Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on March 4, 2015 by Allahpundit

There’s just one person who could cost Hillary Rodham Clinton the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

That would be Hillary Clinton.

The startling disclosure this week that she exclusively used a private e-mail account to conduct business when she was secretary of State — just the latest in a string of negative stories — has fueled questions about Clinton’s vulnerabilities as a candidate and her instincts as a pol. Even before announcing she will run, she is mired in the sort of distracting controversies that have marked her tenure in public life and that of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

***

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to have operated in violation of what the White House said Tuesday was “very specific guidance” that members of the Obama administration use government e-mail accounts to carry out official business…

“Very specific guidance has been given to agencies all across the government, which is specifically that employees in the Obama administration should use their official e-mail accounts when they’re conducting official government business,” Earnest said. “However, when there are situations where personal e-mail accounts are used, it is important for those records to be preserved, consistent with the Federal Records Act.”…

Aides to Clinton declined to explain why she did not set up a State Department e-mail account.

***

In 2012, congressional investigators asked the State Department for a wide range of documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The department eventually responded, furnishing House committees with thousands of documents.

But it turns out that that was not everything.

The State Department had not searched the email account of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had maintained a private account, which shielded it from such searches, department officials acknowledged on Tuesday…

Mrs. Clinton’s aides on Tuesday sought to play down the significance of her exclusive use of a personal email account for State Department business. But an examination of records requests sent to the department reveals how the practice protected a significant amount of her correspondence from the eyes of investigators and the public.

***

The biggest problem with running your own servers, as Lee Hutchinson recently pointed out on Ars Technica, is that “you are responsible for the care and feeding of your system. This is not an impossible task — it’s not even really difficult — but it is non-trivial and never-ending. Applying critical updates is your responsibility. When do critical updates come out? That’s your responsibility to keep track of, too.” Not trusting government information technology experts to do this and hiring your own is a risky move for a public official, not because government employees are better at Internet security — far from it — but because it means assuming full responsibility for preventing a hack.

Besides, running one’s own e-mail only keeps your messages out of the unspecific dragnets typically run by the National Security Agency and other intelligence services. Even if the private consultant working on the server is diligent and does everything right, he or she can’t always stop direct surveillance. When a server is monitored — whether by spies or malicious hackers — everything that moves over that connection, including email, can be skimmed. Encryption helps, but it is not a panacea — a lot depends on how interested the hackers are.  

Going the private e-mail server route held no advantages for Clinton unless her only goal was to keep certain e-mails away from prying government eyes.

***

The revelation that Hillary Rodham Clinton conducted government business entirely on a private email account as secretary of state has blindsided the Democratic establishment.

It was a bracing reminder of the risks entailed in the party’s all-but-all-in bet on Mrs. Clinton so early in the presidential nominating process. And it left Democrats contemplating the prospect of yet another long cycle of dramatic Clinton flare-ups — the type that President Obama obliquely campaigned against in 2008…

That seemingly flat-footed reaction, several Democratic strategists said, illustrated how Mrs. Clinton’s decision to delay a formal start to her campaign had left her vulnerable. She has waited until recent weeks to begin hiring staff and creating the sort of sprawling infrastructure a presidential bid demands. She also only recently hired researchers to start reviewing her paper trail from the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and the past two years as a private citizen, to identify potential trouble spots that might need to be addressed later in the campaign.

***

For a would-be presidential candidate with her deep experience in Washington, that’s a lot of unforced errors. The foundation shouldn’t have accepted donations from foreign countries so that no one could ever accuse Clinton of being influenced by that money. She should have stopped giving paid speeches a long time ago. And she should have used a government email address at the State Department. These should all be easy decisions to make, and yet Clinton got them all wrong. (And, in the case of the paid speeches, continues to get wrong.)

This should frighten Democrats. Who knows what other past mistakes might surface, or ones yet to come? It hasn’t taken much digging from journalists to find these stories. Republican opposition researchers are surely going into overdrive now that they smell blood in the water.

