December 17, 2013
Suzan DelBene and Nepotism

The White House Is Bringing In Microsoft's Kurt DelBene To Run The Obamacare Website. Yes, that is Rep. Suzan DelBene, recently elected Democratic representative from WA-1.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at December 17, 2013 09:15 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Interestingly, I found two articles that didn't mention that Kurt was married to a member of Congress: one from Bloomberg, one from NBC. Hmmmm.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/former-microsoft-exec-take-over-healthcare-gov-2D11761730

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-17/delbene-to-replace-zients-at-obama-health-care-enrollment-site.html

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 09:23 AM
2.
He does seem well qualified, but, yes, DC is a town that works via connections, for better or worse. Usually worse, but maybe not in this case.

Posted by: gocougs! on December 17, 2013 10:42 AM
3. cougs: maybe not. We don't know. But we can be pretty confident that it wouldn't have happened if she weren't in Congress.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 11:32 AM
4. pudge: Once you took yourself out of the running, they had to go elsewhere:

"I know software development, very well."

"They could not pay me enough to come help them..."

Posted by: pudge on October 24, 2013 10:17 PM


When you didn't answer the phone, I guess they realized they were going to have to get by without you!

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 11:38 AM
5. Well, and if they want the website to actually work, they should have hired someone from Google or Apple whose wife is a Democrat Rep.

Shameless Obamabots.

Posted by: Mike on December 17, 2013 01:00 PM
6. Nepotism? That's a lie. You have no evidence whatsoever for that charge, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Revisit the definition of the word and then explain to us what 'favor' is being granted to Delbene. He's someone worth tens of millions, which includes over 600,000 shares of Microsoft, who made over $6,000,000 in compensation in 2011 alone, over $6,000,000 in MS stock share increase for 2013, and who is perfectly qualified to do the work. What, he needs a temporary job for sixth months improving that site and he got that job solely as a favor through his wife?

Next time would you at least try to get past the title of your post before you begin lying to your readers?

Posted by: Mengele on December 17, 2013 01:51 PM
7. Megele: Nepotism? That's a lie.

False.


You have no evidence whatsoever for that charge, not by any stretch of the imagination.

False, obviously.


Revisit the definition of the word and then explain to us what 'favor' is being granted to Delbene [sic].

Um. He's being given a massively high profile job. Isn't that completely and entirely obvious?


What, he needs a temporary job for sixth months improving that site and he got that job solely as a favor through his wife?

No one said or implied that he "needs" the job said or that he got it "solely" based on his wife's influence. Please stop lying. Thanks!

Seriously: none of the "evidence" you provide against me here actually implies anything against me. Yes, he is very wealthy and has experience. But none of that implies it is not nepotism, obviously: the former is completely irrelevant to the point, and the latter isn't what you think it is. The issue of nepotism is not that someone is not qualified at all, but that they didn't get the job merely because of qualifications, but *at least in part because of* connections.

Sounds like you're the one who needs to revisit the definition.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 02:11 PM
8. scottd: well, judging from his resume, DelBene doesn't know software development as well as I do. Not even close. He does know a lot, but he's a product guy, not an engineer. That said, what they need is a good product manager, so he might be just what they need more than strong engineers.

Judging by what we've seen from the software, they DO need more strong engineers, probably, but it could just be mismanagement. It's hard to tell. But it's unavoidably true that the system had terrible product management, because if the engineers sucked, the product manager should fix that. And again, maybe he can do the job well.

That doesn't mean, of course, that it isn't nepotism. Certainly he isn't the only one for this job: he got it because he's the husband of a Democratic congressman who can do the job, not just because he can do the job.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 02:19 PM
9. I see that you deleted my comments (while leaving the ones of the Leftists up). This of course is right in line with the Republican tradition of always being harsher to their own right than to the Democrats they are supposed to be opposed to.

I don't know what you want to accomplish but you will fail. People are frustrated with the Democrats but you really should get out there they are ENRAGED with the Republicans.

Which makes sense. I mean sure you hate the enemy but when someone on your own side betrays you, that's an even more intense anger.

Republicans are Probably going to lose the House nationally this coming year because for the people out there it's not about parties but "Throw the Bums out" and since most of the Bums are Republicans that means a Democrat victory. The only way this won't be another 2006 or 2008 for Republicans is if the incumbent can be taken out in the primary. If we see an unique trend in that then perhaps a Republican majority will be saved.

Posted by: Steve on December 17, 2013 02:31 PM
10. Steve: you posted five comments that had literally nothing to do with the topic. The first four were removed, as they should be. The fifth I've left up so I can respond to it here.

Your fourth comment mentioned "Nepotism" at the top but then had nothing to do with it.

The "Leftist" comments that were not removed are on-topic. I am not harsher with you, I am enforcing very obvious and clear rules.

Your anger over the GOP is irrelevant to this discussion. This discussion is about DelBene.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 02:38 PM
11. well, judging from his resume, DelBene doesn't know software development as well as I do.

Who does?

Not even close.

Still, you weren't available to answer your country's call so we'll just have to get by with a senior executive from the world's largest software company.

Certainly he isn't the only one for this job:

True enough -- so what?

he got it because he's the husband of a Democratic congressman who can do the job, not just because he can do the job.

Yep -- I'm sure a retired president of one of Microsoft's major business units needed his wife to find him a civil service job to help make ends meet.

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 03:19 PM
12. scottd: Who does?

Lots of great software engineers know software development much better than I do. You want names? I don't see what you're driving it.


Still, you weren't available to answer your country's call

I am always available to serve my country. HealthCare.gov harms my country, and I won't support it.


... so we'll just have to get by with a senior executive from the world's largest software company.

You're confused. DelBene is from Microsoft. :p

Also, I already pointed out that they don't need engineers -- or executives -- they need a great product manager. And DelBene might be that. And I most certainly am not.


Yep -- I'm sure a retired president of one of Microsoft's major business units needed his wife to find him a civil service job to help make ends meet.

Why do you think it helps your case to point out that he doesn't need the money? You're just making a stupid argument.

But whatever, feel free to keep asserting that she had nothing to do with it. No one believes you.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 03:28 PM
13. "Political
Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications."

How powerful is the freshman congress woman serving in the House minority party?

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 17, 2013 03:43 PM
14. Pudge, of course, has absolutely no evidence of nepotism as that word is defined in any dictionary. But just as he says the constitution means what he thinks it means, he will say that nepotism means what he thinks it is. Which would be lying, except pudge will also redefine "lying".

Getting the former head of one of mankind's most popular and successful software products to manage the healthcare.gov is a coup, not nepotism, by any accepted definition of the term.

Posted by: kl on December 17, 2013 03:45 PM
15. How powerful is the freshman congress woman serving in the House minority party?

... and how inappropriate are Kurt DelBene's qualifications?

pudge doesn't understand that the person at the top of an operation is an executive. He thinks the president needed to appoint a code monkey or a PM to run the whole operation.

He's also confused about the difference between "largest" and "best" (@11).

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 03:52 PM
16. Steve says: You still haven't deleted posts against you coming from the left, have you pudge. How Boehner of you!

Dude. Why would I delete someone's comments just for disagree with me, or because of their political persuasion? I've never done that. I do delete comments that are off-topic, even from friends of mine, and I do ban commenters (you) that are persistently abusive of other people, or of the discussion itself.

So, you're done. You can't stay on-topic, so you're done.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 04:26 PM
17. Dan: How powerful is the freshman congress woman serving in the House minority party?

*headdesk*

Really? The fact that she is a member of Congress means she is very powerful. The fact that she is in the minority party in the House is completely irrelevant, since this is not a House matter, but a White House matter, and she is of the same party as the President.

Come on, don't be completely daft.


kl: Pudge, of course, has absolutely no evidence of nepotism

You're lying. I gave very strong evidence: the fact that his wife is a member of Congress from the President's party. That is good evidence, no matter how you try to avoid that fact. It's not proof, sure, but it is strong enough proof that it's much more likely than not that there it's nepotism.


... as that word is defined in any dictionary.

Yeah, because I am using it in such a strange way. You realize that your fellow traveler above is resorting to actually claiming that members of Congress are not powerful, to try to say that this isn't nepotism?

Of course, powerful or not, that's not even relevant to the point: all that matters is whether her relationship was part of the reason he got the job. The only way you could argue it is not nepotism is to say that she has no actual authority in making the decision of hiring him, which is at least mostly true, but that's not the common definition used in politics.


Getting the former head of one of mankind's most popular and successful software products to manage the healthcare.gov is a coup, not nepotism, by any accepted definition of the term.

