The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

Filegate.  Travelgate. Whitewater.  Birtherism. Solyndra. Fast and Furious.  Notice a pattern?

When there is a Democratic President, Republicans are quick are quick to make wild accusations of wrongdoing that turn out to be a huge nothingburger.  (Oh yes, they did impeach a President for having sex with an intern.  Saving the Republic, that.).

Now we are hearing about Benghazi.  There might be things to be investigated there, but it is painfully obvious that Republicans have no interest in actually finding them out about it.  If they did, then they would attempt to actually investigate.  Instead, we have hissy fit threats of filibusters from has-beens like John McCain and pompous lectures from never-weres like Lindsey Graham.  By the way, you know during the seven times that embassies and consulates were hit during the Bush Administration?  Still waiting for outraged threats from McCain and Graham.  You know that small event that occurred on September 11, 2001?  If Democrats had responded with half the vitriol of Republicans after Benghazi, Fox News would have accused them of treason.

It’s been obvious for a while that the essential Republican ideology, at least after plutocracy, has been to put party over country.  After January 1st, when the Republicans don’t budge on raising taxes on the $370,000+ a year crowd, Obama might try to remind the American people of this.

Instead of shutting down Organizing For America, the President needs to make it a permanent feature of the political landscape, holding as many rallies as he can in as many states as he can.

And if the Villagers start reaching for their scented handkerchiefs over the President not being “presidential,” all he needs to do is respond that he will spend more time in Washington once the GOP grows up.

UPDATE:  John McCain cares so deeply about protecting national security in light of Benghazi that he skipped a classified CIA briefing on it in order to give a press conference attacking the President.  What a pathetic, bitter, cranky old man….

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

62 thoughts on “The Last Refuge of Scoundrels”

  1. Yeah, I notice a pattern: Whenever there’s a Democrat in the White house, Democrats are relentless in their determination to see no evil.

    Oh, and they didn’t impeach a President for having sex with an intern. If you don’t believe me, look up the bill of particulars. Not a thing in there about sex with an intern. But I suppose Democrats are going to be forever relentless about peddling that line, too.

    1. OK, Brett, please remind us of how the Democrats saw evil in the attacks under Republican presidents when these embassy attacks occurred, mentioned in the link:

      Karachi 6-15-02 10 killed, 51 injured
      Uzbekistan 7-13-04 5 killed
      Yemen 9-17-08 10 killed
      Beirut 4-18-83 60 killed

      You may remember the political hay they made out of it; pray provide us with the links to those hearings convened by Democrats in Congress.

      1. the redoubtable mr bellmore isn’t likely to answer a question such as that. he’s more likely to provide his favorite answer to such direct and pointed question: silence.

        i’d like to ask him about those impeachment hearings for gwb over his lies and misconduct surrounding the invasion and occupation of iraq, or the impeachment hearings for ronald reagan over the misconduct and crimes against humanity perpetrated by his white house against the peoples of central america. i’d like to ask him to point to those examples of overreaching by democrats in congress. but i won’t; for i know that, just like the silence that greeted my request for all those msm accounts describing gwb as an addict, my request would once again be greeted by silence. it is, indeed, remarkable that mr. bellmore is so notable for his silences despite his loquacity.

      2. Other lethal attacks from the same link included Jidda, Saudi Arabia, 12-6-04, 8 dead and Damascus 9-13-06 with one dead. Attacks without fatalities in Serbia 2008 and Athens 2007 could be noted as well.

        In each of those attacks on our embassies during Republican administrations, Democrats saw the incidents as attacks on us, not as scandals by us. Their response was to rally round the flag when the attacks became known.

        The two parties are made from different political DNA. The evidence for this difference is overwhelming.