The best way for a party to vet a candidate, and get all of the dirt out of the way, is in a primary. But the Democratic Party is not going to have a competitive primary.

***

Until now, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency has been viewed as pretty much a sure thing. But lately the road to near-certain nomination has taken a couple of rough turns, especially with the revelation that Clinton may have broken federal rules as secretary of state by communicating only on her private email account. Which makes us wonder: What if The Unthinkable did happen and she actually dropped out? What would be the Democrats’ response?

“Panic,” says Democratic consultant Chris Lapetina. Indeed, the biggest problem is that the Democratic establishment is apparently so terrified of the idea of a Hillary-less race—and the vicious primary that might result—it’s not even considering contingency plans. Political professionals, like military generals and crisis management experts, know that the way to avoid being blindsided is to prepare for every scenario. But while the Democratic National Committee has to officially remain neutral, much of the extraparty infrastructure has been moving ahead on the presumption of a Hillary campaign…

When they were asked what they would do with their resources if Hillary takes a pass—line up behind another primary candidate to help clear the field, or stay on the sidelines until the general election—very few of the establishment party operatives I contacted would entertain the question, even off the record.

***

Are Clinton’s email shenanigans a federal offense? Probably not. But we still don’t know the whole story, and it seems to be thickening by the minute — notably with a new report from the AP that she was protecting her email by cycling it through her own private email server out of Chappaqua. But the more important question is why the Clintons, who more than anyone in American politics understand the high risks of perceived improprieties, have left Hillary’s campaign so vulnerable even before it is officially out of the gate…

And one imagines this is only the beginning. At the Post, a lead reporter on the Clinton story is Rosalind S. Helderman, whom some may recall was the dogged investigative journalist whose forensic journalism helped expose the pay-for-play scandal that brought down Bob McDonnell, the former Virginia Governor, and his wife Maureen.

Another question: What is the Democrats’ Plan B if their presumed presidential candidate falls by the wayside? Answer: None. Elizabeth Warren is not running, no matter how many on the party’s left fantasize about it, and, as a Massachusetts liberal, has virtually no chance of winning a national election even if she did. The others toying with a presidential candidacy, like Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb, have no chance either, and neither does Joe Biden. The Democrats ridicule the GOP field at their own peril; they have no field at all. 

***

Does she have a political death wish?

Until a month ago, one of the arguments I frequently heard in favor of her presumed candidacy for the presidency was that she’d been vetted like nobody’s ever been vetted, with no surprises left. All the skeletons had been tugged from the Clintons’ labyrinthine closets. All the mud had been dug up and flung.

But that assessment shortchanged the couple’s ability to make new messes. It ignored the “Groundhog Day” in which they star…

That is, if she runs and if she gets her party’s nomination. Democrats should look closely at the revelations of recent weeks and think hard about finding a primary opponent for her, one more fearsome than those who have stepped forward so far.

Only then would she get the practice she may need in answering the latest charges against her. Only then would Democratic voters see how well she handles that. Only then would they be forced to reckon fully with her habit of clinging to her ways.

***

Many senior Democrats are angry, though not yet mad enough to publicly confront the Clintons. “This story has legs as long as the election,” said a Democrat who has worked on Capitol Hill and as a presidential campaign manager. “She will be tripping over this crap until the cows come home.”…

[N]ow I wonder whether there is a part of her that doesn’t want to be president. She seems to be placing obstacles in her lane before the race begins. Is this sabotage or something else?

We’ve had sleazy and stupid—and, now, with these emails, suspicious. If she runs, are we going to have a full Seven Dwarfs?

Seedy.

Sanctimonious.

Self-important. 

Slick.

***

Many self-stylized good government types on the Left, including a good number of journalists, already dislike Hillary.  A major contingent within the Democratic base is just itching for an Obamaesque, Liz Warren-like figure to emerge — and they’d bolt in a heartbeat.  “Ready for Hillary” is not a universal sentiment on the Left.  This email story is ammo for them, confirming their worst suspicions about Clintonworld.