False. The only thing you need for nepotism is that a family member is hired in part because they are a family member of someone with power.

Look, this is simple. For it to not be nepotism, you'd have to argue he would have gotten the job regardless of his relationship to a member of Congress of the President's party. That's it. Period.

I notice that no one has yet argued that.


scottd: pudge doesn't understand that the person at the top of an operation is an executive. He thinks the president needed to appoint a code monkey or a PM to run the whole operation.

Stop lying. I said explicitly, multiple times, that an engineer, or "code monkey," should NOT run the operation. When I say explicitly engineers should not run it and then you say I'm arguing they should, you know damned well you're just lying. Stop it.

I did say they need a PM, yes: and they do. And DelBene is one. If he were just an executive who wasn't an experienced PM, I would say it's likely a bad choice. My company has some very good executives, but I would not want our CEO in charge of whipping a product into shape. That'd be terrible. Our director of product and engineering -- who is both an executive, and a former Microsoft PM -- would probably do a very good job.

It's very simple: HealthCare.gov is a product that was completely mismanaged. You need a good product manager to fix it. That's what PMs do. That is what DelBene appears to be. I won't say I wish him luck, because I want the system to fail, because I think we as a country will be better off if it does, but I bear him no ill will and I think he is probably a reasonable choice for the job.

But he was almost certainly hired in part because his wife is a member of Congress. Duh.


He's also confused about the difference between "largest" and "best"

False. Stop lying. I do question the metrics (there are several metrics, including company value, by which MS is not the largest: Apple and Google are both bigger in market cap), and I very explicitly said I was joking anyway.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 04:46 PM
18. @16, You neither addressed nor answered the question. You merely begged the question.

Wonder why you think that flies. No matter. Your reply is what it is.

Good luck.

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 17, 2013 04:54 PM
19. pudge is also confused about the difference between size and value.

Which is larger, a 1-ton block of coal or a 1-ct gem quality diamond?

Which is more valuable?

See how that works?

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 05:04 PM
20. Hey, MikeBoyScout.

No joking about how DelBene beat the "hugely popular" Koster. Too soon for pudge, so no comments for you!

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 05:43 PM
21. @18,, ouch!

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 17, 2013 06:02 PM
22. The hearlthcare.gov is only the tip of the iceberg. It may take a full scale revolt pre-2016 to significantly change Obamacare. As long as we have a racist hack and marxist ideologue for President, don't expect much change in the major premises of the law until there is a different president of a different party. Single Payer is not a slam dunk if there is another Democrat Pres. in 2016. The way Obamacare is written makes it difficult to morph into single payer if it is overriden.

The philosophy of the Democrat party is enslave people under Obamacare as much as possible, then turn up the heat and cook the frog (ie.low/middle class) and oppress them into being dependent on Government controlled health care.

Posted by: KDS on December 17, 2013 06:31 PM
23. Dan: You neither addressed nor answered the question.

False. I directly addressed the question, which was, "How powerful is the freshman congress woman serving in the House minority party?" I pointed out that:

a. she is very powerful, as all members of Congress are
b. that she is in the House minority party is entirely irrelevant to her power in this situation
c. her status as a member of the party of the President is much more relevant

etc.

It's extremely odd that you would say I didn't address it when I very specifically, and in significant detail, did so.


You merely begged the question.

You do not know what "beg the question" means, apparently. It means to assume the answer to a question to prove the question, which I did not do.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 07:13 PM
24. scottd: pudge is also confused about the difference between size and value.

Stop lying.


Which is larger, a 1-ton block of coal or a 1-ct gem quality diamond?

You seem to be implying physical size here. But you're lying by implying that your context was clear: most of the time when people say something is the "largest company," they mean market cap. But even if you meant physical size, Microsoft is not even close to the physically largest software company: that would be IBM, which is bigger in number of employees at well over 400,000. Microsoft is large, but much smaller than IBM, at "only" 100,000.


Which is more valuable? See how that works?

I do, but you do not. In fact, when you say "larger," without context, it is not clear what attribute you're referring to. And you know this, because you're not as stupid as you're pretending to be. Stop lying.


Too soon for pudge, so no comments for you!

No, MikeBS is banned because he is extremely abusive. In just this discussion, he posted the same comment about 25 times. His abuse of the discussions, and the people in them, are the only reason why he is banned. Stop lying.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 07:24 PM
25. @23,
Clear it up will you.
Are you claiming the hiring of a former software exec to lead a troubled govt computing service, who ran the most profitable software division of one of the most profitable and used software products on the planet, Microsoft Office, in the history of software sales was driven by the "power" of one of the most junior member's of the politically irrelevant party in the House?

Are you high?


Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 17, 2013 08:12 PM
26. Are you high?

Nope -- that's pudge in his natural state. Awesome, isn't it?

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 08:47 PM
27. Pudge's 'evidence' of nepotism is merely that a very well known, qualified and available candidate for the job is married to a congresswoman. Even though he redefines words, Pudge still admitted that he has absolutely no 'proof' of nepotism.

One piece of flimsy evidence, marriage, that leads nowhere. No proof whatsoever. One dot of so-called evidence and not one line connecting it to another dot.

"Suzan DelBene and Nepotism"

He should try posting again when he has another piece of evidence, and hopefully something not so flimsy, if not actual proof of nepotism. Until then, we can always offer up Pudge and his post to Oxford to serve as an example of how to use the word 'vapid'.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 17, 2013 09:09 PM
28. Nepotism is not a high concern here - this change begs the question, why was he selected now instead of before October 1st ?

Obamacare was crafted to be a Gordian knot and its evident noone really cared about the consequences when it was crafted or passed by ALL Democrats. They were all obsessed with political schadenfraude that it didn't matter to them. Remember this in 2014 and vote all of those Democrats and good number of incumbent GOP (who have been largely ineffectual) in Congress OUT.

Posted by: KDS on December 17, 2013 09:33 PM
29. Dan: Clear it up will you.

I did.


Are you claiming the hiring of a former software exec to lead a troubled govt computing service, who ran the most profitable software division of one of the most profitable and used software products on the planet, Microsoft Office, in the history of software sales was driven by the "power" of one of the most junior member's of the politically irrelevant party in the House?

No, I never implied any such thing, and that is not what the word "nepotism" implies. In fact, I explicitly stated that was not what I was saying. Learn to read. Thanks in advance!

(P.S. It would help if you learned to read before professing to be some sort of "dictionary" guy. Then you don't look so dumb.)

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 09:55 PM
30. scottd, you won't get any more warnings about being abusive.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 09:57 PM
31. Zatoichi: Pudge's 'evidence' [sic] of nepotism is merely that a very well known, qualified and available candidate for the job is married to a congresswoman.

Yes. Finally, a leftist gets it. Although you made a mistake there by putting "evidence" in square quotes.


Even though he redefines words

You're lying.


Pudge still admitted that he has absolutely no 'proof' of nepotism.

I didn't "admit" it, so much as I "asserted the obvious." There is never proof of nepotism, unless the decision-makers admit it. We just have obviously strong evidence.


One piece of flimsy evidence

False.


we can always offer up Pudge and his post to Oxford to serve as an example of how to use the word 'vapid'.

Yawn. You're the ones whining about me calling out the obvious. I simply pointed out what everyone recognizes as obvious: that their marriage was a factor in his selection. Duh. Denying it makes you look stupid. Pretending that you're on some higher ground makes you look petty and stupid.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 10:01 PM
32. KDS: Nepotism is not a high concern here

Obviously. There's nepotism all over government. This isn't even an egregious example. We can talk to Senator Feinstein if we want to get all egregious-y.


this change begs the question

You mean "raises."


why was he selected now instead of before October 1st ?

Because the federal government doesn't know what it is doing, they did not have good management in place when it was needed most.


Obamacare was crafted to be a Gordian knot and its evident noone really cared about the consequences when it was crafted or passed by ALL Democrats. They were all obsessed with political schadenfraude that it didn't matter to them.

I wouldn't say none of them cared, but for most of them, yes, you're right, how well it worked was a very low priority. We have a few examples of Democrats, early on, trying to work on the details to make sure it worked well, but very very few. The Republicans focused a lot more on proper implementation of the system than the Democrats did.

DelBene's a great example. Instead of campaigning about how she was going to try to get actual health care -- not the ACA, which isn't health care at all -- to Americans, she lied about her opponent being anti-women and anti-elderly. Morons lapped it up. But hey, maybe her election will at least give us something good, by getting us a competent civil servant over at HHS.

I can dream, can't I?