    2. Brett seems even angrier since November 6 than he was before, one content-free rant after another…sad

    3. No, Brett. It’s just that the GOP is relentless in its attempts to make minor and fairly routine diplomatic occurrences into inflated lies. These are non-issues that, in their particulars, did not involve the president. And yet he is willing to take full responsibility for them. This strikes me as the mark of a true leader. Not a scapegoating reprobate like Cheney, an intellectually underpowered swaggerer like Bush, or a cardboard cipher like Romney. Our president admits when he, or his administration, is wrong, and then takes responsibility and attempts to repair the issue.

      But ultimately you’re just feeling sour because your brand lost–and will continue losing for the foreseeable future, because its ideas are unpopular and wrong.

      1. NOoooo!!! that’s not what Brett thinks at all!

        Remember, BRETT is the one TRUE conservative and he expressly has disavows Cheney, Bush, Romney, and … ahhh … basically all the others who manage to rise to power as the official representatives of the views of his side of the aisle.

    4. Brett’s right. The impeachment wasn’t about “sex” with an “intern.” It was about “the nature and details of his relationship” with a “subordinate Government employee.” So there.

      1. The exact quote is “President provided perjurious, false, and misleading testimony to a Federal grand jury concerning the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate government employee”. Reads a little different now, doesn’t it?

        Just another futile attempt to keep this community reality based….

        1. Your quotation isn’t any more “exact” than mine. It’s more complete, of course—but in that respect apropos of nothing, since I was simply addressing those phrases that were relevantly analogous to the terms Brett said weren’t to be found.

          Aside from which, the legal hook used to bring a charge is not necessarily what a case is “about.”

          So I give you your “futile,” and perhaps your “attempt,” but I’m afraid the rest of your description is wanting.

  2. Brett, that argument so reminds me of the rank bullshit (Frankfurt variety) I often hear from many of my fellow Southerners: The Civil War, excuse me, War Between the States, was NOT about slavery! It was about States’ Rights! Or the Tariff. Or God knows what else to the more ingenious of them.

    They often don’t respond well to the concession that they do have a point: It was about the rights of the several states to maintain their slave-based political economy. But slavery had nothing to do with it. Uh huh.

    Anyway, you keep thinkin’. That’s what you’re good at.

    Apropos of exactly this, Drum is particularly good today on Li’l Lindsay of the Palmetto State.

    1. Feh, it doesn’t become less a crime to commit perjury, if you commit it in the context of a sexual harassment case. The towering irony being, Clinton himself signed the law that put him on the witness stand where he perjured himself. And got a lot of credit from liberals from doing so, who later defended him for lying when HE got caught by that law.

      Am I supposed to believe you saluted that signing with the mental reservation that it was the testimony that was important, but of course nobody could demand it be truthful?

      1. John C. Calhoun would be proud of you! Keep it up. Damn, South Carolina rears its head again…

        And I have no brief for the Clenis, who did quite enough damage without the dalliance poisoning the water.

        Anyway, answer Ed Whitney. We’re all ears, so to speak.

      2. You’re relitigating a 15 year old issue as a way of avoiding the fact that you have no claims on the present. Benghazi is a non-issue, and the GOP knows it. Fast and Furious was a non-issue, Solyndra is a non-issue. However red in the face you and your fellow conservatives get about them, they will continue to be non-issues. Just watch.

        Not only are your arguments weak, but they’re really kind of adolescent.

      3. Feh, it doesn’t become less a crime to commit perjury,..

        Excuse me, but Clinton was acquitted of the charges against him.

      4. so brett let me ask you a question you might be willing to answer–do lychees taste good on a pizza and would the flavors go well with habanero peppers if one were inclined to spice things up?

      5. First of all, see related comments. Second, I’m two shakes from a f***ing socialist, Brett, and I’ll say it to anyone – W.J. Clinton shamed himself and his country by lying on the stand. He should’ve been a man, told the truth, and told the rabid jackals to go f*** themselves, that it was between him, his wife, and his family. Hindsight and all. As far as your weak attempt to shift focus from the insensible, insatiable conservative freakout over Benghazi to, what was it, lack of a Liberal response to the Clinton witch hunt – see the rest of the comment thread.

