Four Corners

California Debate

Dean Smith at North Carolina used to run a strategy known as “four corners” to burn up the clock and preserve a lead. The essence was to deny an opponent an opportunity by taking a shot or risk a rebound. The opposing side eventually would have to create a foul in order to force a free throw and hope to get the ball.

Tonight both camps were playing four corners. This actually makes sense. The crown prince’s 11 point rise in the polls and $32 million fundraising would caution against a blunder in a state he has already written off — except to attrit some of HRC’s support among various demographics. This he largely accomplished.

HRC, reeling from Bubba’s missteps and a forced Potemkin staged event in Florida, could ill afford to confirm the Clintons as holdovers from the Republican and Movement’s creation of the politics of personal destruction. This, too, she largely accomplished. No gutter theatrical.

Largely uninformative. And to paraphrase Napoleon, it was worse than uninformative. It was boring.


  1. Delia says

    Slight correction. It wasn’t Napoleon. It was his erstwhile employee, Tallyrand, the ultimate survivor of regime change, you’re thinking of. “It was worse than a crime. It was a blunder.” Sort of a cynical summation of our times.

  2. A Random Quote says

    “Dubbed ‘Kinda-Lies-a-Lot’ by the Jersey Girls, Ms. Rice comes across as almost clueless about the terrorist threat. ‘Whatever her job title, Rice seemed uninterested in actually advising the president,’ Mr. Shenon writes. ‘Instead, she wanted to be his closest confidante — specifically on foreign policy — and to simply translate his words into action.'”
    ~NY Times Book Review 2-3-08

  3. Comment says

    There is just so much wrong stylistically with Richard Clarke’s op-ed . We agree with the substance, but if we were Bushians on the radio we could have fun mocking his pious pose, his self-importance, his redundancy, his thinly veiled resentment. But also his use of gov-speak shows us why people like Huck and Obama get praise for speaking like normal human beings. Did he mention dingell-norwood or whatever bills Bob Dole or Gephardt touted

  4. A Random Quote says

    “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that, at the age of 88, I would find myself denounced in The New York Times for antiwar views expressed in 1943 at the age of 23.

    In his review of Jacob Heilbrunn’s “They Knew They Were Right” (Jan. 13), Timothy Noah, following Heilbrunn, quotes me as a Trotskyist in 1944 publicly dismissing the “near hysterical insistence upon the pressing military danger” and holding fast to the conviction that “the Allies were no different from the Axis in their imperialism.”

    I wrote the article from which Heilbrunn quotes in May 1943 (not in 1944) as an ex-Trotskyist. I had quit the “party” the previous year, at the ripe age of 22, but still bore some of the stigmata of that “left-wing infantilism,” as we used to say. By 1944 I was an infantryman in the United States Army, first in France and then in Germany, convinced that this was a just and necessary war — as, I might add, is the war we are now engaged in.”
    ~Irving Kristol
    NY Times 2-3-08

  5. Comment says

    Down goes Brady!
    Down goes Brady!
    Down Goes Brady!

    AUDACITY! Obama!
    Sorry Doc, couldn’t resist/

  6. Comment says

    If the Giants can pull this out – look for lots of bad political comparisons to be made by many people.

  7. A Random Quote says

    “God damm the continent of Europe. It is of merely antiquarian interest. Rome is only a few years behind Tyre + Babylon. The negroid streak creeps northward to defile the Nordic race. Already the Italians have the souls of blackamoors. Raise the bars of immigration and permit only Scandanavian, Teutons, Anglo Saxons, and Celts to enter. France made me sick. It’s silly pose as the thing the world has to save. I think it’s a shame that England and America didn’t let Germany conquer Europe. It’s the only thing that would have saved the fleet of tottering old wrecks … I believe at last in the white man’s burden. We are as far above the modern frenchman as he is above the negro. Even in art! Italy has no one. When Anatole France dies French literature will be a silly rehashing of technical quarrels. They’re thru + done … We will be the Romans in the next generation as the English are now.”
    ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Letter to Edmund Wilson (7/22)
    (Early paleocon hipster)

  8. A Random Quote says

    “Watching Mukasey was a painful experience. . . .The Senate Judiciary Committee put Michael Mukasey to the test yesterday. And he left the hearing room as an embarrassment to those who have known and worked with him over the last twenty years, and who mistakenly touted his independence and commitment to do the right thing, come what may.”
    ~Scott Horton, Harpers
    (shocked, shocked)

  9. A Random Quote says

    “ … the strong impression which this remarkable man [William Bourke Cockran] made upon my untutored mind. I have never seen his like, or in some respects his equal. With his enormous head, gleaming eyes, flexible countenance, he looked uncommonly like a portrait of Charles James Fox. It was not my fortune to hear any of his orations but his conversations, in point, in pith, in rotundity, in antithesis, and in comprehension, exceeded anything I have ever heard.”
    ~Winston Churchill
    (Makes you wonder what Sir Winston
    would think of our small headed, beedy eyed,
    blinkered countenaced, peevish
    and shakey Warlord)

  10. Comment says

    Just caught the actor Bradley Whitford introducing Hillary and his speech sounded like it was written by Ambassador Joe Wilson wondering in in the hills of Sante Fe after dreaming his ego was crushed by a calustron following a bas trip – Whitford yelled that Hillary would give us schools that would be “shinier than our missles.” wtf.