Coupled with the other current — and more potent, I think — Hillary scandal, average Americans are being reminded of the ugliness that has followed the Clintons throughout their decades of public life.  If the electorate is in a mood to turn the page and elect someone fresh and untainted by seemingly ancient political baggage in 2016, every negative headline and unseemly revelation draws some blood.  These things build.  What voters have been hearing for two weeks is that (a) the Clintons’ organization accepted big, often unvetted, gifts from foreign governments during her time as Secretary of State (and again, as her campaign ramps up) — raising conflict of interest concerns and reminders that Hillary is uber-wealthy practitioner of cronyism and corporatism — and (b), that she deliberately skirted transparency laws by conducting government business through an extraordinary private email system, the entire purpose of which was to avoid legitimate oversight and scrutiny.  One of her justifications for her actions has already begun to crumble.  Some experts say her gerry-rigged system maximizes her ability to slow-walk domestic investigations into her official conduct, while also opening up significant security vulnerabilities.  Her political ambitions are safe.  Her sensitive correspondence as the nation’s top diplomat, not so much.  Pile these two problems atop her widely-ridiculed “dead broke” bumbling from last year, and some of her biggest forays back into the public realm have been marred by self-inflicted wounds and unforced errors.

***

Who, one wonders, does she think she is?

The answer to that question is as it ever was: She is Hillary Clinton, and she believes, with some justification, that she will get away with anything and everything she tries. “Why,” supporters grumble, “knowing full well how effective the charge of elitism can be during a presidential campaign, does she continue to take $300,000 per speech?” Answer: Because she’s Hillary Clinton. “Why,” others inquire, “when tempers are still hot and nerves are still frayed, does she continue to take money from the outfits that are widely blamed for the financial crisis of 2008?” Answer: Because she’s Hillary Clinton. “How could she possibly believe that her ex-president husband’s temporary inability to buy a multi-million-dollar house rendered her ‘dead broke’”? Because she’s Hillary Clinton, and she has a sense of entitlement that would make Imelda Marcos blush.

And so, having been championed and overpraised for years, lionized more for her immutable characteristics than for any concrete achievements, and allowed to pretend that her few successes have been the product of her own ability and not her husband’s uncommon political talent, Clinton has of late fallen disastrously deep into the professional celebrity’s most pernicious trap: She has begun to believe her own hype. How long can it be before her fellow disciples begin to lose faith in more than just the small hours of the night? Answers welcome by e-mail.

***

What is a political machine, boiled down to its essence? In a nutshell, it is a tightly-run, extra-governmental organization that conducts business on behalf of governmental agents. At first glance, political parties may be thought of as machines, but parties are basically open to any and all participants who more or less agree with the platform. Machines are closed off, premised on loyalty, and usually operated on behalf of a close-knit group of leaders, who control entry to and exit from the operation.

That the Clintons are an actual machine was given further evidence with the news that the Clinton Foundation has been accepting contributions from foreign governments, and that Hillary Clinton used a private email address when conducting her business as secretary of state. They clearly are operating a vast shadow organization — a machine — designed to clear a path for her to the Democratic nomination, and eventually the presidency…

At a minimum, the GOP needs to nominate somebody whose hands are clean — impeccably, impossibly, squeaky clean — to press the case for honest and open governance. Only a candidate with a clear conscience, and a vacant closet can train a critical eye on this kind of bad behavior. And even then it may not be enough. For better or worse, money moves American politics — and the Clintons have shown in the 14 years since they’ve left office that they are very, very good at moving money.

***

Via RCP.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

dunno why anyone would fish for flies

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 1:05 AM

Some people like a challenge. The baits and hooks are microscopic. Just baiting the hook is a challenge. And there is another challenge. Flies can’t swim, so if they’re in the water, they’re not primarily concerned with snacking.

novaculus on March 5, 2015 at 1:13 AM

WestVirginiaRebel on March 5, 2015 at 1:08 AM

I haven’t been able to find a good version of “The River” in a long time. He locked up the best one a couple years ago.