        Brett, you’re a smart man. We need smart people to help solve the existential – term intentional – problems in front of us. I think Jonathan’s post could stand salient critique, and I admire an adept counter argument as much as anyone on this site. I think it might be accurate to say that one of the truly honorable roles of conservative thought – as opposed to mindless reactionary oppositionalism – is to check the progressive impulse, and point out the potential pitfalls of unforeseen/unintended consequences. I guess it’s a matter of accepting one’s role and place in society. In this, I consider it an honor and privilege to read and weigh your perspective.

        1. = = = Steven B @ 8:20 “I think it might be accurate to say that one of the truly honorable roles of conservative thought – as opposed to mindless reactionary oppositionalism – is to check the progressive impulse, and point out the potential pitfalls of unforeseen/unintended consequences. I guess it’s a matter of accepting one’s role and place in society. In this, I consider it an honor and privilege to read and weigh your perspective.” = = =

          Such a role requires the honesty and integrity to admit when one’s line of thought has been successfully refuted or rendered obsolete. Mr. Bellmore has a bit of difficulty with that.


      6. In a prior job, I used to testify for my employer in lawsuits. The first time I did that, we had called the defendant as an adverse witness. We had deposed him six months earlier and his deposition testimony was entered as one of our exhibits.

        Over the course of the next 30 minutes, our attorney asked him some of the very same questions (about 25 in all IIRC) that had been asked in his deposition and after each answer, our attorney read his response from the deposition. Not one of his answers was consistent with his deposition testimony.

        As I continued to testify in subsequent suits, I found that such inconsistiencies were the norm.

        Not one of these defendants was ever charged with perjury, notwithstanding the fact that they were either lying under oath in court or under oath while being deposed.

        Just sayin’

      7. Well, perjury does include a materiality requirement.

        Suppose a high federal official repeatedly filed false financial disclosure forms. See 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Would that be “good behaviour”?

        Where are the Republican calls to impeach Clarence (Uncle) Thomas?

      8. “Liberals being hypocritical” is basically the only thing you ever talk about.

        Is there really no other topic that’s more important? Nothing else that you get as upset about?

  3. He is making it a permanent feature, announced on a call last night with OFA volunteers.

  4. Hey Brett –

    Legendary hijack there upthread, with the ‘first thru the turnstiles’ step-in. All about you. Mission accomplished.

    Well played, my man, well played.

  5. What threadjack? It was perfectly responsive to the post, the very first line started with a partial list of Clinton scandals.

    Simply disputing the premise of a post is not hijacking a thread. Those weren’t phony scandals, they were simply the result of Democrats automatically denying the existence of any scandal that happens during a Democratic administration.

    Filegate: Where a specialist in opposition research gets hired by the White House, and ends up in possession of hundreds of FBI files on Republicans.

    Travelgate: Where the Clintons thought it would look bad if they just up and replaced the travel office staff with their cronies, so they whipped up a fake embezzlement charge, and not only pushed it through to a joke of a trial, but opposed Dale being compensated for his legal expenses. All so they could pretend they fired the staff for cause, when they were in at will positions!

    Birtherism I’ll give you, the President being stubborn about releasing his birth certificate isn’t technically a scandal. Just obnoxious.

    Solyndra: More a category of scandal, than a single one, literally billions poured down the rathole of firms which were already failing when they got the money, and the administration reverses normal policy to take back seat in the ensuing bankruptcies. But a lot of his donors benefited.

    Fast and Furious: “Nobody died in Watergate” pretty much sums it up, guns being deliberately run to Mexican drug cartels, (And others, Univision has found.) with no effort to track them, at the same time the administration is trying to make a case for gun control in border states on the premise that Mexican cartels are getting their guns from America.

    The uniting feature of all these scandals is that, if a Democratic President doesn’t confess, Democrats won’t admit anything happened.

    Whitewater, where subpoena’d records show up in the White House two days after the statute of limitations expired.