  11. Anon says

    He lets Condi hog the spotlight – He’s just staff, afterall. He’s willing to take blame; He offered to resign over 16 words. He’s a nice guy. He likes to work late – he doesn’t party. His wife Ann is a lawyer at Justice. They keep quiet. Tour in the navy, Iran-Contra. Move on, nothing to see. Harvey Mansfield could conduct a whole semester intrepreting this highly selective bio sketch:

  12. Anon says

    For dramatic purposes – Nondescript Hadley is the link between the Barlow, Edmunds (via his Scowcroft affiliation), and WilsonPlame cases – All in declining level of seeming importance.

  13. Comment says

    re Hope – Clinton probably felt beseiged by the Hope pincer – The rise of Huckabee threatned his already tenuous hold on the ‘man from Hope’ title, since Huckabee, unlike Clinton, actually is from Hope, not Hot Springs.
    Then Obama using Hope, along with CHANGE, as key slogan-words, begin to envelop Bill’s psyche on the right. Meanwhile, the HRC-Peloisi pincer was subcociously emasculating him – and he was forced to participate in this self-gelding. The poor guy.

  14. Comment says

    Sometime ago we received an email for some we hadn’t chatted with in a while – They wanted to retract all the good things they had said about Prince Charles re his campaign against modern building design as souless glass and concrete boxes – corporate satrapi traps etc. Why? He caugh Charles glowing with admiration at a televised dinner for oleaginous Al Gore and his unctuous movie about global warming. We took note because it was an example of Steyn-esque factionalism on the right that prevent them from seeing how Charles is being consistent, whilst they were being moody and selective.

  15. Comment says

    We were mostly vindicated ree Matthews – Matthews did have a special segment for Super Obama Girl, but you could tell he was nervous and spoke about it in a crabbed way – and then he showed the least titilating parts of the video. Unlike in the recent past – He did not drool and over-extol the woman. Then he alludes, in very quiet language to HRC staring Obama down as Obama critiques HRC’s Iraq vote – Once again, post Media Matters smackdown, he was very subdued in his analysis – He did not show HRC’s cool white stare. He did not linger and rewind and repeat endlessly. He is still nervous – probing for outer limits of acceptable Tweety-dum that won’t provoke the feminists.

  16. A Random Quote says

    “General Curtis LeMay, the retired Air Force Chief of Staff, was attending a stag dinner in the country with old friends when the conversation turned to the recent appointment of Henry Kissinger as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The general stood and grumped: “I remember him. He was a crypto-left-winger when he was teaching at Harvard and a dangerous pinko when he was serving John Kennedy.” Another former general in the group arose and said, “Curt, I can forgive you occassionally for not knowing *what* you’re talking about. But in this case it’s obvious you don’t know *who* you’re talking about. You’ve mixed up Henry Kissinger with Arthur Schlesinger.” LeMay nodded sheepishly and sat down.
    Ofcourse, it is difficult to keep track of all the intellectuals with strange sounding names and unorthodox notions who orbit the campuses, think tanks, and government.” While renowned in those circles, Henry Alfred Kissinger is not exactly, as Sprio Agnew might have said, a household name.”
    ~Time Magazine 2-14-69

  17. A Random Quote says

    “As a wielder of behind-the-scenes influence, South Carolina’s Senator Strom Thurmond is sometimes pictured as a rival of Rasputin.”
    ~Time Magazine 2-14-1969

  18. Comment says

    Last point about the debate – When we started ‘liveblogging’ we noted Obama’s pre-emptive politeness and HRC’s cool white stare –

    The cool white stare warmed up during the debate and by the end it was sort of a warm glowing overwatch. No doubt, Tweety noticed the cool white stare and he probably wished to note it, but was afraid of beging called means or sexist.
    Anyway – since HRC warmed up, this shows Obama maintaining am emotional edge in the debate – In that he could have led her in a different emotional direction whereas his mood was probably even no matter what she did. This is a rather off analysis, granted – But he who leads, leads.

  19. Comment says

    HRC’s argument about the Iraq vote is intellectually plausible, but emotionally incredible. Bush did say at that time that it was not a vote for war. But it’s interesting that everyone is now expected to discount Bush’s remarks and assume they were always known to be insincere.