The cowboy rides away

Fred

jrsrigmvr on March 5, 2015 at 1:14 AM

I’ve been thinking of getting a new ZIP code myself…

I bet there was a smart Jewish dad in 1936 that said, “Ya know, I don’t think Berlin is a really good place to be…”

PointnClick on March 5, 2015 at 1:12 AM

One of my main criteria is a locale that provides fishing and hunting opportunities. If everything goes to sh!t, you want to be far from urban areas. You want to be where population density is low and you can harvest enough game, birds and fish to survive. That may mean less hospitable climates, but I’d rather be cold and alive in Wyoming than room temperature in Dallas.

novaculus on March 5, 2015 at 1:24 AM

The foundation shouldn’t have accepted donations from foreign countries so that no one could ever accuse Clinton of being influenced by that money.

Danny Vinik @newrepublic.com

.
ROFLMAO!

… … … still laughing …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 5, 2015 at 12:13 AM

.
I thought they had Mochtar & (son) James Riady, to take care of that kinda’ stuff.

listens2glenn on March 5, 2015 at 1:28 AM

The Dipsy Doodle – Chick Webb

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 1:40 AM

Delta Lady….No – REALLY!!……

williamg on March 5, 2015 at 1:42 AM

Hillary Clinton asks State Dept. to release her e-mails

Yeah, the ones that State has…

Clinton posted on Twitter that she wants the public to see her e-mail, marking the first time she has commented publicly about the controversy.

“I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible,” she said.

State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the department will review the e-mails provided by Clinton. “We will undertake this review as quickly as possible,” Harf said. “Given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete.”

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 1:42 AM

The Benghazi panel said it has records with two different e-mail addresses used by Clinton, which she controlled on her own server at clintonemail.com. Harf said there is only one e-mail account and that it was not prohibited during Clinton’s four-year tenure

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 1:49 AM

Jeebus,

You people are blissfully blogging away, and I might add, like armatures; meanwhile, HELLO PEOPLE, there is a full moon, and its not like I haven’t warned you before because I haven’t.

There is a freakin’ WereTurtle running around, and yes, she can run, you, down! No sense climbing a tree either. It won’t make no difference no how.

Count your blessings and stay inside away from Books. WereTurtle like books even when its not a full moon.

SpongePuppy on March 5, 2015 at 1:52 AM

The moon isn’t full here on Saturn. Where are you?

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 2:08 AM

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 2:08 AM

I’m in a bar just outside Pikerville. Moon looks Full.

SpongePuppy on March 5, 2015 at 2:11 AM

Passing through…

A scene from one of my favorite cartoons. :)

Pleasant dreams, HA!

4Grace on March 5, 2015 at 2:23 AM

4Grace on March 5, 2015 at 2:23 AM

Hi Grace. Bye Grace.

Backtrack Motocross

novaculus on March 5, 2015 at 2:30 AM

The above was alleged by WCBM radio co-host Sue Payne in an interview with talk giant Mark Levin Thursday last week. Payne says that while at an immigration rally, she became privy to three conference calls in which 16 Obama administration officials — including Cecilia Muñoz, director of Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council — discussed plans for what could only be called the final destruction of traditional America and the cementing of leftist hegemony.
VorDaj on March 5, 2015 at 2:37 AM

Sounds like The Protocols of The Elders Of Obama.

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 2:44 AM

Sounds like The Protocols of The Elders Of Obama.

kcewa on March 5, 2015 at 2:44 AM

Which is the Final Solution.

VorDaj on March 5, 2015 at 2:57 AM

I demand to know just what the Hell is going on here.

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 3:02 AM

Exactly as I suspected.

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 3:21 AM

Estoy cansado. Hasta luego.

Te amo, Sophie.

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 4:30 AM

Morning y’all

cmsinaz on March 5, 2015 at 4:56 AM

Exactly as I suspected.

