Rice Diced

Has President Obama already screwed up his second term? Less than a month after reelection he has made a mess for himself by insisting on choosing a new Secretary of State, Susan Rice, who cannot seem to explain away her prevarications about Benghazi. Rice’s calling card for the job is that the President likes her. But that’s where it stops. Obama might want to consider persuading Hillary to stay in the job.

It seems as if it would have been simple enough for Rice to quickly admit that the administration talking points she used on the Sept. 16 Sunday shows about the slaughter in Benghazi were misleading. But she went silent. She has no wartime consigliere and, aside from the president’s angry postelection defense of Rice, the White House — perhaps relieved that she was taking the heat rather than the president — wasn’t running a strong damage control operation that clarified matters. — Maureen Dowd

65 thoughts on “Rice Diced”

  1. so soon they forget the infamous day their own lied to them based on “faulty” intelligence.

    and even sooner how the media forget to bring the powell episode up or purposely avoid bringing it up when interviewing the grumbling senators.

  2. and why is petraeus being handled with kid gloves about all this? was it not his folk who changed the wording?

  3. Susan Rice is great…When we give serious consideration to Maureen Dowd, McCain, or Graham; we are really in trouble…

  4. messed up his second term with a poor cabinet nomination, craig? wouldn’t be the only prez in recent history to choose or hint at a poor choice putting friends in high places… big dawg and shrub had their moments too.

    imo, she’s more of a bargaining chip and red herring than a screwup

  5. One of the knocks against the president has been that he sometimes refuses to fight. I think that is unfair.
    It would be more accurate to say, that he does not know how to pick his battles.
    The Rice nomination may be a case in point.

  6. Beware of second terms. They tend to be the primary impediment to getting your face on Mt. Rushmore. 😉

  7. How long before we have one of those touchy feely press conferences where Ms. Rice touts the president’s accomplishments, and expresses her firm desire to spend more time with her family?

    Late Friday afternoon perhaps?

  8. I think if the goopers are smart (not likely) they would look at Susan Rice’s past history particularly her work in the Clinton era and expand their objections

    The problem is they are (as usual) not taking a principled stand — it appears to be some form of Bolton revenge As for lasting impact — if one never watched Fox there is a good chance one might have forgotten John Bolton ever even existed.

    I don’t Obama cares if she gets the job or not. I think she wants it

  9. In the previous thread,Jace said

    As for Rice, if I had been in her shoes today my answer to the Senators would have gone something like this.

    “As you know, ah, you go on the Sunday talk shows with the information you have—not the information you might want or wish to have at a later time. So gentlemen, diplomacy be damned, kiss my ass.”

    If rumors are true, that advice would have been her natural inclination but the advise she probably got was to play nice.
    And why meet anyway? It implies that you believe the Republicans are sincere in their concerns.
    It was a mistake to believe that the Republicans are sincere about any of this. They are doing all they can to weaken Obama and he is playing right along.
    As to Rice, she may be great at policy strategy and be able to give great advice. But the SOS is mainly a management job and spokes person for administration policy world wide. She hasn’t been a shining star the last few weeks and from all the negative stuff coming out has created more than a few enemies in the ranks.


  10. Note to Staff.
    From the President.

    “hey guys, are you sure we can’t win a special election in Mass.?”

  11. After his vigorous defense of Rice a couple of weeks ago Obama has to appoint and strongly defend Rice. any thing else makes him look weak and will affect everything else he will want to do. He has a reputation as a pushover and he needs to demonstrate that he has learned something in the last 4 years.
    While this may not be a battle they want, through their own ineptness, it is the battle they must fight.
    If not it is going to be a long 4 years for all of us.


  12. Jack,

    Great point. I think that what Rice said or did not say to the senators, was beside the point. The mistake was to meet with them in the first place.
    The time to make nice is after the nomination is official and placed before the senate. In the meantime, make them play on your turf.
    If recent history is any guide,the rantings of McCain and company, would eventually serve to strengthen Rice’s position, and make her detractors look even more pathetic and petty.