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 10:07 PM
33. So pudge has banned one of the few remaining coherent writers on this site (MikeBoyScout) and is threatening to ban another (scottd) for "being abusive". In typical pudge irony, this threat comes a half inch below the place where pudge called scottd "so dumb".

There's really no need to abuse pudge; his behavior speaks for itself. But it is tempting.

Posted by: kl on December 17, 2013 10:08 PM
34. kl: So pudge has banned one of the few remaining coherent writers on this site (MikeBoyScout)

Shrug. Yes, he was sometimes coherent. But he was also abusive. Nothing I can do about it, except disallow his comments.


and is threatening to ban another (scottd) for "being abusive".

Um. You see him lying. You know he's lying. I detailed his lying. What's part of this are you pretending to not understand? Maybe you do not consider lies to be abuse? I do. Shrug.


In typical pudge irony, this threat comes a half inch below the place where pudge called scottd "so dumb".

You're lying. I clearly did no such thing. I said he LOOKED "so dumb", I did not call him that. Further, it is not petty insults that I am calling "abusive," it's his persistent lies.


There's really no need to abuse pudge; his behavior speaks for itself. But it is tempting.

It is absolutely clear that when I ban an abusive poster like MikeBS (or, now, this Steve fellow, who is -- by the way -- a conservative, with views very much in line with my own, for those who incorrectly believe I ban people who disagree with me), the quality of the discussion increases.

Therefore, I ban abusive posters.

I have not banned scottd, because he generally isn't abusive. He is insulting, and can be a bit nasty, and he almost always disagrees with me, but all of that's fine. It doesn't bother me. But repeatedly telling lies is not fine. Explicitly misrepresenting what I wrote is unacceptable. And then to refuse to correct his lies, but instead post a comment that is nothing more than a pure personal attack ... it is abuse of the discussion, by any standard.

I'd rather not ban him, which is why I haven't done so yet, despite his repeated abuse here in this discussion.

But I'll sleep well either way.

Posted by: pudge on December 17, 2013 10:17 PM
35. pudge: Please accept my apology. I didn't realize that claiming that you weren't high was abusive or insulting to you. Mea culpa...

Posted by: scottd on December 17, 2013 11:55 PM
36. "Pretending that you're on some higher ground makes you look petty and stupid."

No need to pretend. You've taken the low ground by implying nepotism has taken place when you have only the flimsiest of evidence and absolutely no proof.

"I simply pointed out what everyone recognizes as obvious: that their marriage was a factor in his selection."

False. Or if you prefer, you're lying. You couldn't possibly speak for everyone. Hell, not even everyone in your thread buys what you're selling and for damned good reason. You have insufficient evidence and no proof.

You've written a blog post and subsequent comments blaring an accusation of nepotism accompanied by the flimsiest of evidence and zero proof. I call that an example of vapidity. Go ahead and call it something else if you want.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 12:09 AM
37. "petty and stupid"

No, Pudge, it's about evidence and proof. You do seem to understand the difference. Alas, you have so very little of the former and absolutely none of the latter. And yet you write on and on, continuing with your laughable accusations of nepotism. Sorry, but that leaves you looking, well, both petty and stupid.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 12:20 AM
38. Scott@35 tells pudge, "I didn't realize that claiming that you weren't high was abusive or insulting to you."

Let's play that classic pudge game, twist-the-words:
- Pudge defines abuse as lying.
- Scottd said pudge wasn't high.
- Pudge said scottd was abusing him.
- Therefore, pudge admits he was high.
- Assuming that pudge protests that he wasn't high, then he is or was lying.
- Therefore, pudge is or was abusive.
- Therefore, pudge will ban pudge.

Good night.

Posted by: kl on December 18, 2013 12:31 AM
39. Zatiochi: You've taken the low ground by implying nepotism has taken place when you have only the flimsiest of evidence and absolutely no proof.

Again, you can NEVER have proof without an explicit admission. So that's a stupid bar. And the evidence isn't flimsy. You keep saying that, but it's obviously false. It is, quite simply, very strong evidence. And you have no argument or evidence that it isn't strong evidence.


"I simply pointed out what everyone recognizes as obvious: that their marriage was a factor in his selection."

False. Or if you prefer, you're lying. You couldn't possibly speak for everyone.

It's a figure of speech. Obviously, some people are too ignorant or too politically motivated to see what is obvious. I didn't mean to literally diminish those liklihoods.


Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:32 AM
40. kl: Let's play that classic pudge game, twist-the-words

You're lying. You can't give a single example of me twisting words.


- Pudge defines abuse as lying.

False. I include lying as one of many types of abuse.


Scottd said pudge wasn't high.
Pudge said scottd was abusing him.

You're lying, as scottd did: I didn't say that him saying I wasn't high was abuse, I said the comment was a personal attack -- which is also a form of abuse -- which is obviously true to everyone that knows English. I don't think you're so stupid you need me to explain any of that.

Your syllogism, having fallen apart and therefore proven incorrect, needs no further analysis.

Better luck next time.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:38 AM
41. "Again, you can NEVER have proof without an explicit admission."

Hardly. You ignore the possibility of witness testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence. Of course, you have nothing like that, do you? All you have is the fact that they're married and some inane comment stating that "everyone recognizes", which has already been proven to be false.

You say of marriage, "It is, quite simply, very strong evidence." Sure, but evidence of what? That they're married?

You are the one making the assertion of nepotism. You're the one who carries the burden of proof, whether in a courtroom or in this thread. There is no preponderance of evidence on your side. You have nothing - no reasonable standard of proof has been met, including "reasonable suspicion", "probable cause" , "prima facie evidence", "credible evidence", "substantial evidence", and "clear and convincing evidence".

You say, "some people are too ignorant or too politically motivated to see what is obvious". Yes, you are. What is obvious is that you've made baseless, ignorant and politically motivated accusations of nepotism against Ken Debene and his wife.

Epic fail on your part, Pudge. Case dismissed.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 07:09 AM
42. To recap, you've provided no evidence that the Delbenes are legally married, but we can let that one slide and accept that it is proven by the evidence submitted that the Delbenes are indeed related. If you want to prove nepotism, that's a start, that is, proving that there are related parties. But as far as evidence that nepotism actually took place, you've given us nothing. In fact, the only evidence you've presented, marriage, I had to give you as a freebie or you'd have had nothing at all.

No more freebies for you, Pudge, ye who loves to parse words. If you want to present evidence, leave your worthless assumptions behind and, as in stating as fact that the Delbenes are married, next time show us a marriage certificate as evidence which we might accept as proof of your assertions.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 08:04 AM
43. Pudge,
You have a very broad definition of nepotism in regards to employment practices. The fact that DelBene is an elected democratic congresswoman is moot. Why? Because the job has no direct correlation to her job in Congress. If Kurt DeBene was hired to work on a project relating to committees that she works on, then you would have a case. In normal business, married spouses of workers do often get hired in other parts of company. As long as there is no direct working line relationship, in the HR sense, it isn't nepotism. This leaves open the issue of ethics, however. Good-ole-boys (and girls) hiring of friends, relatives, and social buddies has been going on for years both inside and outside of politics. Do I like it? Heck no. I think the hiring process should be blind and based on talent alone. I have worked however in large organizations (govt) where people from a certain church where hired into an engineering group because of their religious background.

Getting back to your post, you have not shown how Kurt DelBene's post has direct tie to Suzanne DelBene's role as congresswoman. I liken it to Obama hiring Jarrett or some other close friend or friend of friend. If it is a political hire, the "who" who gets the job usually has some non-job related connection to the person making the recommendation. Bush did it just as much as Obama, and I don't like either doing these practices, but it isn't Nepotism (in the HR sense).

Posted by: anon5 on December 18, 2013 08:16 AM
44. Zatiochi: "Again, you can NEVER have proof without an explicit admission."

Hardly. You ignore the possibility of witness testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence.

False. Documentary evidence is an explicit admission. Witness testimony doesn't apply, unless the witness is recounting an admission. We're speaking to the state of mind of the person doing the hiring, so it has to be an admission. There can be no physical evidence of a state of mind.

Of course, even then, explicit admissions don't count as proof, obviously, as the person could be lying, but it's close enough.


You say of marriage, "It is, quite simply, very strong evidence." Sure, but evidence of what? That they're married?

I already said what it is evidence of. Please stop being stupid, mmmmkay? Thanks in advance!


You are the one making the assertion of nepotism.

Correct.


You're the one who carries the burden of proof, whether in a courtroom or in this thread.

Why do you mention "courtroom"? I allege no crime or wrongdoing of any kind.


There is no preponderance of evidence on your side.

Not sufficient for conviction in a court, of course. I never implied that. But certainly, it's strong evidence.


no reasonable standard of proof has been met

False.