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 3:21 AM

I see you are involved in a 007 relationship. You are shaken and she is not stirred.

Octopussy!

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 5:49 AM

Morning y’all

cmsinaz on March 5, 2015 at 4:56 AM

buenos días!

renalin on March 5, 2015 at 5:56 AM

Morning SL and cmsinaz, 65F with the temps dropping to 26F with current rain turning to possible freezing rain. Yep, it is March. Got smart and hired a company to fix some roof damage due to high winds. Of course the damage was on the steepest part of the roof (20:1) and am too old and rarely sober during waking hours, thus the need for a youngster to show me how it is done. Fine with me.

Got a call from a single daughter who informed me that (1)she is learning to play the bass guitar; (2) her birthday is coming up soon; and (3) she is using a friends guitar and amp to practice. I wonder why she called? Yep again, seems I will be shopping for a base guitar. Wimmen!

All me luv SL and the best to the rest. Worried about OldNuke.

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 5:59 AM

Exactly as I suspected.

Axe on March 5, 2015 at 3:21 AM

See you are having a 007 relationship. You are shaken and she is not stirred.

Octoxxxxy!

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 6:02 AM

Good Morning Peeps/cmsinaz:

Watch what you say on FaceBooky:
================================

Marie Harf
Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 4, 2015
=============

QUESTION: UAE?

MS. HARF: The UAE. So patient on the UAE.

QUESTION: Thank you. There are reports that a U.S. citizen Ryan Pate was arrested in the UAE, that this was over a Facebook message that he posted while in the U.S. on temporary leave from his UAE-based job. One of the charges put against him – cyber slander, among others. He’s, I guess, since been released but his passport’s been taken and he’s awaiting trial. Do you have anything on this case? Have consular officials been in touch with him? What can you say about it?

MS. HARF: We can confirm that U.S. citizen Ryan Pate was arrested on February 16th in Abu Dhabi. The U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi is in contact with him and providing all possible consular assistance. The consular officer visited him on February 19th in prison. He was released on bail on February 24th. We will continue providing assistance to him. I believe his next court appearance is scheduled for March 17th, certainly. So we don’t have much more than that, but we have been providing assistance.

QUESTION: Is the February 19th the only contact he’s had with consular officials and —

MS. HARF: I think the only consular visit. I can check and see if there’s been other contact. I just don’t know.

QUESTION: And then —

QUESTION: And he’s out on bail now?

MS. HARF: He is. On February 24th he was released.

QUESTION: Is he living in – at his own residence?

MS. HARF: I don’t know and probably wouldn’t get into that, for privacy reasons.

QUESTION: Have there been any concerns expressed to the UAE Government about this case?

MS. HARF: Not to my knowledge. I think we’re providing assistance, and if there’s more to say as this moves forward, we will.

QUESTION: Do you consider this a domestic judicial procedure at this point?

MS. HARF: Well, certainly, U.S. citizens are subject to local laws when traveling or residing abroad. I don’t have more details on it than that, though.

QUESTION: Does the fact that he was in the United States when he allegedly committed this cyber slander to you make a difference in terms of his case, the justice of his case?

MS. HARF: I’m not an expert on UAE law. I’m happy to see if there’s more to share.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2015/03/238164.htm

=================================================

American Jailed In UAE For ‘Cyber Slander Against Islam’ on Facebook

by John Hayward4 Mar 201590
***************************

The Tampa Tribune brings us the amazing and outrageous story of local helicopter mechanic Ryan Pate, who worked as a contractor for a company called Global Aerospace Logistics, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. Pat was arrested in the UAE for an offending Facebook post.