  13. Jace
    I’m not certain you don’t play the “this is all politics” card and insist that she only answer the questions at a public forum. As this all came out of election rhetoric it should be easy to do
    That way if Obama loses the battle he can blame it on the Republicans being unreasonably partisan and not any problem with his pick.


  14. Jack,

    Agreed. I think that at present the administration is flailing, and going off in several directions. They need to determine a strategy ASAP, and stick to it.

    They just came off a campaign, surely they still remember how to stick to the message.


  15. It sounds to me like Rice admitted to the senators that the information she was dispatched to give on behalf of the WH was at least misleading and at most false. What the hell else do they want? She was on the talkers as a soldier. Frankly I think McOld (who in this case IMHO is simply a coward) Pipsqueak and Kelly Ayotte (who until last night I could not have picked out in from a crowd of 2) look like idiots. I don’t know anyone who’s buying their bullshit.

    From what I’ve seen so far since the election, Obama’s problem will be picking which fights to lose and which fights to win – because so far there isn’t a single issue that the losers across the aisle aren’t going to the cameras on. EVERYTHING the ‘can’ts are doing is being unreasonably partisan, so he needs to decide which issues are important to him and go to the mat. I think the voters would respond well to it and would be given some incentive to put fewer of the ‘can’ts in office 2 years from now. But what do I know?

  16. Pogo,

    I’m with you. Pick your fights and then go all in.

    I like the president and always have. That said, I would like to see him put his boot on the republicans neck and leave it there. It’s a lesson he needs to learn sooner rather than later.

    Thumbs up or thumbs down, let the crowd in the Coliseum determine their fate.

  17. The McCain Army Ayotte triumvirate just wanted to stab Rice in the Senate. Their own shortcomings are showing and they need to be given a binky and blanky so they will stop the temper tantrum.

  18. Pogo, I wish you would choose virtually any other noun to describe McCain than “coward.” Could we settle on something such as ‘mean-spirited punk or bully’ instead?

    Now, the senior senator from my state could be called a coward as he seldom ventures close to a microphone unless he’s protected by McCain’s shadow.

  19. 1. a.I would not pick Rice. I don’t know who I would pick, probably some SoS Civ Serv schemer, if the Sec’y could recommend one. b. In view of the fact that Rice made this unwise decision, I think State, the White House, our Nation, and the world would be better served by someone with an aptitude for political skullduggery. c. Where are Cordell Hull, Adlai Stevenson, and Warren Christopher when we need ’em ?

    2. a. The decision to go to the clown club made Rice look subservient. b. Before she left to visit the minority caucus, Rice (or someone) should have asked the question, “what do the old geezers actually want/intend?” c. The votes to approve are in the Dem Caucus. muckain and graham are superfluous to everyone but the fakes news broadcast cycle. They are certainly not going to put a happy construction on anything any dark female Democrat with potential is going to say. It’s fantasy. As we say in the hood, ‘Forget that shit!’

  20. If called upon to discuss the Benghazi case on a Sunday morning every Dem OUGHT to begin with, “It all began with the bush White House lying about Yellow Cake that got 3,000 Americans killed.”

  21. Flatus,
    I know that is a term that one doesn’t like to see associated with a prior POW, and given his service to the country I understand that, but context being everything that term is IMHO fitting in this circumstance. However, in deference to you, ‘mean-spirited bully’ works for me – and he is that in spades. (In what I do, I see mean spirited bullies routinely – they are all cowards).

    And yes, the senior senator from your state IS a coward.

  22. At least one Dem should remind people that kelly ayotte is only a recent convert to the cause of open government. She is hardly a person with the stature to ask anyone else to open up. ayotte deleted the record of her emails (and had the backup tapes destroyed through reuse) before she left her work as the NH Attorney General. ayotte is also a supporter of the secret torture of prisoners.

    It’s time that Dems reminded the public of ayotte’s shady and secretive past.

  23. I don’t think State is one of the departments that lends itself to a non-political appointee as the top-dog. Everything is nuance in both the White House and Foggy Bottom; they had better waddle in something resembling tandem.