What is obvious is that you've made baseless, ignorant and politically motivated accusations of nepotism against Ken Debene and his wife.

You're lying. Until just now, I'd never even HEARD OF Ken Debene.

What I did do, however, is highlight very obviously strong evidence of nepotism in the hiring of Kurt DelBene to try to fix HealthCare.gov.

To recap, you've provided no evidence that the Delbenes are legally married

That is entirely irrelevant to the discussion, so there is no need to do so.


If you want to prove nepotism, that's a start, that is, proving that there are related parties.

Nope. That doesn't actually matter. If this were about a court, if a crime were being alleged, sure, it might matter, depending on how the law is written. That they claim to be married is all that matters in this discussion, however.


But as far as evidence that nepotism actually took place, you've given us nothing.

You're lying: I pointed out the fact that they are married, that she is a member of Congress, that she is a member of the President's party, and that the President hired him. That is strong evidence of nepotism. You may not like it, but it is, and you've said not a single thing to diminish the strength of it or call it into any question.


If you want to present evidence

I already did, and you've said nothing significant against it.


leave your worthless assumptions behind

You're lying. I made zero assumptions. I only stated facts, as summarized directly above.

I suggest you stop lying about me.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 08:20 AM
45. anon: You have a very broad definition of nepotism in regards to employment practices.

The definition that is normally used in regard to political discussions, yes.


The fact that DelBene is an elected democratic congresswoman is moot. Why? Because the job has no direct correlation to her job in Congress.

I already stated that fact, and showed why it is irrelevant: "The only way you could argue it is not nepotism is to say that she has no actual authority in making the decision of hiring him, which is at least mostly true, but that's not the common definition used in politics."


In normal business, married spouses of workers do often get hired in other parts of company.

True.


As long as there is no direct working line relationship, in the HR sense, it isn't nepotism.

False. Your problem is that you see nepotism as bad, or negative. It's not. It just is. If someone's familial relationships are part of the reason for hire, that is nepotism.


Getting back to your post, you have not shown how Kurt DelBene's post has direct tie to Suzanne DelBene's role as congresswoman.

Yes, I did. Very clearly. She is a member of Congress of the President's party. That is a direct tie.


I liken it to Obama hiring Jarrett or some other close friend or friend of friend.

Sure. It is very much like that, yes.


If it is a political hire, the "who" who gets the job usually has some non-job related connection to the person making the recommendation. Bush did it just as much as Obama, and I don't like either doing these practices, but it isn't Nepotism (in the HR sense).

I am not speaking "in the HR sense." I am not saying this is criminal or evil or even wrong.

I'm just pointing out the obvious, as I've clearly stated all along: their relationship factored in to his getting the job. That's all.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 08:25 AM
46. Zato, "no reasonable standard of proof has been met"

Pudge, "False."

This is about evidence, burden of proof and standards of proof. You are correct that this is not a courtroom. What this is, is a display of two people requiring differing burdens of proof before leveling accusations of nepotism. For you, the fact that they are married suffices and accusations fly. I require more evidence.

Why do I require more evidence? This isn't some cut and dried example of nepotism such as privately owned business hiring of an owner's relative*. As Anon5 points out, there's no direct correlation to Rep. Delbene's job in Congress as there is usually found in the private sector. Because of this, I require more evidence of nepotism than just a marriage license.

*As a small business owner, I might call it "succession" rather than nepotism. But even this points to the gray areas involved and the need for a reasonable standard of proof before making accusations. You, on the other hand, a right-wing ideologue with an agenda, seem to require only the least amount of evidence possible before leveling accusations of nepotism. In my opinion that is the difference between a reasonable person requiring a reasonable standard of proof, me, and a biased ideologue who doesn't, you.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 09:09 AM
47. "I allege no crime or wrongdoing of any kind."

This is a government hire, covered under the Civil Service Reform Act, and you're accusing the Delbenes of a serious violation of prohibited personel practices. But would a marriage license suffice as proof? Simply put, no. This discussion starts and ends with "Nepotism ... is defined as patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship" and "For prohibited nepotism to occur THERE MUST BE THE ACT OF ADVOCACY" (CAPS mine).

http://www.mspb.gov/ppp/mayppp.htm

No, you don't explicitly allege that a crime took place, but you are at least infering that wrongdoing, prohibited personel hiring practices, were involved in the hire of Delbene, and that's just the post's headline. That is the problem I've had with your post and comments, Pudge, while noting the remarkably low standard of proof you require before leveling baseless accusations of wrongdoing at people.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 10:03 AM
48. So, Pudge do you consider Mitch McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao serving as Labor Secretary under George W. Bush as also a case of nepotism, by your definition? If not, what is your justification that DelBene is and Chao isn't?

Posted by: Anon5 on December 18, 2013 11:50 AM
49. "I allege no crime or wrongdoing of any kind."

You are so wrong, but it'd be my guess that you're not lying. More likely it's just ignorance of what you've done by accusing Delbene of nepotism. This DOI newsletter might help you to understand.

http://www.doi.gov/ethics/docs/Ethics_Newletter_Issue_2_12-02-10.pdf

"Public officials are barred from recommending or advocating a relative for appointment, employment, promotion or advancement. See 5 C.F.R. §3110(b). This holds true even if
the authority to appoint, employ, promote or advance is temporary in nature, such as in instances where an individual serves in a temporary assignment or in an Acting role for a
public official. However, the anti-nepotism statute is not invoked unless a relative of the public official (or the Acting's
relative) is placed in a Federal position."

"The anti-nepotism statute applies to competitive and excepted service appointments." and "However, it does not apply to volunteer
appointments."

Too much. Get a load of that last one. You're accusing Delbene of nepotism, an ethics violation, a wrongdoing, and yet you've haven't even established that her husband is being paid for the work he's doing. Given that he's rich, he could very well be doing this as a volunteer appointment.

Your damning vidence of a Delbene ethics violation? A marriage license. I imagine that even a Republican-chaired House Ethics Committee has a standard of proof that's at least a wee bit higher than the one you've displayed.

In my opinion, a humble one, of course, it would be most appropriate if your next post was a profuse apology to the Delbenes.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 12:18 PM
50. Zatiochi: What this is, is a display of two people requiring differing burdens of proof before leveling accusations of nepotism. For you, the fact that they are married suffices and accusations fly. I require more evidence.

You're lying. I already said there was no proof, while you are knowingly falsely asserting that I was believe the clear evidence meets some burden of proof.


This is a government hire, covered under the Civil Service Reform Act, and you're accusing the Delbenes of a serious violation of prohibited personel practices.

You're lying. I did no such thing.


... you are at least infering that wrongdoing, prohibited personel hiring practices, were involved in the hire of Delbene

You're lying. I did no such thing.


That is the problem I've had with your post and comments

Yes, you're attacking a straw man. Good on you.


the remarkably low standard of proof you require before leveling baseless accusations of wrongdoing at people.

You're lying. I make no accusations of wrongdoing.


You're accusing Delbene of nepotism, an ethics violation

You're lying. As has been made very clear here, I am using the broader political use of the word, that means simply that the relationship was a factor in the hire. The burden in the regulation cited is much higher.


you've haven't even established that her husband is being paid for the work he's doing

You say that as though it diminishes a single thing I've said. You're just full of it, completely and wholly. You're pretending I'm referring to a specific standard I explicitly stated I wasn't referring to, and then arguing against me by pointing out that I didn't meet that standard. That's extremely dishonest.


Your damning vidence of a Delbene ethics violation?

I provided no evidence of an ethics violation, and didn't ever claim I did, and, in fact, I claimed I wasn't doing any such thing. You're lying.


In my opinion, a humble one, of course, it would be most appropriate if your next post was a profuse apology to the Delbenes.

I don't know any Delbenes. Maybe you mean the DelBenes?

No, I see no reason to apologize, and you've said nothing against my actual claims: you've only attacked claims I never made.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 12:36 PM
51. Anonymous coward: do you consider Mitch McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao serving as Labor Secretary under George W. Bush as also a case of nepotism, by your definition?

There's some additional counter-evidence: she was a DC insider on her own right long before her appointment as Secretary of Labor. Still, I would not argue with anyone who said that nepotism was involved.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 12:37 PM
52. "You're pretending I'm referring to a specific standard I explicitly stated I wasn't referring to, and then arguing against me by pointing out that I didn't meet that standard."

The problem, Pudge, is that you appear to not be meeting any standard at all, seemingly not even using the definitions of words to be found in common dictionaries, let alone as defined in any applicable standard. You certainly didn't explain your intended (?) lack of adherence to any applicable standards in your original post, now did you? And how are we to know whether or not your subsequent comments describe your original intent or if they're just excuses made after you were called out for not knowing what you're talking about?