    1. i’ve said this before in a previous comment thread where you brought these up. hostile republican house committees and sub-committees investigated the solyndra situation and the fast and furious program and found nothing except an opportunity to posture. if they had found anything of substance they would still be talking about it,fox news would still be talking about it, and it would have been repeated over and over again during the campaign. the fact that none of those things happened is the best evidence, to me, that none of those rose to scandal.

      i’m still waiting for a response about the lychees. and the habaneros.

      1. That’s kind of the point of stone walling, you know: You find nothing but a stone wall. What the investigation of Fast and Furious found was an amazingly broad assertion of executive privilege, in order to deny the investigators the power to follow up any leads. Shocking, that: If your investigation hits a stone wall, it doesn’t get any further.

        That was the lesson of Watergate, to corrupt administrations everywhere: It isn’t the coverup that gets you, it’s when you stop covering up. So now everybody makes sure there aren’t any John Deans in their administrations, record keeping has been drastically reduced, and you never, ever, EVER stop stonewalling.

        But being stubborn enough about obstructing justice to succeed at it doesn’t make a scandal into a non-scandal. It just keeps it from escalating to a conviction.

        1. So basically whenever an investigation turns up nothing, that’s because there was a horrible scandal that was successfully “stonewalled.”

          I see now why your side is making up lots of investigations.

          1. Whenever it turns up nothing because it hits a stone wall, yes. If it turns up nothing after full cooperation, there was nothing there. If it turns up nothing because subpoena’d documents where withheld, and people ordered not to answer questions, or transferred to distant postings where they’re unavailable to talk to?

            The reasonable presumption is that cover-ups are covering something up.

          2. Dude, your side is the one that sacrificed thousands and thousands of American lives (and tens of thousands of legs, hands, eyes, minds, etc. etc.) in a war based on Republican lies. It is amazing that you can come on here and say the stuff you do.

          3. Brett,

            However much you attempt to make issues like Solyndra and Fast and Furious into catastrophic, administration-ending issues, they just aren’t. And you know it. And your line on them is completely typical–it’s a case of crying wolf one too many times. We no longer listen to this kind of bullshit.

            These were procedural issues way down in the hierarchy. Obama, as leader, has accepted responsibility for them and yet they’re so minor in the grand scheme of things that nothing will happen to him. But beat your dead horse. And when that horse is nothing more than pulp, bring in your next dead horse to beat. I’m sure you’ll find many of them out there.

  6. Birtherism I’ll give you, the President being stubborn about releasing his birth certificate isn’t technically a scandal. Just obnoxious.

    Given that the entire issue was manufactured, there is nothing wrong with responding to it by ignoring it. The only obnoxious component was bringing it up itself.

  7. Brett, you are to be commended for your response.

    And here’s the main thing about Birtherism I never understood. Did the “conspiracy” include the two contemporaneous birth announcements in the Honolulu newspapers? If so, we are all living as Truman Burbank. The show runners must be extraterrestrials.

    1. It was never reasonable to think Obama was born outside the US, even if his own biography once made that claim.

      It was, equally, never reasonable to refuse to make the original birth certificate available. (As, in response to the inevitable reply, Obama proved was perfectly possible to do, as soon as he felt like doing it.)

      This is how conspiracy theories are born, KLG: Somebody asks a stupid question, and somebody else obstinately refuses to answer it. Leading to reasonable inferences as to why.

      1. you had a typo in your comment from 9:50 am

        allow me to fix it for you–

        “It was, equally, never reasonable to expect the State of Hawaii to make an exception to its rules so as to make the original long form birth certificate available. (Although, in response to the inevitable reply, the State of Hawaii proved was perfectly possible to do, as soon as they felt obligated to do so because the situation had become so ridiculous.)”

        there, that’s better. no thanks necessary.

        1. See, that’s the kind of ‘reasoning’ that leads to conspiracy theories: Obama could have simply said, “State of Hawaii, there’s the controversy here, and in a way it IS my fault, after all, (I could have corrected that biography!) could you publicly display my birth certificate? Pretty please?” at which point the onus is on the state of Hawaii, it’s off his plate.