  24. “It’s time that Dems reminded the public of ayotte’s shady and secretive past.”

    It certainly sounds as if parts of it should be characterized as a felonious past in my personal manual of jurisprudence.

  25. I’m cooking another turkey today. Gotta feed my tryptophan addiction ! I can’t squeeze the birds through a syringe, no matter how hard I try. Therefore, I must take the drug orally.

    Fortunately, it’s cold outside, so I get to heat the house while cooking the bird.

    Preheat oven to 400F.

    Rub bird with olive oil. Shake on garlic powder, rosemary, sage, and black pepper inside and out. Then add more garlic. Just in case it hasn’t gotten enough yet, you’d better add more garlic.

    Pour beef broth into broiler pan. Put turkey on low rack in pan. Put brown paper (made from grocery store bag) tent over turkey. Place turkey in oven for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes has elapsed, turn temp to 350F. Cook 20 mins/lb and add 10 minutes for all the times you will open the oven for basting. Baste once per hour. When basting, remove and replace the paper tent carefully, so that it won’t either soak up broth or catch fire.

    Cool for 1/2 hour before eating.

  26. Why… oh why… does Obama have to learn everything the hard way. Republicans will fight him tooth and nail on any issue where they see an advantage. And right now, they see a crack of light in this Rice thing. Quite frankly… after a long and hard fought election, IMO, this is a stupid (and boring) battle.

    Kelly Ayotte is a moron to be hitching her wagon to this kind of crap. I have no doubt she will be seriously challenged (and hopefully defeated) when she’s up for re-election. In the meantime, she’s an embarrassment to my state.

  27. Speaking of turkey, my left index finger is almost healed. At 0730 on Thanksgiving I was fixing to remove the dental floss from the stalks of celery that I was going to slice-up for the stuffing. Grabbed the vegetable peeler from the drawer and, on the first stroke, sliced through the end of my left index finger to include fingernail. Lots of blood. No booze involved.

  28. Flatus,

    Sure, it’s a political post. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Civ Serv who has a political experience in his/her past take the SoS job, especially if the experience were in campaigning. I would prefer not to have a political hack, who doesn’t know and can’t see the differences between Libya and Lebanon or Guinea and Guyana. We also don’t want an SoS grind who is deaf to the political cacaphony in the US or the needs of the White House.

    We want someone who can straddle both worlds, and who is capable of seeing political and diplomatic IEDs in the road ahead, yet who can smoothly enunciate and promote a vision of both a better US and a better world.

    At first I was worried about Mrs C as SoS because her experience was ultra partisan and limited to running small staffs. Today, I think she can do anything. Her exemplary work as SoS has made me a believer. She rates inclusion with the Great Ones of the DoS.

    So, where do we find a Hillary clone ?

  29. Dear Mother don’t stab Daddy with the bread knife,
    Remember ’twas a gift when you were wed.
    But if you must stab Daddy with the bread knife.
    Please, Mother, use another for the bread.

    – Robert Service

  30. Celery is rich in Vitamin K, needed to make platelets and fibrinogen. Vitamin K is essential to healing wounds. However, it is most easily take orally. putting celery juice into open wounds won’t work.

    Kidding aside, Flatus, I’m sorry it happened and I’m glad you are healing.

  31. RR said, “Kelly Ayotte is a moron to be hitching her wagon to this kind of crap. I have no doubt she will be seriously challenged (and hopefully defeated) when she’s up for re-election. In the meantime, she’s an embarrassment to my state.”

    Boy howdy ain’t that the truth

    She’s Mitt Romney is a skirt

  32. Lots of blood. No booze involved.

    that certainly explains it — more booze was clearly called for…

  33. now, here’s a diplomat

    Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Monday urged lawmakers, including those in his own party, to temper their criticism of the administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    Huntsman, who served as U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, said that it would have been nearly impossible for authorities to instantly obtain accurate intelligence about who was responsible for the September attack, which resulted in the death of four officials. Because of that, he said, recent criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for not immediately declaring the attack an act of terror was either politically motivated or misplaced.

    and why with his china background he might be a good choice

    Speaking from his home in Washington D.C., Huntsman called this a moment of unique, historic possibilities in U.S.-China relations. The new leader of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, has more political flexibility than his predecessor, Hu Jintao, and he comes into office at a moment of acute pressure for both economic and domestic political reform, Huntsman noted.

    all the above from huffpo piece

  34. the great karmak dons floppy hat, looks into the prez eyes and predicts a pair of johns…john for dod and jon for state

  35. Jeez, xrep, if I knew you were still hungry for turkey, I would have given you these one-and-a-half homemade pot pies I have rotting in my fridge.