Really, Pudge, when you use a political blog to accuse a public official of nepotism, an ethics violation, you really ought to consider referencing the appropriate ethical standards that you believe were violated and to use words and terms as they are defined within those standards.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 01:37 PM
53. This is why I love Pudge so much. One sentence article. 52 response of parsing and pettifogging.

On a serious note, what will Mr. Delbene's salary be for this no-bid contract that he's been given?

Posted by: Don Ward on December 18, 2013 02:00 PM
54. Don: He's unpaid. That's what makes pudge's post so hilarious.

Posted by: scottd on December 18, 2013 02:40 PM
55. @53, As was stated with his hiring, not contract, Delbene has agreed to not only do the difficult job for not less than 6 months, but remit his civil service salary back to the Treasury.

According to the blog post author this swell employment for the husband is the result of the "nepotism" exerted by the "powerful" wife.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9BG11D20131217?irpc=932

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 18, 2013 02:42 PM
56. PS : Congrats on usage of "pettifogging"! "Bloviating" is so overused in the blogosphere...

Posted by: scottd on December 18, 2013 02:45 PM
57. "52 response of parsing and pettifogging."

You should edit your comment as Pudge only posted 20 times. Just kidding.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

I visited a political blog and I read a post insinuating that a public official had gone down the ol' nepotism highway, meaning she had committed an ethics violation. That was followed by outright accusations of nepotism in the comment thread. Since there was no explanation otherwise yet, certainly not one that was clear, I naturally assumed that our political blogger was accusing the public official of an ethics violation as defined by federal or state code, or at least a dictionary, even an obscure one. To my surprise, I've instead learned that our esteemed blogger is using his own definition of the word nepotism which we eventually find not to be in conformance with codes or dictionaries. So instead of an nepotism-related ethics violation accusation, we appear to have here something more akin to a complaint by the blogger that DelBene (thanks!) isn't living up to his lofty expectations, but she isn't being accused of an actual ethics violation related to nepotism as defined by U.S.C.

Sorry. My bad, obviously.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 03:06 PM
58. @57
What we have here is another instance where Pudge has his own definition that he doesn't really want to share, but eventually you drag it out of him and that said definition is one that supports his point of the day, but doesn't fit (often) what most others would consider normal use. What so dang frustrating with a conversation thread with Pudge is really understanding what he exactly means. In this case, what he means is it is nepotism whether or not Suzanne DelBene recommended her husband or not, but just because the position she is in. My own feeling is that Pudge was wanting to write a post about something and this was the best he could come up with. If this is the fact, then that would be amazing, especially given the court case in Utah and Pudge liking to comment on cases like these. My guess is that this story had traction with him due to his somewhat personal involvement in DelBene's Congressional race. While not an official position like Adam with McKenna, there was (is) a close bond between Koster and Pudge. Pudge has been Koster's number one fan (figuratively) here at SP for years. Any news involving DelBene in a bad light is going to be fodder for Pudge commentary.

Posted by: Anon5 on December 18, 2013 03:26 PM
59. @57, I think we stepped through the looking glass and the blogger is the Queen of Hearts. Very bizarre here.

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 18, 2013 03:28 PM
60. "I think we stepped through the looking glass and the blogger is the Queen of Hearts."

Queen of Hearts or Humpty Dumpty? Both? I'm not certain.

Anyways, I had the same eerie thought but I couldn't put my finger on the exact quote to verify my recollection of the source. Found it!

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't--till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "

"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master--that's all."

Wow.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 03:47 PM
61. That really does read a lot like this thread, doesn't it?

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 03:49 PM
62. @60, Yeah that's spot on.

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 18, 2013 03:51 PM
63. Zatoichi: you appear to not be meeting any standard at all

You're lying. I explicitly stated what the standard was.


seemingly not even using the definitions of words to be found in common dictionaries

You're lying. My definition is straight out of the dictionary. Merriam-Webster's primary definition is, "favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship." That's the entire definition, and that is what the evidence implies happened.


You certainly didn't explain your intended (?) lack of adherence to any applicable standards

I explained precisely how I was using the word. @7 I said, "The issue of nepotism is ... that they [got] the job ... *at least in part because of* connections."


... in your original post, now did you?

I thought y'all wouldn't be so ignorant as to not understand the word's basic usage. Shrug. My bad.


And how are we to know whether or not your subsequent comments describe your original intent or if they're just excuses made after you were called out for not knowing what you're talking about?

Shrug. I'd be more concerned, if I were you, about how we are to think to take your false assertions that I am using the word incorrectly, or that I am making allegations I never made, etc.


when you use a political blog to accuse a public official of nepotism, an ethics violation

Stop lying. I did no such thing.


I read a post insinuating that a public official had gone down the ol' nepotism highway, meaning she had committed an ethics violation.

Stop lying. I insinuated no such thing.


Since there was no explanation otherwise yet, certainly not one that was clear

Stop lying. I was very clear about my definition, about seven hours before you commented.


To my surprise, I've instead learned that our esteemed blogger is using his own definition of the word nepotism which we eventually find not to be in conformance with codes or dictionaries.

Stop lying. My definition perfectly matches a well-established dictionary definition.


we appear to have here something more akin to a complaint by the blogger that DelBene (thanks!) isn't living up to his lofty expectations

Stop lying. I never said a single negative thing about Kurt DelBene. In fact, quite the opposite: I said some positive things about his resume, stating explicitly that he might be a good choice for the job.


That really does read a lot like this thread, doesn't it?

Yes, as you ignored all context, all explanations, and all dictionaries, and chose to interpret it as you wanted to interpret it ... yes.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:07 PM
64. Dan: Delbene has agreed to ... remit his civil service salary back to the Treasury.

... and?

According to the blog post author this swell employment for the husband is the result of the "nepotism" exerted by the "powerful" wife.

Your point?

You have a big problem, Dan, with understanding basic relevance. Like in your first comment when you tried to imply she isn't powerful because she's in the minority party in the House, when this has literally nothing to do with the parties in power in the House.

Similarly, whether he gets a salary is irrelevant. What matters is if he gets something of value, and an extremely high-profile job, running the public gateway of the biggest social program the federal government has ever done, has value far beyond mere salary. Obviously. You and scottd are just being really stupid here.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:12 PM
65. @63, try again Humpty.
Who made the appointment?
Who has kinship with Kurt Delbene?
What is the evidence that the relationship of Kurt to his wife Suzan led to Kurt's hiring to an HHS position?

Wanna bet Humpty can't answer?

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 18, 2013 05:26 PM
66. Anonymous coward: What we have here is another instance where Pudge has his own definition

You're lying. It matches exactly.


that he doesn't really want to share

You're lying. I stated it explicitly very early in the discussion ... not that I should have to, since it is a very common and primary dictionary definition.


doesn't fit (often) what most others would consider normal use

Right. Primary definitions in dictionaries are not normal uses. Oh wait, yes they are.


In this case, what he means is it is nepotism whether or not Suzanne DelBene recommended her husband or not, but just because the position she is in.

Which is what I said very clearly, and very early, in this discussion.


My own feeling is that Pudge was wanting to write a post about something and this was the best he could come up with.

I didn't even write the post about "nepotism." I just mentioned it in the title, because it seemed so inarguably obvious. And it still does.


If this is the fact, then that would be amazing, especially given the court case in Utah and Pudge liking to comment on cases like these.

False. First, that case is pretty boring. It just says that the government cannot outlaw cohabitation, which we already knew. Second, I rarely discuss, or have an interest in discussing, polygamy.

My guess is that this story had traction with him due to his somewhat personal involvement in DelBene's Congressional race.

Not at all. It's the simple fact that she's a federal representative from WA. That makes it of interest here.

What's amazing is that y'all are pushing back so hard on the idea that Kurt DelBene got some favoritism based on his relationship to his wife. Maybe he didn't, but it is not unreasonable for me to think he did, based on the evidence that she is a member of Congress of the same party as the President.


Any news involving DelBene in a bad light is going to be fodder for Pudge commentary.

Except, of course, that I said not a single bad thing about either DelBene in this discussion (well, except one line where KDS said that the Democrats don't seem to care about making the ACA work well, and I gave DelBene's campaign as an example, as she focused on lies about her opponent rather than making the health system work. But nothing else I said could possibly be construed as negative. I even noted early in the discussion that I don't consider nepotism to be necessarily wrong or bad in any way. And that was deep down in the discussion, and had nothing directly to do with the topic of her husband's appointment.

