O! Mark Salter!

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O.grid-3x2.jpgWord is breaking that John McCain’s long time aide and many decades long alter ego, Mark Salter, is the author behind O: A Presidential Novel.
Truth in advertising first. I haven’t read the novel, though I really like the graphics of the “O” and the “ears” as well as the brilliant blue of the cover.
Recently, I ventured into a cluster of leading conservatives with whom I had a great social encounter and saw the book in my friend’s living room.
Not having read it, I asked the host and others if they enjoyed it — and the response was “I just couldn’t get past the first few dozen pages. I tried twice.”
This person also said that Joe Klein’s brilliance in Primary Colors is that Klein really had an sympathy and understanding for the tough and miserable life politicians had to lead, an empathy for them. My friend said that he didn’t feel that O‘s author had that same respect for the profession.
I then mentioned that I had been hearing rumors that former McCain chief of staff and co-author of nearly all of McCain’s books, Mark Salter, might be the author.
My friend said, “But Mark Salter can write!!”
Just shows that you never know — until you know.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “O! Mark Salter!

  1. questions says:

    Absolutely fascinating article on the BP/Macondo/Gulf leak/disaster….
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704680604576110373593483008.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories
    Changing procedures in the days before the accident may have caused some serious problems in managing the pre-response.
    h/t nakedcapitalism links….. It’s a great resource, and the source for some of the Egypt links I’ve found. Worth a daily trip through.

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  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’ve wracked my brain to figure out how Israel could benefit from this, and I draw a blank. If El Baradei gets into power, I would say the complexion of the Egyptian border crossings are going to change dramatically. Israel will have to assume a highly adversarial attitude towards Egypt if it hopes to maintain the Gaza embargo. Short of war, I don’t see how Israel can maintain the blockade if Mubarak falls from power. I suspect that the lack of concern for the Palestinians that these hasbarist pieces of shit like Nadine have attributed to street Muslims is about to be shown to be a fallacy, just another bit of carefully nurtured hasbara bullshit.
    Israel may well be on the verge of reaping what they have sown. And it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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  3. Dan Kervick says:

    “Everyone implodes. Who benefits?”
    Not Israel.

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  4. Cee says:

    I am all for these people gaining their freedom…if that is what’s happening.
    Could this new freedom be the new Samson Option. We know that Israel will do everything they can not to be held accountable for their crimes.
    Nobody claimed credit for what happened in Moscow the other day. No group claims credit for what is happening in Cairo new.
    Everyone implodes. Who benefits?

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  5. nadine says:

    The problem with that offer, DonS, is that I think you would deny a Muslim Brotherhood takeover even after it happened, just like the New York Times is still denying the Hizbullah takeover of Lebanon. They are running idiotic headlines like “New Lebanese Prime Minister Seeks to Chart His Own Path” or some such nonsense.

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  6. DonS says:

    correction/addition: ” . . . aid to EGYPT”

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  7. DonS says:

    Dan, On Diane Rhem show, panelists seemed to say el-Baradei is considered somewhat of an elitist, would have a difficult time connecting with with the more youthful elements of the protest. I wasn’t so convinced when I heard that.
    So if the US pulls the plug on aid to, or might, would restoration of aid be conditioned on review of conditions? Would a big part of that review involve doing Israel’s bidding on conditions? My guess would be one thing. A big tilt towards doing Israel’s bidding would certainly indicate another lost opportunity to reform US image in the ME. Possibly a general return to “status quo ante” would dodge the tough issues.

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  8. Cee says:

    Should that we request that Mubarak not to abuse or torture people when the US government sent people there to be tortured in the past?
    On CNN, reporter Ben Wedeman described how state security forces roughed up his crew earlier today.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thecutline/20110128/bs_yblog_thecutline/cnn-reporter-describes-tussle-with-egypts-state-security

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  9. Dan Kervick says:

    al-Baradei is a Nobel Prize winner. He seems like the ideal replacement. The US needs to demand his release and then help negotiate Mubarak’s safe passage out of the country.

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  10. DonS says:

    “We are very likely about to see an Islamist takeover of Egypt for real” No matter what hapens if Mubarak is toppled, you will no doubt claim it as an islamist win, and start maneuvering the narrative vis a vis Israel. (btw, you know damn well what I mean by Israel-centric, and it has nothing to do with number of words written).
    But I willing to make a proposal: if the outcome in Egypt is an immediate takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, I’m gone. If the result is not an immediate takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, you’re gone.