    To my credit, I ate about one-and-a-half homemade pot pies, myself, of a total of four produced. Alas, much 8-hour turkey stock coursed through the local sewer. A man can only eat so much turkey.

  36. So, now you’ve made an xrep turkey, and had a nice meal, but you’ve got all this &^*%*$@ turkey sitting around. You may find yourself thinking: “hey, I should make a pot pie, if I only knew how”. Guess what? It’s your lucky day.

    So, you start picking that meat off the carcass, until you’re tired of doing so, and then you get out a big 4-quart pot or bigger, and cram as much of that carcass as you can in there, cover it with water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 2 hours should be good, but if you happen to leave it in for eight, tough &^$%, you gotta use it, anyway.

    So while you got that going on, you either make two pie crusts, or just buy them in the box, because frankly, are you really going to make a better crust than you can get from one of those boxes? Probably not. Here’s the most important part: get an aluminum “disposable” (you can wash them and reuse them) 13″ pie pan, grease it up, and throw one of them crusts in there. Don’t finger it up too much.

    Next, take those turkey pickings, and start covering the bottom of the pie with them, while muttering softly: “Alright, you &$%@#$% turkey, you thought you were done with me, eh? You thought I couldn’t possibly eat anymore of you. Well, guess what, you *&^%$-$%-#$%^ bird, I’m gonna cook your &#@ again!”

    Once you have things straightened out between the two of you, you sautee some diced celery and onion in 2 tablespoons of your oil of choice, until softened, and then add another tablespoon of oil. Immediately incorporate 2 tablespoons of flour while tossing the mixture and remove from heat.

    Now, take 2 cups of that oh-so-delicious liquid turkey essence you made, and add to the sautee slowly over heat again, until it boils. Reduce the heat and continue to add liquid until it reaches the consistency you desire, probably about another cup.

    Next, take those carrots you cut up that I shouldn’t have had to tell you to cut up, and throw them in right as you take your reduced broth off the heat. Take the frozen peas, whose incorporation into a pot pie shouldn’t need to be stated, either, and after you quick thaw them under running water, and drain them, throw them on top of the pie. Then, smother those peas and turkey with your flour-broth-veg mixture, while laughing maniacally at the absurdity of it all (life in general, that is, not the pie), if you prefer.

    Salt and pepper that *&$#, maybe throw some thyme and rosemary in there if you want, pop that 2nd crust on top, pinch the edges, cut some vents in the top with a sharp knife, and bake the *&$% out of it, for 40 minutes, at 400 degrees F.

    The real trick is making sure the edges don’t burn, but that’s a whole other story, entirely. Enjoy!

  37. Iggy The Angry Chef

    If you are worried about burning the edge of your pie crust — make a little hat for it — just a little tube of foil over the edge of the crust needing protection.

  38. XR

    If you don’t want to baste, a great alternative is to soak cheesecloth in melted garlic butter (or olive oil and crushed garlic) and drape over bird. Beautiful golden color, very moist and loverly loverly garlic for us addicts.

  39. Well, today is Toot’s 51st birthday. She has been doing the ’49’ thing. And the line-less bifocals.

    I’m going to get her a cake–something non-judgmental, and not in a conspicuously large font.

    Well, I’ll figure it out

  40. Flatus, how about two candles – a 5 and a 1 with “happy birthday” written in block letters. shouldn’t offend.

  41. I should have pushed the button on the Toot’s birthday comment about an hour and a half ago. In any case, I’ve been to Publix and Kroger, bought the perfect cake, shopped judiciously at both stores, and was treated to ten minutes of vaudevillian entertainment at Publix.