I suppose that doesn't make your assertion wrong: I didn't imply and do not believe this puts her in a bad light. When something does, I very well may post about it, as you predict. But this discussion is no example of it: she isn't in a bad light, I didn't say anything negative about it, and, from my perspective, I didn't even provide commentary on it.

My whole point was simple fact: her husband got this job. That I called it nepotism is just calling out the obvious, that he probably got favoritism due to their relationship. Whether that happened or not, it's obviously quite likely. I do not consider that bad or good, at all. It just is.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:27 PM
67. Dan: try again Humpty

You're a pathetic idiot.


Who made the appointment? Who has kinship with Kurt Delbene?

You're a pathetic idiot.

You know the answers. I know the answers. You know I know the answers, and that I've already provided those answers multiple times (including before anyone even asked the questions). And you know that the questions, and the answers, are unrelated to the definition I stated at the beginning, and that I recently quoted from the dictionary.


What is the evidence that the relationship of Kurt to his wife Suzan led to Kurt's hiring to an HHS position?

You're a pathetic idiot.

The fact that he is married to a member of Congress of the President's party is the evidence, as I've stated several times.


Wanna bet Humpty can't answer?

You're a pathetic idiot.

I do hope someone takes you up on the bet, though, seeing as how I already did answer all of those questions several times. Idiots and their money soon parted, etc.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 05:31 PM
68. @67 Could not and did not answer Humpty.


Let's just agree that hiring one of the most accomplished software execs available for no salary is clearly "nepotism" because.

And Humpty, you are a liar.
You never addressed who hired Kurt Delbene because that hire was made by Sec. Sebelius and if you execute a find command on this post my mention right there is the only entry on your through the looking glass thread.

Good night and good luck Humpty.

Posted by: Dictionarydan on December 18, 2013 05:54 PM
69. Perhaps we have the same communication problem going with this "you're lying" thing. I have a hunch that Pudge defines the word "lying" differently as well.

"I didn't even write the post about "nepotism." I just mentioned it in the title"

Good grief! Yes, indeed you did, Pudge, and you thus insinuated that a federal public official had been involved in nepotism. And then in a bizarre move, you say you turned to a dictionary to define nepotism when, in the context of a federal public official and charges of nepotism there is only one definition that matters, the one that is found in applicable U,S.C. and nowhere else.

I'm sure most see what is happening here, Pudge. You made a false accusation of nepotism against the Delbenes and you were called on it. All you've done since is to attempt to weasel your way out of having made that false accusation by defaming the character of a man who has volunteered his services to our nation's government. My God, come out of retirement after a successful career for one last acheivement, risking his reputation and for no compensation? That's your evidence for nepotism? It all hangs on that? All you've done is make a fool of yourself again.

Posted by: Zatoichi on December 18, 2013 07:27 PM
70. Zatoichi: you say you turned to a dictionary to define nepotism

You're lying. I never turned to a dictionary to define the word, only to demonstrate after the fact that you're all morons for thinking that my definition is made-up or uncommon.


in the context of a federal public official and charges of nepotism there is only one definition that matters

You're a liar. That's really the only word for it. I used the word as it is commonly used to describe these kinds of situations, where favortism due to familial relations is a factor in hiring government officials. I was not making any charge of ethics violations or lawbreaking. You know this. You're lying. You do not get to define what definitions "matter" and which do not.


You made a false accusation of nepotism against the Delbenes [sic]

You're a liar. I never did.


All you've done since is to attempt to weasel your way out of having made that false accusation

You're a liar. I never made such an accusation, and I never attempted to "weasel" out of anything. I said at the beginning of the discussion what I meant, and I've stood by it.


by defaming the character of a man who has volunteered his services to our nation's government

You're a liar. I said NOT ONE NEGATIVE THING about his character, in any way whatsoever. You're just a damned liar, and you're done here.

If you wanted to argue that I was wrong, fine. But you've repeatedly lied about what I said, lied about what I meant, made up things I never said, and dishonestly asserted that my definition -- the primary M-W dictionary definition -- is somehow invalid just because you say so. And you've been warned repeatedly to stop.

You're done. Good riddance.

And take Dan with you: he not only is falsely claiming I never answered questions I've repeatedly answered, but he repeatedly brings up proven irrelevancies like salary and who controls the House.

While you're all amusing diversions, you are, unfortunately, incapable of following simple rules about not lying and being generally abusive.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 09:52 PM
71. I suggest this is strong evidence that Pudge is all over the map in this blog post and comment thread? What's his problem? A broken compass?

Pudge, "he got it because he's the husband of a Democratic congressman who can do the job"

Someone states, "You are the one making the assertion of nepotism."

Pudge replies, "Correct."

Pudge, "I said NOT ONE NEGATIVE THING about his character"

Pudge, "I never made such an accusation"

Pudge, "I never turned to a dictionary to define the word"

Pudge, "my definition -- the primary M-W dictionary definition"

Pudge, "I didn't even write the post about "nepotism." I just mentioned it in the title"

Pudge, "I never made such an accusation"

Pudge, "I am using the broader political use of the word"

Pudge, "I used the word as it is commonly used to describe these kinds of situations, where favortism due to familial relations is a factor in hiring government officials.

Pudge, "feel free to keep asserting that she had nothing to do with it. No one believes you"

Pudge, "I didn't imply and do not believe this puts her in a bad light."

Pudge, "Kurt DelBene got some favoritism based on his relationship to his wife"

Pudge, "I gave very strong evidence: the fact that his wife is a member of Congress from the President's party."

Pudge, "I simply pointed out what everyone recognizes as obvious: that their marriage was a factor in his selection."

Pudge, "I said NOT ONE NEGATIVE THING about his character, in any way whatsoever."

True, except for the part about DelBene accepting a job offered to him because of his wife's violation of ethics, which is clearly the gist of your post's title and nearly all of your comments.

Posted by: Anon8 on December 18, 2013 10:52 PM
72. Anonymous Coward: I suggest this is strong evidence that Pudge is all over the map in this blog post and comment thread?

It's not. All of it is completely consistent, and you provide no evidence any of it is inconsistent. Simply quoting me doesn't show me being "all over the map." Everything you quoted me saying is true. Some of it, you appear to be taking out of clear context, which is highly dishonest.

For example, you twice quote me saying, "I never made such an accusation." I said it once, and the "accusation" I am saying I didn't make was a "false" accusation. Yes, I never made a false accusation: how does quoting me saying that make me appear inconsistent? You quote it, however, in a way to make it appear I am saying I never made an accusation of nepotism, which makes you a liar.

True, except for the part about DelBene accepting a job offered to him because of his wife's violation of ethics

You're lying. I never said it was an ethics violation, and I said explicitly that I don't think it is an ethics violation.


which is clearly the gist of your post's title and nearly all of your comments

You're lying. I neither said, nor implied, that this was a violation of ethics, and I've been clear from the beginning that this is not the "gist."

Being an anonymous coward does not protect you from lies here. Stop lying.

Posted by: pudge on December 18, 2013 11:22 PM
73. Thanks, pudge, for presiding over what may be your best comment thread ever!

I want to especially point out what I think was the best part, reformatted so others may appreciate the sheer poetry of it:

You're a pathetic idiot.

You're a pathetic idiot.

You know the answers.
I know the answers.
You know I know the answers,
and that I've already provided those answers
multiple times
(including before anyone even asked the questions).

And you know that the questions,
and the answers,
are unrelated to the definition I stated at the beginning,
and that I recently quoted from the dictionary.

You're a pathetic idiot.

You're a pathetic idiot.

The part about providing the answers before anyone even asked that questions was just mind-blowing. Maybe even Rumsfeldian...

Any chance you could put this to music?

Posted by: scottd on December 19, 2013 12:39 PM
74. Let's go back to the beginning for a moment. The post itself by Pudge points out a few items:
1. Title - Infers Nepotism is involved.
2. Link to article - Mentions Kurt DelBene, his former role, several members of Congress requesting the Obama administration wanting the administration to fill the role being vacated (none of them being Suzan DelBene), and that Kurt DelBene is husband to congresswoman Suzan DelBene
3. Awkward sentence making the leap from the article link to Suzan DelBene - I say awkward because if you read the link sentence and this sentence together the "That" in the last sentence doesn't refer to anything in the link sentence, but to the fact that within the linked article it mentions Suzan DelBene.

So from this, what can we infer?

1. Pudge is claiming Nepotism is involved. Why else for the headline.
2. Pudge is inferring that Suzan DelBene was involved with getting her husband the job.