          But instead he indulged himself in a long, expensive legal fight, (At other people’s expense, naturally!) to avoid the release of a document that it wasn’t entirely unreasonable for people to want to see, and which could do him no damage. Why?

          The Birthers made the mistake of assuming Obama was a perfectly reasonable guy, and that, since there wasn’t any reason to fight the release of his birth certificate unless it showed something fishy, jumped to the conclusion he was hiding something. When the obvious explanation was in front of them all the while:

          ‘Cause he’s an a**hole, that’s why.

          1. brett, i’m tempted to ask you if you believe that 1 + 1 = 2
            that the earth moves around the sun
            that the tilt of earth’s axis is responsible for earth’s seasons
            and see where you are in your ability to understand reality and reason because what it looks like you’re saying here is, yet again, that as soon as the birthers asked for a form of the birth certificate that went beyond the form of birth certificate that hawaii uses for all official purposes the onus was on obama to make the state provide it rather than on the birthers to prove they needed it. that’s where we have to part company. i think that it was up to the birthers to prove they needed it not on obama to cause it to be provided. your continued anger about the long form birth certificate and your continued attacks on obama about the birth certificate make your denials of birtherism seem insincere.

          2. oh, and i’d still like to know if you think lychees and habaneros would make a suitable flavor pairing.

          3. I know what they were asking for.

            You’re asking whether it was reasonable for them to ask for it. You’re deliberately ignoring the question that causes conspiracy theories:

            Was it reasonable for Obama to say no?

            No, of course it wasn’t. He had no privacy interest in the matter, it could hurt him not at all to release it, it actually cost money and time to refuse. Why in God’s name would anybody say no under circumstances like that?

            That’s the question the conspiracy theorists ask, and their only mistake is ignoring the possibility that the President was simply being obnoxious.

            Oh, an Nav? Yeah, why not? You want my recipe for Thai hot pepper ice cream? It’s delish. Sweet and hot are a great flavor mix.

          4. i’d take that recipe. i make a mango-habanero sauce that goes well on fish tacos. i also make a dark chocolate cake with cayenne pepper cream that has an interesting flavor profile. i’ve been growing some ghost chilis and i’m just starting to get a few but i’m having trouble sorting out the right flavors for them to go with. so far i’ve found that they work well with my spicy chinese stir-fry and with a savory/acidic barbecue sauce but work poorly with tex-mex flavors. if you’ve had more experience with ghost chilis i’d be delighted to take some advice on that.

            and brett, it’s been my experience that when people make special requests of government, or any other large bureaucracy for that matter, the burden is generally on the ones who are asking and not on the part of interested third parties. you and i certainly disagree on whether obama should have acted to facilitate the birthers’ request but surely you agree he wasn’t obligated to do so. or do you disagree?

          5. I start by seeding a bunch of the peppers, (Gloves essential for this, and absolutely no scratching your nose!) and then boil them in a sugar syrup, and toss them in sugar. Did that to keep them from sticking, but spreading them about on parchment paper might work. (I advise not leaning over the pot while they’re boiling! The vapor is paint peeling…) The resulting candied peppers are then incorporated into a standard raw egg ice cream based off a recipe for butter pecan. (Fat, the essential cure for too much hot pepper!)

            Remarkably, they end up tasting like a fruit, somewhat like cherries with a bite. You’d never realize how fruity they are just eating them as is, you’d be too busy trying to do something about the pain. The candying process extracts a lot of the capsaicin.

            Yes, I agree that Obama had no positive obligation to comply with the requests. He didn’t even have a legal obligation not to legally fight efforts to get at the certificate to the bitter end. What he had a legal obligation to do, and what it would have taken to kill “birtherism” off right at the beginning, are two different things.