According to Pate, he began suffering back problems and, with a recommendation from his doctors in the United States, wanted to leave the company’s employ. This turned into an ugly dispute in which he was summoned to the UAE for further medical testing, and his pay was frozen. Angered by these developments, Pate vented on his Facebook page – something that has become a remarkably common end to jobs around the world. Pate was arrested and thrown in jail by Abu Dhabi police when he arrived in the United Arab Emirates, charged with violating their speech codes by making “cyber slander against Islam, cyber slander against the UAE, cyber slander against his employer and cyber slander against management.”
(More……)
==============

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/04/american-jailed-in-uae-for-cyber-slander-against-islam-on-facebook/

canopfor on March 5, 2015 at 6:14 AM

SouthKorea Incident:

US ambassador attacked in South Korea
1h
South Korean police providing additional security to US Embassy in Seoul following incident involving ambassador – @AlexSmithNBC
End of alert
============

US ambassador attacked in South Korea
2h
North Korea says attack on US envoy in Seoul ‘just punishment’ – KCNA via @AFP
End of alert

canopfor on March 5, 2015 at 6:17 AM

Good Morning, HL! Children are wonderful creatures, are they not?

Very cold here this a.m.

Morning to all at HA.

esr1951 on March 5, 2015 at 6:18 AM

Good morning!

Funny ’cause it’s true:

The 1863 comment thread on the Gettysburg Address post!

Trolling the Gettysburg Address
What reception would the greatest speech in American history have had on the internet?

INC on March 5, 2015 at 6:35 AM

OOPS!!

Substitute teacher who showed graphic movie to classes sentenced to 90 days in jail
The Columbus Dispatch • Wednesday March 4, 2015 9:42 PM

A Franklin County judge criticized Columbus City Schools on Wednesday for putting Spanish-language classes at East High School in the hands of a long-term substitute who didn’t know Spanish and showed students a movie containing graphic sex and violence.

“This is what happens when you put a teacher in a class that she cannot teach,” Common Pleas Judge Charles A. Schneider said before sentencing the former substitute to 90 days in jail.

“They put a permanent substitute in a high-school Spanish class who can’t speak Spanish at all. Here we are, with the Columbus public schools telling us what wonderful things (they) are doing.”

Sheila Kearns, 58, was convicted in January of four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, all low-level felony offenses. Schneider placed her on probation for three years but made the jail time a condition of her probation.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/03/04/Subsitute-teacher-who-showed-violent-movie-sentenced.html

canopfor on March 5, 2015 at 6:35 AM

Biblical one, nobody survives anyway. And I’m pretty sure my “final destination” is to spend eternity in Hell as a chili bean on a demonic burrito.

cheers

eon

Sometimes the only thing to do is just sit in awe and grin.

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 6:58 AM

Hey Hey Hey

cmsinaz on March 5, 2015 at 7:11 AM

Hey Hey Hey

cmsinaz on March 5, 2015 at 7:11 AM

It’s Fat Albert!

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 7:13 AM

Looks like HilRods EmailClusterFark,
is going to pull Hopey into her vortex:
=======================================

The Associated Press retweeted
AP Politics @AP_Politics · 3h 3 hours ago
Clinton emails inject Obama’s administration into 2016 fray, reports @joshledermanAP: http://apne.ws/1DY9vmA
===============================================

Clinton emails inject Obama’s administration into 2016 fray
By JOSH LEDERMAN
Mar. 5, 2015 3:18 AM EST
************************

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of private email has thrust the Obama administration into the 2016 presidential campaign fray, forcing the White House to defend — or at least explain — the former secretary of state’s conduct.

Since the revelations surfaced this week, the Obama administration has been pummeled by endless questions about Clinton, who hasn’t formally announced a run. In the absence of an official campaign to defend her, the White House press secretary has been put in the awkward position of being a de facto Clinton spokesman and the most public voice speaking on her behalf.

