reynolds made that claim non-stop throughout 2012, telling everyone how great the Obama Recovery was every chance you could. Obama is author of the greatest economy known to man according to you two. That was your story last year, anyway.

  • Ben Wolf Link
  • What a great country!

    If you have wealth and connections.

    Its funny, I put forward a reason why income inequality is bad…when you have a system that is easily influence and where the government has broad discretionary powers, it can basically create a type of corporatocracy.

    steve’s respones: well of course we’d expect the libertarian minded commenter to say that.

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    Its funny….

    Funny “ha ha” or funny insane?

    (Don’t bother answering, Steve V., it’s purely a rhetorical question.)

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    Or you could cover the story that the Obama Administration is secretly spying on millions of Americans via their phone records. No doubt they’re using data from cell phones to track people. But you know, the important thing is that Romney wears funny underwear.

  • jan Link


    I saw that verizon story this morning. The IRS, EPA abuses continue to pile on. The DOJ seems like a hatchet department for the WH, and not dealing with justice for the people. Our foreign policy has fallen into the category of “What foeign policy?” The post of NSA is now handed over to a Benghazi bimbo — what else can you call Rice? We have a VP who is a clown. An self-isolated POTUS who lives and throws lavish parties in the WH, is Hollywood’s darling, but is otherwise detached from taking responsibility or even knowing what is happening in his kingdom. The surveillance in this country is beyond the recall of any other administration. According to UCLA’s Anderson School of Business our economy continues to falter, remaining uncertain and weak. But, of course the regular folks out there, already know this. It’s only the liberal elites who throw kisses out, say everything is great, and explain criticisms away by claiming they’re nothing more than racial slurs against a black president . And, then we have the ACA barreling down the tracks, as it’s weighty and confusing regulations ready themselves for implementation.

  • jan Link

    ….oh I might add that our kids are becoming less and less prepared and educated for adult life. The incomes of middle class people are going down, as is their net worth or future hopes for a turnaround. Wastefulness and ludicrous behavior describes our bureaucratic and bloated government that is only getting bigger. Wall Street, though, as are the big banks, are doing great under this POTUS who mouths he is for the little people. It’s all nonsense and cognitive dissonance!

    The sad fact remains that if this scenario was unfolding under a George Bush administration, boy would the media language and coverage be vastly different!

    In the meantime, two IRS whistle blowers may come forward and contradict the sworn testimony of Steve Miller, Schulman, and Lois Lerner who blamed the IRS targeting on rogue agents in Ohio, pointing fingers at higher-up legal entities in DC, instead.

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    The post of NSA is now handed over to a Benghazi bimbo — what else can you call Rice?

    Someone that does what they’re told. What more could the boss want in a sensitive position demanding discretion, discernment and the ability to tell the boss the things he needs to know that contradict what he believes?


  • jan Link

    Not only were Rice’s distorted assessments on Benghazi troubling, but then you have her inactions in the Rwandan genocide, which should have been career-ending for anyone but a social progressive. Instead, though, such a woman is promoted under the protected hand of Obama.

  • jan Link

    Daniel Ellsberg, the famous Pentagon Papers leaker has had some choice words regarding how this president regards the freedoms of this country:

    President Barack Obama “has become an elected monarch” who is leading “an unprecedented campaign against unauthorized disclosure.”

    “The government had used the Espionage Act against leaks only three times before his administration,” Ellsberg told The Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday. “He’s used it six times. He’s doing his best to assure that sources in the government will have reason to fear heavy prison sentences for informing the American public in ways he doesn’t want.”

    “In other words, he’s working very hard to make it a government where he controls all the information,” Ellsberg added.

    “I wouldn’t count on the current court with its current makeup making the same ruling with the Pentagon Papers as they did 40 years ago,” Ellsberg told the Post. “I’m sure that President Obama would have sought a life sentence in my case.”

    “Various things that were counted as unconstitutional then have been put in the president’s hands now,” he continued. “He’s become an elected monarch. Nixon’s slogan, ‘when the president does it, it’s not illegal,’ is pretty much endorsed now. Meaning not only Obama but the people who come after him will have powers that no previous president had. Abilities on surveillance that no country in the history of the world has ever had.”

    A prominent defender of fellow leaker Bradley Manning, Ellsberg said that the media will soon be in “the position of printing nothing more than government handouts” and will become “in effect a state press, as in so many other countries that lack freedom of the press.”

    I’ve boldened his words that are the most chilling. However, the totality of Ellsberg’s comments are damning and ring true.

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    Or you could write about the sudden drop in labor costs, which is to say “pay”, in the first quarter of the year.

    “The decline in hourly compensation is the largest in the series, which begins in 1947. “

    Great times we’re living in!

  • Icepick:

    There’s no lack of people covering the Verizon call records story. I don’t have a distinctive take on it. I’m ag’in it.

    At this point I don’t have much more to say about the pay/employment picture. I’m one of the relatively few who has beaten that drum for years.

    Nearly every time I read an OTB comments thread somebody is chortling about how wonderful things are. Regardless of the subject matter of the post. They’ll produce lists of things that are going well, ignoring the pay/employment issues.

  • Comrade Icepick Link

    The most interesting thing about the Verizon story (certainly not limited to Verizon) is that the story was broken open by a British paper, or at least that’s where I first saw it. I’m noticing a lot of decent coverage of American stories in English papers these days, better than what’s available state-side.

    The second most interesting thing is that the Senate Intelligence Committee rushed out to state that (a) this is all perfectly legal and (b) that they’re aware of this going on. In other words, and to the shock of no one paying attention, this story won’t go anywhere because the elites of both parties support it. The domestic press will STFU about it shortly.

    The third most interesting thing is seeing graph theory get discussed in some comment sections. But that’s not really news to me so I’m not too interested in that aspect. There’s a good chance I know one of the people that is analyzing the data, or rather, one of the people creating the tools to analyze the data.

    As for the economic news, it is astounding to me that the press has recently discovered that the economy exists, and that they perceive that it isn’t doing so well. No shit, assholes. Check out that little detail about there being two million fewer jobs now than five years ago, and four million fewer full time jobs.

  • jan Link

    The most interesting thing about the Verizon story (certainly not limited to Verizon) is that the story was broken open by a British paper, or at least that’s where I first saw it.

    Yup, The Guardian broke the verizon story. Another good British newspaper is the Telegraph. Our MSM just lingers on the sidelines, hoping all the bad stuff goes away.

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