            He expended an enormous amount of effort to defend his legal right to not do something trivial which would have killed off rumors that at least had some slight basis. The people asking couldn’t see any reason for him to be so obstinate, except that there was something about the certificate he didn’t want people to see. They neglected the possibility that he was just being petty.

            Conspiracy theories are usually born this way: Somebody asks a question, it may be silly, but it usually does have SOME basis:

            “I saw black helicopters over a building downtown last night. What was that about?”

            At that point, one of two things can happen. Ideally, somebody gives the question a serious answer: “Yes, we have this arrangement with the Special Forces, they do urban night assault training in some abandoned buildings downtown. Don’t worry, no live ammo. Please don’t spread it around, they don’t want military groupies butting in.” And the conspiracy theory is still-born.

            The regrettably common alternative to this, is that the question gets a brushoff, maybe a flat denial, and someone is left to explain why they’re being told something they saw with their own two eyes didn’t happen. They deduce there must be some kind of conspiracy, to explain the helicopters everybody in authority denies exist.

            Like Obama and his birth certificate, they fail to consider that somebody just decided to be obnoxious, and feed them a line of BS. “The birth certificate is already public”, or “Even I can’t get it released.”

            Which, of course, turned out to be a lie. The moment a judge scheduled a hearing on the merits, instead of dismissing on standing, Obama magically produced what everybody on your side claimed could not be produced. There was never any real question that it could be produced, if he really wanted. Certainly, if a court ever ruled it had to be produced, it would have been.

          6. Mr. Bellmore,
            If at any point in this process you admitted that a “short form” Certificate of Birth – which is what was posted on Senator Obama’s campaign web site from February 2008 forward – is the legal proof of birth in all 50 US states (as well as all US territories) then perhaps you might be close to a point. But you haven’t admitted that, and you won’t. Which is what classifies you as a birther and a looney.


            Funny coincidence: Bellmore’s “black helicopter” scenario happened exactly as he describes in the suburb next to mine in 1994. Of course, it was the right-wing Republican lunatics who started running around shouting “UN invasion!” at the top of their lungs; reality-based people weren’t too concerned.

          7. Also Obama be black, therefore fair game to ask why he think he American. Good ol ooga-booga work ebby time. Prolly cain’t eben trabble outside de home county widdout he carry massa’s paper

          8. So, you didn’t follow my link, did you, Betsy? There was actually a biography out on Obama at one time, claiming he was Kenyan. No, not published by WND.

            Cranky: The copy of the birth certificate was evidence. The newspaper notices were evidence. The original certificate was slightly better evidence.

            I’ll grant, I HAVE granted, that the birthers were being somewhat unreasonable, in demanding access to the original.

            I’m still waiting for you to admit that Obama was unreasonable in actually expending considerable effort to keep it from them. There simply wasn’t any reason to actually FIGHT their getting it. And yet, he expended a great deal of money on legal fights to keep it from them. Other people’s money, of course, but it got expended.

            Why do that, when he could get it anytime he wanted, by just asking? (As he DID, so don’t deny he could do what he very conspicuously DID.) The Birthers assumed he was hiding something, because he GAVE them reason to think he was hiding something.

            But, of course, he wasn’t, he was just being obnoxious.

          9. This whole subthread isn’t nearly as entertaining as the time that – I do not remotely exaggerate – Brett resorted to the Ontological Principle (which states that nothing can be proven to exist except for the consciousness contemplating the question) to defend his Birtherism.

          10. Where “birtherism” is tendentiously defined as refusing to accord a contingent fact the level of certainly appropriate only for mathematical propositions. Yet again, I will say it: I think Obama was born in Hawaii, but not being a member of your church, do not regard it as a suitable subject for a profession of faith. It is, and will ever remain, a contingently true fact.

            And no contingently true statement merits 100% certainty.