    If we were HRC – we would point to the media reaction and the right wing reaction to Paul O’Neil’s book in early 2004. They acted surprised, angered, and contentious when O’Neil suggested Bush always intended war and did not just arrive at war following the process of inspections etc/.

    But again – this is all emotionally unconvincing because the Inner Party Meme is that HRC knew Bush was lying and operated accordingly.

  20. Comment says

    Just saw Russert on and surprise surprise he made some bad football jokes and then promised us all Mary Matalan and James Carville this Sunday – The Matalan/Carville schtick is most un-immuminating and Russert is especially annoying when he continues to push them.

  21. Comment says

    A good anti-compass is the NY Times – HRC has many things going for her, but the NY Times editorial in her favor was just bilge – Just awful stuff. It was written in style that resembled someone making fun of the Times.

    Just the other day we came accross an old copy of the NYT that was in a pile and it was condescending editorial about Googles IPO – Ofcourse, the editorial was most amused by Googles’s likely mkt. cap expected to be 27 Billlion. They spoke condescendingly of the scrappy Googlers. It sounded like a Gail Collins work = Wonder what she thinks about Googles 170plus Billion mkt. cap now? Now MSN is offering 44 billion for Yahoo – Probably wise for Yahoo.
    Anyway – this is all hocus pocus for Obama.

  22. Comment says

    Chuck Todd – a very bright analyst – summed up what we were trying to say = He says HRC did not clean his clock, like she normally does – Since Obama held his own in a basic tie, he won. This was the logic behind Bush’s debate ‘wins’ but Bush was given far more brownie points for not drooling than is customary. Wolf, IMO, did the best job.

  23. Comment says

    If Jon Stewart is looking for good footage, he can do not better that clip the George Cloony interview with Kieran Chetry. Hilarious, but hard to explain why.

  24. Comment says

    Again – The Churchill Option – is the way to go. Maybe Sid Blumenthal with figure out the language – But the Britism Empire withdrew from Iraq a number of times and always figured out how to make a prudent retreat sound bold and creative,
    But the Churchill Option should not include use of chemical weapons, this time. Just getting Churchills name associated with withdrawl and making that a plausible meme with a perecentage of the public , would be a proganda victory and will really screw with the use of Churchill for warmongering in the future. Tweety just got a Churchill awards – which shows a dilution of the currency.

  25. Comment says

    Post debate coverage will now focus on the celebrities in the crowd. Mitt Romney, we predict, will immediately bring up the Hollywood aspect of the debate. Romney never shies away from such low appeals. He is like Bush 41 with his ‘campaign mode’ poses.
    Just a passing note on the McCain V. Romney debate – It’s interesting to Joe S. and everyone else call McCain a liar re Mitt’s “timetable” statement. IMO – McCain is not lying because he assumed that everyone in the GOP wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years and Mitt’s sotto voce allusion to leaving, at some point, constitutes a call for withdrawl – In fact, McCain said as much during the last debate, albeith semi-cryptically in that hushed voiced preferred by those who think the grown-up position is to stayin in Iraq forever and that Bush’s public pose early for withdrawl was tactical ruse for the domestic foes.

  26. Comment says

    Hearing Bennett again, we’d say we doubt his sincerity when he says HRC won. Because he has , in the past, suggested Hillary did not win when she won hands down. Bennett can joke all he wants about Clintons being agents of moral hygenie following Bush’s – But gambling jokes aside, we think that most people not names Tweety think Bush’s inability to define torture or war or victory very much trumps Clintons “is” arguments. Bennett and the sclerotic rightists – the kind who affiliate with the laughable Ethics and Public policy crowd, have a blinkered and limited view of public morals and they have no idea how silly they appear to casual obsevers. The colossal number and variety of scandals involving GOP members since Monicagate should be a big STFU sign for Bennett and Will and all those who speak of “hygenie” etc. But they have no idea who they appear

  27. Comment says

    Just to note – Hillary said they bombed Saddam for days because he kicked out inspectors in 1998. This is not really true – Bill Clinton pulled out the inspectors first, then they were not allowed in following Desert Fox bombing – But also – they did not just bomb for a few days, but off and on for his whole term. This just one of these false narratives that has become embedded so much that even people who know it to be false feel they have to pretend it to be true because to explain otherwise is too complicated.
    We really don’t know if HRC is secretly pro permenance – but we suspect it because she has at times pretended to suggest she was surprise Bush used the authorization to attack Iraq. Plus – the logic of permenance is far more compelling now that invasion is a fact and all that oil is just sitting there. In fact – we are so stuck there – that those who really wish to leave will have trouble extricating and Bush and Cheney will be digging us in further and further. The cold logic of the Odom withdrawl case we just heard on the radio is as politically naive as can be, even if it makes sense. The GOP is just aching for a stab-in-the-back meme to re-unify the party on a new myth.
    Actually – Mitt may have the best strategy – Tell whatever set of lies he thinks is necessary to win, then get in office and recalibrate to reality and blame needed withdrawl on Dem profligacy and ignoring China etc.

