Hillary's Emoluments

A mostly political weblog.
Dec. 3 2008 1:37 AM

Hillary's Emoluments

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You have to wonder, can the good Bill Gates is doing with his Foundation ever match the suffering caused by Vista? ...

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P.S.:

October,  2001 --Windows XP launches. One month later, economic expansion begins . .

January, 2007 --Windows Vista launches. Ten months later, economy plunges into recession .

Coincidence? I'm not so sure! ... 10:25 P.M.

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At the meeting, the union did not discuss wage and benefit concessions for active employees, said Jeff Everett, a local Chrysler president.

One problem with the Wagner Act is that surviving in a modern economy requires fast decision-making, but negotiations with unions take time (and energy). Like pulling teeth takes time (and energy). You sometimes wonder whether boosters of Wagner Act unionism are familiar with the concept of "too little too late." ...  Update: AP reports that UAW leaders did vote to "let the Detroit leadership begin renegotiating elements of landmark contracts signed with the automakers last year, a move that could lead to wage concessions."  UAW President Ron Gettelfinger " stopped short of saying the union would reopen  contract talks with General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. but said it would be willing to return to the bargaining table to change some terms." But " any modifications would still have to be ratified by local union members." [E.A.] ... Gettelfinger blamed a "perception problem" for (in AP's words) "a negative view of the union." The union is buying TV ads to counteract it. ...  3:44 P.M.

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A Knack for Diplomacy:  What attitude do the Hillary people bring to the State Department? I didn't think her spokesman Phillipe Reines could top his obnoxious and nonsensical response to the Gerth and Van Natta report that Hillary had secretly eavesdropped on her enemies ( "We don’t comment on books that are utter and complete failures").  But he's come close with his spin on the legal argument--a seeming winner*** if you actually believe the Constitution's language--that Hillary is barred from becoming Secretary of State by the Emoluments Clause :

This is a Harvard Law grad nominating a Yale Law grad here , so all parties involved have been cognizant of this issue from the outset," [E.A.]

Well all right then! No clinging to guns and God in this administration! ... I'm sure they spent a lot of time on the Emoluments Clause at Harvard and Yale. 

Why do Hillary's people think this smug, sneering approach** is productive? Because of its success in winning them the nomination? Think how well it will work in the India-Pakistan crisis! ...

**--The technical term is "Lehanism," coined after its most conspicuous practitioner used it to put Al Gore and Wesley Clark in the White House. ....

Update: Eugene Volokh cites two law professors who agree that the Emoluments Clause means trouble for Hillary. Volokh himself thinks the wording is "ambiguous," but he didn't go to Harvard or Yale so ignore him. ... [ via Plank

***--Text originally said "slam dunk" rather than "seeming winner." Prof. Volokh convinced me that it isn't a slam dunk. You shouldn't call anything a "slam dunk" anymore anyway. ... 12:23 A.M.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

From the NYT account of the GOP runoff win in Georgia:

Many voters interviewed Tuesday said the balance of power in the Senate had been an important factor in their choice of a candidate.

"If you can’t have a little back-and-forth arguing between the parties, then the party in power will make mistakes," said Ron Zukowski, a computer expert in Atlanta who voted for Mr. Chambliss. "This was my chance to say no, and I said no."

Hmm. Didn't Mike Kinsley say that "almost no one" thinks like that ? I think he did! (He was arguing voters don't choose dividied government, not that they don't choose undivided-but-still-filibusterable government. But it's the same mindset.) ...

P.S.: What's at stake: It's important that Democrats fail to achieve a filibuster-proof Senate. Chambliss' victory assures this. But what's most important is that Nate Silver turn out to be wrong about something, anything, however small. Otherwise he will have to be worshipped as a god . Was he wrong about Georgia? Here's the best I could find in a quick search:

"We think when it's all said and done Martin will lose by around 10 points ."--Silver's blog partner Sean Quinn , as the returns came in. The actual margin is looking more like 14 points .

"The question is, will more Chambliss voters drop off or will more Martin voters drop off? That's the unknown. In wave years I'd tend to bet with the wave party, but I'm nowhere near ready to conclude Martin will win."-- Quinn again.

[I]f the polls going into December 2nd say that Saxby Chambliss is going to win the runoff by 7 points, you shouldn't be a but surprised if Jim Martin actually wins instead. And you also shouldn't be surprised if Chambliss wins by 20."-- Silver on Nov. 13 . Final polls had Chamblis ahead by 4-7 points.

Not wrong enough!  Eyes turn to Minnesota, where Silver has a hostage to fortune in the form of his confident prediction (in a TV talk with Arianna Huffington ) regarding Al Franken:

[H]e`ll pick up votes in this recount.

Also his Nov. 23 projection "Franken to Win Recount by 27 Votes," Unfortunately, it is still possible Franken will win the recount by 27 votes. ... 11:46 P.M.

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