Greenwald v. Sunstein

Glenn Greenwald debates Cass Sunstein on FISA, on Amy Goodman's program, Democracy Now. It is the second segment after headlines, starting at the 33 minute mark. Glenn also speaks about the ATT sponsorship of the Democratic National Convention about 15 minutes earlier. I have not listened to it yet and will update this post with my thoughts afterwords.

Sunstein - we peons have "widely misunderstood" what Obama did. Oy. Greenwald - to say this was not a flip flop by Obama is "insultingly false." Sunstein is a condescending ass - "I appreciate the vehemence." What a creep (speaking for me only.) Listen to it because Sunstein proves he has no idea what he is talking about. It is hard to explain what a disingenuous appearance Sunstein makes here. Today, he says he does not agree with the Bush inherent authority argument. But in in 2002 (on military tribunals) and in 2004 (on warrantless surveillance) he DID agree with the Bush Administration's outrageous legal claims. Sunstein can not be trusted (speaking for me only.)

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    According to Sunstein, we just don't (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:10:29 AM EST
    understand what obama said, compared to what he did....you can fool some of the people, etc....

    What's the deal with that sponsorship? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:32:45 AM EST
    How much are they contributing, and how does the agreement to sponsor relate to the FISA vote date-wise?

    I do not know (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:35:52 AM EST
    But I am pretty sure Glenn wrote something on it.

    Here is Greenwald's post on it (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:53:59 AM EST

    Sunstein is an a$$. I'd bet that Geoffrey Stone is reeling from his latest comments and wonders if this is the same guy he wrote three books with.

    I'll be sure and listen at 5 pm when Democracy Now airs here.  


    NYT article w/i the last few months (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:17:16 PM EST
    stated contributing to political convention is a soft money loophole in the campaign finance reform law.

    Thannk you Cass Sustein... (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:50:36 AM EST
    It's always nice to know exactly how stupid y'all think we are.

    verified, of course... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:51:59 AM EST
    by the keys that keep sticking at weird and unusual intervals.



    And be sure to (none / 0) (#42)
    by derridog on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 03:24:53 PM EST
    vote for Obama so he'll appoint him to the Supreme Court.

    Oh dear... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:02:58 PM EST
    Casstein can be trusted just as much as (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by MarkL on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:52:25 AM EST
    Obama. You know, it's possible Obama will be a fine President, but there is no chance I will believe it without seeing him actually do something.
    He has obliterated any chance of giving people real faith in his promises, over and over.

    No snark intended here - real question (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by misspeach2008 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 02:04:09 PM EST
    Every time I hear about Obama's advisers it seems to be in the context of they are being asked to resign or cannot be trusted. Does he have any good advisers close enough to him that he really listens to them, and if so, who are they? There are lists of people available, but who is really in the inner circle?

    Heh (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:16:35 PM EST
    anyone who objects to being considered a "peon" know knows how it felt to be a Hillary supporter during the primary.

    Anyway, having Sunstein as an advisor certainly doesn't say much for Obama's judgement.

    I really liked what Greenwald had to say though. It seems that he "gets" it. Even with Bush having a 23% approval rating and congress having a 9% approval rating they STILL can't seem to figure out what they need to do. I never thought I would see the day where the Dem party was just as craven and disgusting as the GOP. Sorry to say it but it's what I really think at this juncture.

    Color me unimpressed (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Maryb2004 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    Sunstein:  Based on his reading of the bill "just" as a legal matter, this bill is an improvement over the Bush administration status quo.  

    The Bush administration status quo was to do whatever it wanted without respect to what the law was.  The only way this law is an improvement is if your goal is not to be bothered anymore by claims that the an administration is breaking the law.  

    It is ironic that at the end he claims to want sunlight.