My question to Pudge is:
By your original post, are you or are you not accusing Suzan DelBene of getting her husband the job due to her connections (Democrat in Congress with Democratic President)?

If so, where do you offer proof that Suzan DelBene requested the job for her husband? I have looked through your comments and do not see this proof. You "assume" that it must have happened this way, but offer no actual proof. Your line in @3 is:
"cougs: maybe not. We don't know. But we can be pretty confident that it wouldn't have happened if she weren't in Congress."

How do you "know" it wouldn't have happened? Obama has other tech industry contacts and also close relationship with Inslee and Gregorie, and other Washington state Democrats. How are you assured that one of them wouldn't have mentioned DelBene? How do you know other of Obama's tech contacts wouldn't have mentioned DelBene?

Further, if you look at Suzan DelBene Committee assignments, you would see she isn't directly involved with this issue, so the topic wouldn't be part of her daily interactions in congress.

If you are to be believed (your comment in @3 and the headline), then you need to provide evidence that Suzan DelBene recommended her husband for the job and that he wouldn't have been recommended by someone else. Which comment did you provide this evidence? It wasn't in your original post. It wasn't before you inferred such @3.

This is even assuming your definition of "nepotism" and not the government's ethics specific definition. I just don't see the evidence, yet, in your response to my question about Chao, you seem to infer that people can be recommended for position by others (Washington insider) and it not be nepotism. You can't have it both ways. Prove that Suzan DelBene specifically recommended her husband and that he wouldn't have been recommended by someone else with close contact with the Obama Administration, or you need to retract your post. To claim it is just so without proof is something you would not accept, please live by your own standards.

Posted by: anon5 on December 19, 2013 01:07 PM
75. How do you "know" it wouldn't have happened?

Are you kidding?

pudge knows the answers before you ask the questions...

Didn't you see my recent post?

Posted by: scottd on December 19, 2013 01:15 PM
76. scottd: The part about providing the answers before anyone even asked that questions was just mind-blowing. Maybe even Rumsfeldian...

Shrug. It's obvious. He asked who made the appointment, and who he was related to, and I had already gave those answers ... in the initial post itself.

Posted by: pudge on December 19, 2013 01:47 PM
77. Pudge @76
"... and I had already gave those answers ... in the initial post itself."

No, you didn't. Where in the simple two sentences did you state anything as such? You provided a link to an article and then an awkwardly phrased sentence stating Kurt DelBene's relationship to Suzan DelBene.

The article you link to doesn't provide any other background as to how DelBene came about the job, like who recommended him for the post or if he wrote Secretary Sebelius himself.

The Shaheen letter the linked article links to doesn't provide any recommendations as to who should fill the job. It only requests that Obama fill the job being vacated by Zients.

Where is the evidence that Suzan DelBene recommended her husband for the job or that he wouldn't have been recommended by someone else (like Inslee, Gregoire, Locke, or some other high ranking Washington Democratic official with ties to the Obama administration)?

Posted by: anon5 on December 19, 2013 04:09 PM
78. Anonymous Coward: No, you didn't.

False, obviously.

Where in the simple two sentences did you state anything as such?

Um. The question were, "Who made the appointment? Who has kinship with Kurt Delbene [sic]?"

The former question was answered with the title of the article: "The White House Is Bringing In Microsoft's Kurt DelBene To Run The Obamacare Website." "The White House" answers the question in terms of the point of the question, which was to ask whether his wife appointed him. Of course not: she is a member of Congress, and does not appoint executive branch officials.

The latter question was answered directly in the article, and I highlighted that by saying, "Yes, that is Rep. Suzan DelBene, recently elected Democratic representative from WA-1."


The article you link to doesn't provide any other background as to how DelBene came about the job, like who recommended him for the post or if he wrote Secretary Sebelius himself.

None of that is relevant to the questions asked. You could argue the questioner wanted to know who specifically appointed him, but that clearly wasn't the point of the question.


Where is the evidence that Suzan DelBene recommended her husband for the job

You're lying by implying I ever made or implied that she did. I've said from the beginning -- it's nothing new that you cannot read, but please, try? -- that I am only saying his relationship to his wife was a factor in his hiring. Period, end of story. You all who are saying I meant something else are simply lying.

Posted by: pudge on December 19, 2013 05:05 PM
79. AnonS is trying to play this post. All it does is cut and paste your responses without a serious rebuttal. Too much time on his hands, probably unemployed or in Western State. Why waste any more keystokes on it chasing its tail ? Just sayin'

Posted by: KDS on December 19, 2013 06:51 PM
80. Pudge,
Really? Let me see if I understand you. DelBene is appointed a post. His wife is in Congress. Therefore, the reason he got appointed is due to nepotism. That is your argument? Again, really? That's it. No other evidence?

Posted by: Anon5 on December 19, 2013 07:15 PM
81. Anon5: I'm sorry that you cannot read. I truly am. But this is a place for people who *can*.

Posted by: pudge on December 19, 2013 11:17 PM
82. Pudge,
I can read just fine. I can't believe what I have read and that is why I keep asking the questions. I assume for one to make a point they should at least provide some evidence to back up what they said. You seem to think that because DelBene's wife is in Congress, he got appointed due to nepotism. That logic is unbelievable to me. Even taking the dictionary term for nepotism, you haven't presented any further evidence. When I ask for additional evidence. You never provide or say that there is no other evidence. That leads to one conclusion, which is that you don't need to back up your statements and that we all just need to take them as the truth. I am too skeptical, especially these days to accept things at face value. For me to believe, I need the nail prints in the wrists.

Posted by: Anon5 on December 20, 2013 05:53 AM
83. Anonymous Coward: You seem to think that because DelBene's wife is in Congress, he got appointed due to nepotism. That logic is unbelievable to me.

It is "unbelievable" that their relationship was a factor in his hiring? Your claim that this is unbelievable is unbelievable.

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 08:47 AM
84. No, Pudge, that isn't what I wrote. Why are you twisting my words. It is "unbelievable" that you put forth the argument that it is nepotism simply because of the fact that DelBene's wife is in congress. You offer no other evidence other than the fact that Suzan DelBene is a member of Congress and therefore, it is nepotism. That argument is unbelievable. The onus is on you to prove there was nepotism and that the reason why DelBene was hired was because of his wife's position. Just stating it as fact doesn't prove anything. You have provided no other evidence. Your only evidence is a logic leap that because Suzan DelBene is a congresswoman, Kurt DelBene was hired for the position.

Posted by: anon5 on December 20, 2013 08:55 AM
85. Anonymous Coward: that isn't what I wrote. Why are you twisting my words.

You're lying. I've defined, since the beginning of this discussion, what I meant by "nepotism." I've been completely consistent in how I've used it. You've read it, you've referenced it. I replaced your use of the word "nepotism" with this definition that I've used.

If you say I am twisting your words, then you are saying you are guilty of the equivocation fallacy, by attacking my use of the word through the substitution of a different definition than the one I've been using ... which is lying.


You offer no other evidence other than the fact that Suzan DelBene is a member of Congress and therefore, it is nepotism. That argument is unbelievable.

Therefore, you are saying that it is "unbelievable" that their relationship was a factor in his hiring. That is what you are saying. Any other explanation you offer is a lie.


The onus is on you to prove there was nepotism and that the reason why DelBene was hired was because of his wife's position.

You're a liar. I never said he got hired because of her position, I said it was merely a factor.


Your only evidence is a logic leap that because Suzan DelBene is a congresswoman, Kurt DelBene was hired for the position.

You're a liar. I never made that claim, or hinted it in any way.

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 09:08 AM
86. Pudge,
How hard is it to get through your thick skull that I simply find your argument that there was nepotism involved without offering any proof. There could be several reasons why he got the job. Yes, nepotism could have been one of the reasons, but you do not offer any reasons why the other reasons are any less valid. For example, since you don't say it didn't happen, maybe Kurt DelBene simply asked for the job, like any other job seeker. Can you prove that he didn't ask directly for the job? Can you prove that the only reason he got the job was due to nepotism? You haven't offerred any and I have asked several times. Your argument that nepotism is why he got the job does not hold up without you providing additional information as to why you feel this is the most likely reason for him getting the job. Who knows, maybe Sebelius knew him before Suzan DelBene even ran for office? I don't know, you don't know, but it could be also a perfectly valid reason why he got the job. Sebelius would be close political friends with Gregoire (Democratic governors at same time, plus Gregoire's involvement pre-Inslee in standing up WA St Health Exchange). DelBene's would have been close political friends with Gregoire. Suzan DelBene was a state agency head. That is two degrees of separation. Political appointees have had farther degrees of separation. Let's face it you can not prove that Kurt DelBene would have not gotten the job otherwise except from the fact that Suzan DelBene is a current congresswoman.