  28. Comment says

    It remains to be seen who won, in part, because it depends who will have more mistakes or phrases taken out of context and used against them in replay. HRC’s is obviously F.O.S when she says she now wants illegals to not get licenses for their own legal protection. This can be exploited against her because it makes little sense and seems false. We think Obama was wise to make his case against McCain – the highly experienced genial warmonger who got made at Mitt for even implying we’d leave Iraq.

  29. Comment says

    INO Bill Bennett is wrong in his post debate analysis – Which makes sense since we recall he though Lazio defeated Hillary in debates in 2000. HRC dominated all the early debates – But this was a tie, so Obama had his best debate. It wasn’t really a debate because they were sitting down – But the cosy atmosphere destroyed the Tweetys snub narrative. Obama just had to be adequate – In many respects, same as Dubya. Dubya got crushed in the first debates with Gore, but the media swung the debate to him in post debate spin.

  30. Dr Leo Strauss says

    The crown prince we suspect is saying words someone else gave him (which many to such as Team Mitt’s whisper). Say what one will, HRC is without doubt one the more substantive members of SASC in her own right — whether she is for permanence or not.

  31. Comment says

    Hillary managed a good answer to that unfair dynasty question – Logically there is no reason why she should pay for Bush 41, but there you go. 8 years of Hillary and then Marvin Bush will be ready.

  32. Comment says

    Wait a sec – Hillary is now against giving licenses to illegals because that will put them at risk by supplying them evidence of their illegality? Lou Dobbs will pounce since Tweety is still suffering shrinkage.

  33. Comment says

    Intoxicated and mesmerized? Probably – But so are all of them. So far he has fallen short of Dubya’s Divine Right.

  34. Comment says

    He is using Ivo. He needs to.

    re: ” He would be forced by reality even if he intended an “immediate” withdrawal to stage it phases.”

    He has already said this is his approach – he just indicated that he would have a withdrawl be done in a phase responsible way – All differences are semantic – It’s just that some suspect HRC is secretly pro-permenance.

  35. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    HRC would continue the Iraq misadventure for some time. Like the Warlord is now doing re rotating troops back because the Army is near the breaking point. She would find a way like Vietnamization to put US troops in an advisory role to cover the reduction but faster than the Warlord intends.

    This may be the most geostratically sound option out of many bad ones left by Vader and the Warlord. As noted here before, immediate withdrawal is simply a logistical impossibility. We have spoken too and worked with many “logies”. The road down through Basra into Kuwait is difficult, let alone organizing and sequencing the flow back to CONUS. We wrote earlier that the Warlord’s eventual policy would make the bridges of Berezina a slow mo rehearsal. A staged withdrawal covered by rhetoric and substantive (not Cher Condi bs) with diplomacy could avoid such an outcome. Not only for the troops but the massive civilian and contractor base. Alot of the nearly irreplaceable hardware would be left behind (the U.S. is in no fiscal shape to re-equip the Army essentially from scratch) in an attempted “immediate” withdrawal.

    So in the end, alot of what Obama is spouting is empty rhetoric. He is too inexperienced to know that. He is also in the Stiftung’s eyes intoxicated and mesmerized by his own possibilities. Combined with no relevant military background. He would be forced by reality to abandon his rhetoric even if he intended an “immediate” withdrawal to stage it in phases.

    Would that mean he would eschew the forward permanent footprint over the horizon for “lilypad” U.S. entre into the region? Perhaps — and that alone might be a significant decision — certainly worth one of Olbermann’s by now tiresome and irksome “special comments” — Olbermann needs theme music like Bruckner’s 4th — or Jayzee.

    If, after a briefing from military advisors (one hopes less spineless than our Jodls and Keitels, Myers and Pace) it scares the hell out the Stiftung that the crown prince might turn to Ivo Daadler or the like and ask, “Ivo, what should we do, with audacity?”

    Any American should shudder at that possibility.

  36. Comment says

    Barack makes significant advance in his health care answer – as can be demonstrated by HRC beginning her reply with self serving verbiage until she can find her groove. Barack’s ostenatatious praise of Edwards was wise politically. HRC’s response is incoherent, and her Edwards shout out seemed strained.

  37. Comment says

    Hillary is giving him that cool white stare as he expounds on health care and mortgages. Tweety is noticing it, but he is afraid to bring it up.

  38. Comment says

    The stage layout favors Hillary – Barack would be better situated on HRC’s right and the stage lighting is too busy.

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