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  11. Dan Kervick says:

    AP:
    “WASHINGTON

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  12. nadine says:

    Sorry, DonS, you can’t say “no, no, I’m hard left, the liberals have nothing to do with me”
    That’s not how politics works.
    It’s rather humorous that you consider me Israel-center, but yourself not. It’s your crowd that is perpetually, obsessively Israel- and America-centric, because your world view does not permit you to see any other parties as independent actors, or even real.
    We are very likely about to see an Islamist takeover of Egypt for real, with all the gory consequences, and you will STILL be touting Islamism as no threat, as a neocon fantasy designed to distract us from the real cause of all that is wrong with the entire Middle East: Israeli housing projects.
    POA (who is beyond parody) has already declared as much on this thread. The chickens have come home to roost, he says. Gee, where have I heard that phrase before?

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  13. DonS says:

    “Biden is your side’s goofball, DonS.”
    Please keep your projections where they belong. I know it is tempting for all of us to use whatever is on the screen to project our own preconceptions, but it is often wrong. You will not find one word I have written at TWN that is supportive of Biden.
    Nor do I accept your self serving attribution of “sides”. This has been a mistake you seem to make all along. While may here see the republicans as off the rails, few see the dems as unquestioned alternatives. More like the lesser of two evils, if even that. Where I do disagree strongly, and where you again project and mistake comment here, is that you are compromised in your evaluations, and everyone knows it, by your blatant Israeli-cedntric agenda. I have neither the time nor the inclination to point it out time and again, which is why I rarely interact with you nadine. We’re not playing for the same team, so I don’t regard your commentary as constructive criticism aimed at getting American foreign policy right for America.

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  14. nadine says:

    “If the various nations that run this way in the region can’t get sufficiently Iranianly brutal, they will fall. But the fall isn’t necessarily a fall into a blessed state.” (questions)
    No, if Mubarak falls, the protesters will soon find they have jumped from the frying pan into the fire, when they see how the Muslim Brotherhood tries to run the country. Egypt will go from the Revolution to the Terror without the intermediate stages of the French Revolution.
    If there’s a silver lining to this cloud, it is that the only way to disabuse the Arab masses of the idea that the Islamists offer any kind of solution to the Arab problem, is to have a major Arab country fall into their hands. Islamists are wedded to the idea of returning to 7th century purity; they cannot run a modern state or provide an economy. Hamas can scrape by in Gaza on Iranian welfare (and it’s still unpopular) but Egypt cannot collect enough welfare from anywhere to make up for its own economic collapse.

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  15. Paul Norheim says:

    For those who can’t watch Al Jazeera on their TV’s, here’s a
    link to live streaming:
    http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

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  16. nadine says:

    “During major earthquakes – like 1989, the buildup to the
    Iraqi invasion, the financial meltdown in 2008, and now
    the revolts in the Middle East – it looks like the experts are
    pretty useless; clinging to old “truths” making them the
    last ones realizing what is going on.” (Paul Norheim)
    True. Then it all becomes inevitable in hindsight. As John Kenneth Galbraith (I believe it was he) said, “Successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.”
    Except the door had generally looked pretty solid, and had stood for generations, before the kick came. And most kicks don’t succeed. So it’s very hard to predict. John Adams wrote home from Paris in April 1789 that everything seemed very peaceful and he didn’t anticipate trouble in the near future.

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  17. nadine says:

    “And that said, Biden’s gaff may serve as a suitable symbol of all that is wrong with America’s exceptionalist, neocon tilting foreign policy establishment.” (DonS)
    So if Biden says something sensible, as he occasionally does, it’s to the credit of the Obama administration, but when he gaffes, as he does routinely, it shows what’s wrong with the “neocon tilting foreign policy establishment”?
    IOW, heads I win, tails you lose.
    Biden is your side’s goofball, DonS. To think, Obama actually picked him for gravitas. You can’t stick the neocons with this one.

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  18. questions says:

    US stock markets are not loving the “disruptions” in the ME.
    One wonders if some fairly wealthy billionaires see into a crystal ball if they keep going the way they’ve been.
    When people have no stake in the society, Socrates notes, they behave that way.
    And it’s a foolish regime that lets its people sell themselves into poverty, uselessness, and disconnect.
    If the various nations that run this way in the region can’t get sufficiently Iranianly brutal, they will fall. But the fall isn’t necessarily a fall into a blessed state.