Posted by: anon5 on December 20, 2013 11:06 AM
87. Pudge,
Ref: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/government_ethics/introduction/cronyism.html
I think if you used the term favoritism (as outlined in this paper), you would have been a lot more accurate. Cronyism may also be involved (Kurt DelBene isn't a Republican, I assume). Using the term "nepotism", however, is a very select subset of favoritism and thus, requires additional evidence to make such an argument (i.e., that nepotism was involved).

All political appointees are a matter of favoritism. Heck, in some regards, selection to top schools or military academies, corporate positions is also often involve favoritism. I have known individuals to get into military academies without political connections.

Posted by: anon5 on December 20, 2013 11:54 AM
88. Anonymous Coward: the entire sum of your last comment is that I have no proof. But as I've already said many times in this discussion that I have no proof and am not claiming to have proof, you're being dishonest by using that as a cricism of my claims.

Please stop being dishonest. Thanks in advance!

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 11:58 AM
89. Anonymous Coward: I think if you used the term favoritism (as outlined in this paper), you would have been a lot more accurate.

You're incorrect, obviously, as the definition of "nepotism" I'm using is "favortism based on familial relations." So you're saying I'd be more accurate if I am using a synonym of the word I am using. That's necessarily false.


Using the term "nepotism", however, is a very select subset of favoritism

Yes, where familial relations are involved. Try to keep up.


thus, requires additional evidence to make such an argument

Which was provided at the outset. Not proof, as I've pointed out throughout the discussion, but obviously reasonable evidence.


All political appointees are a matter of favoritism.

False. That said, I don't care. I am not saying it is bad that it was nepotism. I'm just saying that it is nepotism.

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 01:13 PM
90. To sum up:

1) Pudge has no proof of nepotism. Even he admits that.

2) "Nepotism" is generally defined as a person in power favoring relatives (and sometimes close friends). By this definition, Obama/Sebelius's appointment of Kurt DelBene is not nepotism, as they are not related.

3) Even if you extend the definition of nepotism to relatives of close friends, this isn't nepotism. Kurt DelBene is not related to a close friend of Obama or Sebelius, as far as we know.

4) Pudge has invented a definition of nepotism that includes the relationship being "a factor" in the hiring. Even under that ridiculous definition, this isn't nepotism:

(a) Sure, Kurt DelBene is more closely connected to Obama/Sebelius than most of his tech peers because he's married to a freshman member of Congress. Did this make him more aware of the position? Hardly likely.

(b) Did this make it easier for him to apply? We don't even know if he applied or if the administration sought him out as part of an obvious strategy to involve industry leaders. If he did express interest, it's fair to guess that he would have done so through his wife's contacts, whereas (say) Mark Zuckerberg would have contacted different people. But none of his peers would have any trouble expressing interest to the administration.

(c) Did this make DelBene any more likely to get the job? There is no plausible reason why Obama or Sebelius would give such an important job to anyone but the best candidate, and there is no reason to believe that there was a more exceptionally qualified candidate than the about-to-retire head of one of the most successful software products in human history.

5) Do Obama or Sebelius stand to gain from appointing DelBene? Neither Obama nor Sebelius needs to worry about the loyalty of a freshman Democratic representative who shares his moderate (yes, pudge, I know you won't accept that adjective, but you're wrong about that too) Democratic philosophy. So there is not even a motive for nepotism.

6) Does Kurt DelBene even stand to benefit from getting the job? Well, only he knows his plans, but he's retired after a long and successful career at Microsoft and elsewhere, and there's no reason to believe he's seeking future employment in government or the private sector, and anyway, it's not clear whether running healthcare.gov would enhance or hurt his employment prospects. It's a better guess that he's taking this job for the challenge and desire to make his country a better place. This is not a typical nepotism scenario.

7) Does Suzan DelBene stand to benefit from having her husband in such a position? Well, one could conceive of this, as it raises her stature, just as it would raise any official's stature to be associated with any other prominent person. But that's not nepotism under any definition, not even pudge's.

8) Can pudge invent another definition of nepotism that he can claim applies here? Of course he can.

Posted by: kl on December 20, 2013 01:15 PM
91. kl: Pudge has no proof of nepotism. Even he admits that.

"Duh." You cannot prove it without testimony.


2) "Nepotism" is generally defined as a person in power favoring relatives (and sometimes close friends). By this definition, Obama/Sebelius's appointment of Kurt DelBene is not nepotism, as they are not related.

False. I even quoted a very common definition that disagrees with you.


3) Even if you extend the definition of nepotism to relatives of close friends, this isn't nepotism. Kurt DelBene is not related to a close friend of Obama or Sebelius, as far as we know.

False. Ibid.


4) Pudge has invented a definition of nepotism that includes the relationship being "a factor" in the hiring. Even under that ridiculous definition, this isn't nepotism:

False. Ibid.


5) Do Obama or Sebelius stand to gain from appointing DelBene?

Of course. Nothing directly, perhaps, but it helps the party, helps loyalty to the party, and broadens their lists of friends. Again: "duh."


Neither Obama nor Sebelius needs to worry about the loyalty of a freshman Democratic representative who shares his moderate (yes, pudge, I know you won't accept that adjective, but you're wrong about that too) Democratic philosophy.

It's simply facially obvious that taking total government control over 1/6th of the economy is not "moderate" by any possible standard in this country. Shrug.

6) Does Kurt DelBene even stand to benefit from getting the job?

Obviously, yes. There's no question on this.


Well, only he knows his plans ...

This is a nonsense argument. Whatever his plans, the question is whether what he is getting is something of value. There is no question that he is, whether or not he chooses to, or even currently plans to, take advantage of that in the future.


7) Does Suzan DelBene stand to benefit from having her husband in such a position?

Since he does, the answer can only be yes.


8) Can pudge invent another definition of nepotism that he can claim applies here?

I didn't. You're lying. cf. 2.

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 01:25 PM
92. Pudge @89
"You're incorrect, obviously, as the definition of "nepotism" I'm using is "favortism based on familial relations." So you're saying I'd be more accurate if I am using a synonym of the word I am using. That's necessarily false."

Except you aren't using your definition in proper context (ref: Merriam Webster definition). The context is either (a) the person approving the hiring, or (b) someone recommending a relative for hire. You stated in earlier response that you did no know (or state) that Suzan DelBene recommended her husband, so (b) is out. Suzan DelBene doesn't fit the part (a) context, even broadly, since political appointees get approved by Senate not House. Suzan DelBene isn't even on any committees related to the Obamacare Website. The proper context is favortism, even cronyism, but not nepotism.

Also, it should be noted, that Obama met with several Hi-Tech leaders earlier this week, including Brad Smith from Microsoft (see here). This is another interaction with a two degrees of separation from DelBene (i.e., Smith for sure knows DelBene and the conversation may have informally arisen during the meeting regarding the NSA meeting as an aside).

Posted by: anon5 on December 20, 2013 04:17 PM
93. Nepotism - is that anything like Presbyterianism?

Posted by: alphabet soup on December 20, 2013 04:39 PM
94. "But we can be pretty confident that it wouldn't have happened if she weren't in Congress."

I'm not clear how anyone can make this assumption.

Posted by: alphabet soup on December 20, 2013 04:50 PM
95. Anonymous Coward: Except you aren't using your definition in proper context (ref: Merriam Webster definition). The context is either (a) the person approving the hiring, or (b) someone recommending a relative for hire.

Neither of those is mentioned in the definition. You're simply lying.


soup: I'm not clear how anyone can make this assumption.

OK.

Posted by: pudge on December 20, 2013 05:01 PM
96. No Pudge stating context of how to use a definition is not lying. You can't even make understandable responses anymore. You have demonstrated your lack of understanding how the term is used. Look back over the comments. No one agrees with your definition. Further, you are the only one raising this topic. You don't see right wing media stating this. You are on a lonely corner and it is quite sad. You used to be able to make sound points. Not anymore. I am amazed at how you can't see how ridiculous you have made yourself in your responses. Here is hoping you come to your senses and get back to sound posts in the future. Ta Ta 4 now!

Posted by: anon5 on December 20, 2013 11:07 PM
97. Anonymous Coward: No Pudge stating context of how to use a definition is not lying.

Um. But you're lying about the context.


You have demonstrated your lack of understanding how the term is used.

On the contrary, you explicitly lied about the definition I quoted from the dictionary. I demonstrated it clearly, and you could not offer rebuttal.

Posted by: pudge on December 21, 2013 08:02 AM