    Greenwald, as usual, ran rings around Sunstein (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by chancellor on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:52:02 PM EST
    in that interview. Sunstein is nothing more than an apologist for The Village and the Bush administration's unlawful activities. And this is Obama's chief legal advisor? Occam's razor, BTD.

    alert-red flags flying. we keep seeing (none / 0) (#45)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 08:28:16 PM EST
    advisors that make us cringe.

    Not only was I not impressed with (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:34:23 PM EST
    Sunstein - who seemed more snide ("it's obvious to those who did a careful reading of the bill") than scholarly, but I now know that it had to have been Sunstein who advised Obama on the FISA bill; that Sunstein managed to convince Obama that the bill offered an improvement to civil liberties protections makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.  Especially when I think about Sunstein as a possible SC nominee, head of the OLC or WH counsel. [shudders]

    It seems like the choice before us in November is between a sharp stick in the eye and a sharp stick in the posterior...it's why some of us will not be voting for anyone for president this year.

    See Sunstein's piece on Huff Post. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 02:00:11 PM EST
    He says he advised Obama who to contact on telecomm immunity in FISA revision.

    Why do we allow it to happen (none / 0) (#2)
    by Turbulent Confusion on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:32:14 AM EST
    Are the majority of people so dis-interested in the political process to not know they can change these laws.  If our elected officials begin to get an inundation of letters, emails, and faxes from the people that voted them in, they will take a stand...  This is what is needed.  If you want the stupidity in Washington to stop, let them know that you are!

    I think that most people (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by madamab on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:57:03 AM EST
    do not have the luxury of getting actual news on the Internets. The Teevee news is completely useless and the papers, for the most part, simply push the corporate line.

    I don't think you can blame people for not caring, when they don't know what's really going on.


    I disagree re newspapers. Depends on (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:15:54 PM EST
    the paper.

    That's why I said (none / 0) (#20)
    by madamab on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:22:10 PM EST
    "for the most part." I agree that some papers are still doing excellent work. :-)

    You were right (none / 0) (#31)
    by oldpro on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:25:32 PM EST
    the first time.

    In a Democratic Republic, citizens shouldn't have to engage in complicated research to know what's going on with their government.

    It's a huge improvement now to have google and the internet at our fingertips, as this post proves (for those who DO take the time to do research!)  

    Just read the transcript (or listen) to the first segment of today's program re corporate 'ownership' of both parties through paying for their conventions AND the resultant connections between those corporate payments and legislation:  most recently, FISA.  But also, revealingly, the outrageous outcome re healthcare legislation and Kennedy's 'attitude adjustment' about government negotiating for drug prices, following his raising millions from drug companies to sponsor the 2004 convention.



    the answer to you first question (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:48:40 AM EST
    is yes.  I would say most are so disinterested they dont even care.  is it time for american idol yet?

    Heh (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:43:26 AM EST
    Can we really expect any kind of objective analysis from Sunstein, considering he's surely up for a judgeship or what have you?

    Worse than that (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:48:31 AM EST
    Sunstein is on the record agreeing with the BushCo argument on ihernet authority.

    the man is a menace. I strongly object to his being associated with the Obama campaign.


    "Associated" Is an Understatement (5.00 / 7) (#14)
    by The Maven on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:04:37 PM EST
    With each passing day, it seems to become clear that Sunstein has positioned himself as Obama's principal legal adviser.  Maybe he's thinking White House Counsel, if not the aforementioned judgeship.  But it's not a good sign at all that he appears to be implicitly speaking for the campaign.  Sunstein is no friend of our civil liberties and constitutional rights.

    He undermines the strongest argument (5.00 / 10) (#15)
    by MarkL on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:06:24 PM EST
    for Obama, which is the SCOTUS appointments.

    No doubt. . . (none / 0) (#19)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    I strongly object to his being associated with the Obama campaign.

    this has the Obama campaign scrambling this very minute.


    Does it bother you (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:23:38 PM EST
    that I state my objection?

    At some point, you may want to express a few opinions of your own.