          11. there’s another typo brett. i’ll patch it up as best i can–

            Where “birtherism” is defined as tendentiously refusing to accept the normal level of documentation required to run for office and demanding instead a level of proof of generally only required for mathematical propositions.”

            for my mango-habanero sauce i start with 1 cup of cubed mango,
            8 habanero peppers (with seeds) finely chopped,
            1 clove of garlic, minced,
            2-3 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced,
            2 green onions, finely chopped, both white and green.

            in a frying pan heat 1 tbsp each olive oil and butter on medium-high heat until sizzling and starting to smoke, then add all above ingredients and stir constantly until the onions are tender and everything is just starting to brown. add 1 tbsp gran marnier and 2 tbsp lime juice and remove from heat and continue stirring for about 5 minutes. i use an immersion blender but a conventional blender is fine and blend the mixture until it is thoroughly pureed. strain through a coarse sieve. the sauce should have the consistency of yellow mustard. if it’s too thin return it to heat until it reduces to an appropriate thickness, if it’s too thick add a bit more lime juice.

            i usually use a deep fried, beer-battered cod and i make a slaw from cabbage, carrots, jicama, and cilantro with a dressing of lime juice and olive oil with just a touch of salt. the combination of the fish, the slaw, and the sauce are really exquisite in a multigrain tortilla.

  8. Just for Brett–clearly, this is what’s going on with you. You’re so desperate to regard Obama as corrupt that you try to whip up every minor administrative issue into a major scandal.

    Paul Wldman: “So what’s going on here? I can sum it up in two words: scandal envy. Republicans are indescribably frustrated by the fact that Barack Obama, whom they regard as both illegitimate and corrupt, went through an entire term without a major scandal. They tried with “Fast and Furious,” but that turned out to be small potatoes. They tried with Solyndra, but that didn’t produce the criminality they hoped for either. Obama even managed to dole out three-quarters of a trillion dollars in stimulus money without any graft or double-dealing to be found. Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Clinton had Lewinsky, [and don’t forget that Bush had the Plame affair and the Abramaoff scandal! –ed] and Barack Obama has gotten off scott-free. This is making them absolutely livid, and they’re going to keep trying to gin up a scandal, even if there’s no there there. Benghazi may not be an actual scandal, but it’s all they have handy.”

  9. Of course they’re frustrated. You’d be frustrated, too, if more than 90% of journalists were Republicans, and nothing a Republican did wrong got any coverage.

    They’re not frustrated because there haven’t been any scandals, because there have been. They’re frustrated because media bias in the coverage of scandals actually taking place has reached absurd levels. It’s starting to make Jounolist look mild.

    1. You know, if I had just sat through an election in which the admitted partisan media got every single thing so publicly, spectacularly wrong — an election in which, in fact, the flagship outlet’s most visible and highly-paid “analyst” admits he made his predictions to motivate one candidate’s campaign and voters — while the allegedly biased mainstream media got it absolutely correct, I might start to question this particular article of my faith.

      I might, in fact, start to think, “Could it be that one group has taken a look at the facts and said ‘there’s no THERE there,’ while the other side has turned on a firehose full of bullcrap to fleece the paranoid and the gullible?”

      That’s what I might do.

    2. Incidentally, assuming that there’s actually a scandal and then raging that there isn’t sufficient coverage is called “begging the question.”

    3. has fox news gone out of business? rush limbaugh stopped ranting? has cnn stopped moving to the right in its desparate efforts to siphon fox viewers to their brand? have the wall street journal and the washington times stopped publishing? have the republicans in the house surrendered to the president and decided to send him love notes instead of subpoenos?

      if those partisan sources haven’t found anything out of all those things you keep calling scandals to pitch to the american public i really don’t understand what basis you have for continuing to call them a scandal. still, i never understood the basis on which you permitted yourself to refer to obama as a drug addict either.

    4. As is so often the case, Brett is wrong. Period.

      Brett “feels” there are scandals. In his gut. Therefore, the lamestream media must be biased for not finding those scandals that Republicans feel deep down in their lower intestines.

      No, Brett, there are no scandals that warrant anything more than a minor administrative correction. Deal with it.

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