Further entangling the Obama administration, Clinton announced in a late-night tweet Wednesday that she wants her emails released. She asked the State Department to vet the 55,000-plus pages she handed over, leaving the diplomatic agency with the intensely politicized task of determining which can be made public.
The State Department said it would review the emails as quickly as possible but cautioned it would take some time.
The email saga has developed as the first major test for how the White House and President Barack Obama’s administration will deal with Clinton’s likely campaign — and the inevitable questions that will only get louder as 2016 approaches.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/edb516761ecf46fe8aa7f614b1edbfc6/clinton-emails-inject-obamas-administration-2016-fray

canopfor on March 5, 2015 at 7:17 AM

Another question: What is the Democrats’ Plan B if their presumed presidential candidate falls by the wayside? Answer: None. Elizabeth Warren is not running, no matter how many on the party’s left fantasize about it, and, as a Massachusetts liberal, has virtually no chance of winning a national election even if she did.

Holy unbelievable truth, Batman!!! Someone with a clue actually states the obvious, and its NOT a Republican!

deadrody on March 5, 2015 at 7:27 AM

Going Against Type: How Legibility Gets Sacrificed to the Design Gods

Bad typography is like smoking cigarettes: sure, it may eventually kill you and alienate non-smokers, but people do it if they think it makes them look cool and everyone else is doing it.

IOW hipster site-makeovers are not necessarily an improvement.

I realize few may be interested in typography, but I have to rant. because the NRO site makeover is so bad. The predominance of reverse type of white on black is hard on the eyes, and then when you scroll from page one to page two there’s a startling switch from reverse type to black on white. Reverse type can work for headlines or in moderation, but not in such excess.

There are too many moving parts–you hover over a headline, the box slides up, and goes into reverse type. You cannot survey the page and click on whatever or whomever you want to read. You have to click and scroll, click and scroll (and search for the narrow invisible and only appearing-when-you’re-near-it scrollbar).

Line height is also too great, and I’m not a fan of the font changes in the blockquotes. I was truly surprised to see such a poor design there. I’m not a professional–I only had a stint as a typesetter for publications and letters at a graduate school with OTJ training–but I do notice readability and good design. NRO is a site for reading–it’s not a fashion design site or photography blog.

Do a search on reverse type reading comprehension and you’ll find this study by Colin Wheildon mentioned:

Discover the impact of reverse type on reader comprehension
By Kim Harrison

Reverse type is used by graphic designers to improve the design of a printed page. They love using it in glossy, multi-color magazines, brochures and annual reports. But what impact does reverse type have on reader comprehension? This is the crucial issue. It is absolutely pointless designing an attractive looking page that is hard to read.

Colin Wheildon, editor of the largest Australian motoring publication, wanted the answers to this because he knew that a nice layout means nothing if readers have to work hard to read the words and afterwards can’t remember what the message was about. With one million readers, he wanted to maximize the effectiveness of his words.

Advertising guru, David Ogilvy, said that advertising copy should never be set in reverse type. Colin Wheildon set out to test this maxim. Here are Wheildon’s results for serif type printed in reverse compared with the same text printed black on white:

[Tables don’t format in the comments. The percentages are the comprehension results]

Text printed black on white: 70% Good 19% Fair 11% Poor
Text printed white on black: 0% Good 12% Fair 88% Poor
Text printed white on PMS 259 (purple): 2% Good 16% Fair 82% Poor
Text printed white on PMS 286 (royal blue): 0% Good 4% Fair Poor96%

When Wheildon switched to a sans serif type, which is what NRO uses in the reverse type, comprehension in reverse type was even worse.

Is Ineffective Graphic Design Diluting Your Copywriting?

Advertising pioneer and innovator David Ogilvy believed that reverse type should not be used. In Ogilvy on Advertising he wrote, ‘Advertising agencies waste their clients’ money repeating the same mistakes. I recently counted 49 advertisements set in reverse type in one issue of a magazine, long years after research demonstrated that reverse type is difficult to read.

Robert Bly, copywriting authority and author of The Copywriter’s Handbook, agreed with Ogilvy when he wrote, ‘Never do anything to make the copy difficult to read. Type should be set in black against a clear white background – not a tint, not white on black, not in color.’

…Another test conducted by Williams Sonoma, a major US gourmet food and cookware catalogue, found that its sales increased by 33 per cent after simply switching the type in one catalogue from reverse to black text on a white background.