    A customer had entered the store shortly before me and was in a serious rant with the store manager about the on-sale sliced oranges being packed in China. Pogo, you think your favorite senator is bad, this woman could give him and the rest of his crew lessons.

    Both the manager and I tried to explain to the lady that the slices she was looking at were Mandarin Orange Slices. She wasn’t hearing any of it.

    I wonder what her reaction would be if she learned where the tea in her favorite teabags came from?

  42. Your Lordship has surely heard of the curried eagle stew famous on the smuggling routes out of Morocco. Besides being rare and endangered I found the Eagle to be a bit gamey for American tastes. However your turkey could be an excellent substitute for the eagle.

    In a large stewpot tablespoon of olive oil add a table spoon of Madras curry spice mix, one teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoke Spanish paprika 3or 4 cloves crushed garlic. let it heat until the smell permeates the kitchen.

    Then add 1/2 cup dry lentils, 3 celery stalks diced , 3 carrots likewise and a piece of ginger root about the size of your thumb, grated.
    Stir all this making sure it doesn’t burn for a while. Then add turkey stock and water bring to a boild and let simmer.
    Dice an onion , bell pepper and 1/4 head of cabbage
    Add it to the pot.
    add one can of tomatoes
    add 2 more table spoons of curry. Bring to boil and let simmer until lentils are done.
    add one can of white beans and diced turkey bring to boil and simmer for another 30 min,
    Now it the time to adjust the spice add more curry or if you want it hot add a good hot sriracha chilli paste.

    Serve with flat bread or rice of your choice

    BTW, I always freeze any extra stock some mixed with turkey, for later opportunities.


  43. I was out a while ago and got my powerball.

    Pulled up the calculator and did some figuring.
    If I took the cash option, paid the taxes then put it in 10 year treasury notes at 1.7%. If I didn’t lose a decimal point, I would be earning $10,000 dollars a day.

    The mind boggles, I could be dropping hundreds all over the place and at the end of the day have more money than I started with.

    Now if I just win.


  44. The mind boggles, I could be dropping hundreds all over the place and at the end of the day have more money than I started with.

    Now if I just win.


    and a lot more new best friends too at the end of each day

  45. Jack,
    Had a meeting with the maritime admin today. Rumour is that some states are requesting that they take over funding of the waterways maint from DC.

    A handful of states (TX and LA) and a few others are looking at taking over the maintenance of the intra-coastal waterway.

    Realization is setting in that the gov’t will never fund dredging and channel maint as needed.

    Port of Houston sends $155 mil/yr to the Harbour Maint Fund and receives back only $20mil/yr from DC. Even if they only got back $50 mil/yr it would meet all of the Port of Houston’s needs.

  46. Jax

    Is that a big port vrs small port problem or is it a “social security” problem, in that they have got used to the money and they don’t want to pay it back?


  47. “frankly, are you really going to make a better crust than you can get from one of those boxes?” – IxC.

    This is worth repeating all throughout the year, whenever rhubarb, cherries, peaches, apples, or turkeys ripen!

  48. “Alright, you &$%@#$% turkey, you thought you were done with me, eh? You thought I couldn’t possibly eat anymore of you. Well, guess what, you *&^%$-$%-#$%^ bird, I’m gonna cook your &#@ again!” – IxC

    I’ve known fellas who could talk turkeyian, but IxC is the first person I ever met who could write turkeyian using their script.

  49. The Angry Chef

    I like to think of it as more of a catharsis; especially after that 3rd slice, or so.

    OK, no more turkey or leftovers jokes from me in in this forum, ever again. I’ve stuffed it full of enough corn, already.

    That was the last one, seriously. (I’m running out of material, truth be told.)

    So… politics. Hm.

  50. Fine: This Susan Rice stuff is nothing more than political theater, and the Legislature will reach a compromise on the austerity measures, excuse me, “fiscal cliff”, because they have to.

    I’m enjoying all the posts, lately. As you were.

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