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  19. Paul Norheim says:

    “Al Jazeera reporting Egyptian army moving into
    Alexandria and Suez giving protestors thumbs up. Thumbs
    up is hardly a definitive communication as to the army’s
    intent or allegiance.” (JamesL)
    Yes, and the protesters are cheering the army, after the
    security forces failed to stop the protests.
    All of this contradicts what so many foreign policy experts
    have assured us regarding the Egyptian army and security
    forces during the last days. Experts from the US and the
    UK, as well as commenters in Germany and Norway, first
    said that the Tunisian regime will not fall, and when it fell,
    they assured us that Egypt is different, etc. etc.
    During major earthquakes – like 1989, the buildup to the
    Iraqi invasion, the financial meltdown in 2008, and now
    the revolts in the Middle East – it looks like the experts are
    pretty useless; clinging to old “truths” making them the
    last ones realizing what is going on.
    And this is of course one reason why the Obama
    administration is reactive – completely unprepared for this
    outcome. Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East. If
    the regime falls, anything can happen also on the Arab
    peninsula. Who knows – maybe Saudi Arabia will not even
    be able to serve as a zoo for former dictators?

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  20. JamesL says:

    Al Jazeera reporting Egyptian army moving into Alexandria and Suez giving protestors thumbs up. Thumbs up is hardly a definitive communication as to the army’s intent or allegiance.
    Yahoo at the same time reporting that Mubarak has ordered the army to support the security police. Mubarak is gambling the army will stick with him.
    Clinton, talking about Egyptian unrest, interrupts her comments to announce that Obama is very concerned about the Soutbh American mining disaster that killed 20 people. Clinton’s priority appears to favor a manipulation of relative priority, a Bush-like effort to control reality by controlling the message.
    Obama et al are being insufferably reactive. Someone should point out to them that if Mubarak manages to quell this unrest, the US will be the enemy of the Egyptian people. And if Mubarak does not quell the unrest and is swept from power America will be also the enemy of the Egyptian people who know that Obama, meaning America, supported a dictator and not citizens. Obama and crew seems to be guarenteeing a worst possible outcome. Equivocating at this point is simply stupid.

    Reply

  21. DonS says:

    Whether poor timing or just poor execution, it was not a good moment, to say the least, for the Vice President to be handling sensitive, fast moving dynamics in the Egyptian eruption in an extemporaneous format . . . if it was extemporaneous. That said, Biden’s reputation for sticking his foot in his mouth unbidden, may serve him in a positive way in this regard, though it’s pretty hard to say “oh, it’s only Biden” . . . especially after he had just finished proudly saying he is joined at the hip with Obama and that they have zero differences in philosophy.
    And that said, Biden’s gaff may serve as a suitable symbol of all that is wrong with America’s exceptionalist, neocon tilting foreign policy establishment. And a caution, going forward, to begin to get things right. Not that I expect much change in turning this battleship, even if the will were there.
    The neocons here have argued how clumsy of Obama not do do things differently to prop up Mubarak better — with window dressing changes . . . They apparently cannot envision a life not consumed by fear of an islamist under every bed (even though that’s not apparently the moving force in Egypt, of Tunesia), and would rather prop up dictators than their feared alternatives. Of course the alternatives spell uncertainty for Israel whereas the known quantity and status quo of propping up the current corrupt and humanity-crushing regimes is nominally more secure for the current Israel mindset and behavior. Too bad their isn’t a strong liberal, visionary, future-oriented force in Israel to counter the garrison, land grab mentality. The future is where the future is lived and Israel doesn’t have much time to get it right. Anybody at AIPAC listening?

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  22. JamesL says:

    Support a dictator and you become an enemy of the people. Biden says Mubarak isn’t a dictator. The US leading? Laughable.
    Biden just took the US out of contention as being a helpful partner to the Egyptian people. The real question is what the young men in ill-fitting anti-riot helmets are going to do over time, when they face a protesting friend, neighbor, or family member. Same thing for the army. Sooner or later when one defends a dictator from citizens, one faces a friend. What then?
    “Where is the army? Come and see what the police is doing to us. We want the army. We want the army,” the protesters in one area of central Cairo shouted, shortly before police fired teargas on them.

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  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It is now being reported that Syrian authorities have shut down the internet in Syria. Protests are being reported in Yemen and Jordan.
    Israel is now surrounded by angry Muslims that are discovering their voices, and the power of the masses. The chickens are coming home to roost. Even the support of the United States’ government will not be able to protect Israel from its karma.
    I betcha Wiggie and Nadine are damned grateful that their cowardice kept them here, and not in Israel. Things might just get a little heated in “the Jewish State” now.

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  24. Paul Norheim says:

    Right now, 40 minutes after curfew, the protesters are
    burning down the offices of the ruling party; and heavy
    gunfire is heard around the TV- and radio buildings,
    according to the English version of Al Jazeera.

    Reply

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