After listening to the experts and reviewing the research, it is clear that it’s best to not use reverse type in your printed publications and websites. Although it might look stylish, it decreases the effectiveness of your copywriting.

I would love to see the traffic numbers for NRO to see if the site makeover has affected it. I don’t know who designed NRO’s site, but someone needs to send him a copy of Type & Layout: Are You Communicating Or Just Making Pretty Shapes? by Colin Wheildon.

INC on March 5, 2015 at 7:53 AM

HL :)

Good times

Hey canopfor long time no linky :)

cmsinaz on March 5, 2015 at 7:55 AM

AT&T to Netflix: Be careful what you wish for or SITYS.

AT&T Statement on Netflix CFO Remarks

“Netflix has spun a lot of tales during this FCC proceeding. But it’s awfully hard to believe their CFO would go into a major investor conference and misspeak on an issue supposedly so crucial to their future. More likely he had an attack of candor. At least ’til his company’s lobbyists got hold of him. I’m sure they’ll also have some terrific spin to explain Netflix’s data cap deal in Australia.”

That’s in reference to:
Netflix Exec Says It Didn’t Actually Want FCC to Regulate Broadband So Heavily

INC on March 5, 2015 at 8:32 AM

I have no doubt that I would make a better President than Shillary. I have military experience, 4 yrs in the USAF, I pay all my taxes, I am not a felon, and I love the country. Oh, wait, I was born in Canada. Only obumble can surmount that restriction.

ultracon on March 5, 2015 at 9:20 AM

I’ve been thinking of getting a new ZIP code myself… Just not sure where to go. My wife has mentioned more than once that she is amenable to going home to Texas, but I dunno. I do know that urban centers might get exciting soon…

I bet there was a smart Jewish dad in 1936 that said, “Ya know, I don’t think Berlin is a really good place to be…”

PointnClick on March 5, 2015 at 1:12 AM

Listen to your wife.

Be careful WHERE you go in Texas.
The West is best (though not the prettiest) ((unless you like flat and dry, which my mother did)) – stay out of Austin, but some of the Houston area away from the city is okay.

There were a lot of smart Jewish dads (that’s why Israel exists) but far too many thought it would just blow over like all the other pogroms, or had too much invested in homes and business and family, or thought that somehow they were important enough to be spared.
Hitler’s Holocaust was a game-changer to pogroms in the same way (on a much bigger scale) that 9-11 was a game-changer in hi-jacking.
Which is to say, they were different in kind as well as in scale.

Good luck.

AesopFan on March 5, 2015 at 11:54 AM

I see you are involved in a 007 relationship. You are shaken and she is not stirred.

Octopussy!

HonestLib on March 5, 2015 at 5:49 AM

You guys are up early.
Howdy.

AesopFan on March 5, 2015 at 12:14 PM

To RWM: read this and have mercy on us.
I love your comments here, but reading your website is excruciatingly hard, and I don’t go there as often as I would really like to.


After listening to the experts and reviewing the research, it is clear that it’s best to not use reverse type in your printed publications and websites. Although it might look stylish, it decreases the effectiveness of your copywriting.

I would love to see the traffic numbers for NRO to see if the site makeover has affected it. I don’t know who designed NRO’s site, but someone needs to send him a copy of Type & Layout: Are You Communicating Or Just Making Pretty Shapes? by Colin Wheildon.

INC on March 5, 2015 at 7:53 AM

Good summary, and useful information.
I will have to quit going to NRO if they don’t fix this.

AesopFan on March 5, 2015 at 12:17 PM

AesopFan on March 5, 2015 at 12:17 PM

Thanks for reading my rant! I’m glad it was helpful. There is a stop Common Core site with excellent info, but it is done in reverse type so I seldom go there. When I do, I scan it quickly and leave. It is simply too difficult to read for any length of time.

INC on March 6, 2015 at 4:49 AM

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