    Not at all. (none / 0) (#26)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:57:30 PM EST
    Does it bother you that I don't think the Obama campaign will pay any attention to your opinion?  I just thought it was funny, is all.

    Of course it bothers me (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:12:47 PM EST
    Does it bother you that your views are not adopted by the government? If not, why not?

    I think it bothers everyone when they (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Radix on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:34:46 PM EST
    believe the Government isn't responsive to their individual wishes. Although, Larry can answer this for himself. The real question is, Why should they? There is no resounding need for them to. The two camps Republicans and Democrats have firmly convinced the people that there are no viable alternatives, "go ahead and waste your vote on a third party candidate". So as long as the parties have the folks bamboozled into this belief they have nothing to fear.

    Well. . . (none / 0) (#36)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:43:02 PM EST
    in that case I think the old "more flies with honey saw might be appropriate here.  You spend a lot of time excoriating the Obama campaign (although less in recent days, let me add) and it would be contrary to human nature if they leaped on your suggestion (not a suggestion, actually, an objection).

    That's regardless of the fact that your objection is aimed at making them a better campaign.

    Does it bother me when my views are not adopted by the government?  Not really.  I'm just some schmuck on the internet -- why should anyone listen to my ideas?  It bothers me when the government pursues aims that I think are immoral, but not particularly that my policy prescriptions (of which I have few serious ones) aren't adopted.


    Really? (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:45:06 PM EST
    Give me an example of where the honey approach has worked? Unless  honey is a euphemism for money.

    I learned from Demi Moore (none / 0) (#23)
    by Steve M on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:40:00 PM EST
    that if your objection gets overruled, you should STRENUOUSLY object.  It's sort of an advanced lawyering technique.

    First (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    I strongly objected and still do.

    I was not asking for a ruling from Larry, Obama or even you Steve.

    Second, that scene in A Few Good Men is actually rather stupid. IF you object in stronger terms, sometimes you may get the judge's attention and a better hearing (depending on the judge of course).

    It is a pretty basic lawyering technique and its efficacy depends on the issue, the objection, the lawyer and the judge you draw.

    No need to thank me for the lesson.


    Heh...it also depends (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oldpro on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:13:31 PM EST
    on the sex of each of the 'players,' wouldn't you say?

    It was the female who was cast in the "strenuously object!" and made-to-look-stupid role by her 'teacher' the hotshot-guy-lawyer, hero and star of the movie.

    Sexism...alive and well on all fronts.

    Not here at TL, of course.

    Thanks for that.


    Very good point (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:28:22 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#41)
    by Steve M on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 03:10:13 PM EST
    As a general proposition, there are certainly times when it pays to restate your objection, but I think she was wrong in the movie for exactly the reason that was explained to her!

    Setting that aside, it was not my intent to take a shot at you in any way, but simply to reference a movie that I greatly enjoyed.  In fact, I think I will even join in your objection.


    Yes. Inherent authority (none / 0) (#33)
    by oldpro on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:29:01 PM EST
    is the scary part of Obama's votes and 'explanations' for same.

    I expect that, if elected, he and Sunstein would be prepared to use it, so want to keep that arrow in their quiver.


    Under that circumstance. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 11:47:27 AM EST
    shouldn't we be praying for an objective analysis?

    Here is Sunstein's bio on Univ. of (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:09:03 PM EST
    Chicago website:


    He is a Visiting Professor of Law, but the info does not include what subject matter he teaches; he also has an appointment in political science.

    He's also moving (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by oldpro on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 01:16:25 PM EST
    to Harvard...

    AND, he just married everyone's favorite 'former' Obama advisor, Samantha Power.

    Now there's a pair to draw to...for those who like gambling, I mean.


    So much for those who defended ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:29:19 PM EST
    Samantha Power's judgment.

    And those who applauded Obama's ... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 12:29:49 PM EST
    ... self-professed superior judgment.

    I've got a bad feeling about this.