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McCain Wants Ballmer For His Cabinet 431

Posted by kdawson
from the throwing-chairs-at-the-chinese dept.
While many people jumped all over presidential hopeful John McCain's wrong-headed view on network neutrality, few noticed his infuriating love for Microsoft. "[T]he 70 year old presidential hopeful also said that he would ask Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to serve on his cabinet to deal with technology issues if elected. He did not however say what position Ballmer might be hired in, but did joke that he might consider him for a diplomatic position, such as ambassador to China."
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McCain Wants Ballmer For His Cabinet

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  • Oh God (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ethelred Unraed (32954) * on Sunday June 03, 2007 @01:23PM (#19372757) Journal

    But the comedy almost writes itself.

    Imagine Ballmer jumping around and screaming at cabinet meetings.

    Cheers,

    Ethelred

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by artemis67 (93453)
      I hear the Monkey Boy dance is big in China...
    • Re:Oh God (Score:5, Funny)

      by creimer (824291) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:19PM (#19373845) Homepage
      No wonder Dick Cheney kept Ballmer out of the current Administration. A shotgun weilding Vice President versus a chair throwing Ambassador would make for an interesting Sunday morning talk show routine.
    • Re:Oh God (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:22PM (#19373865) Homepage
      During the meetings, would he be continuously screaming "Politicians" three times in a row, or "Lobbyists"?
      • Re:Oh God (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:59PM (#19375113)
        Well the best thing about having Ballmer in the administration would be that it would be difficult to buy him off. Do you think he would even notice $9,000 from the RIAA? Or a lobbyist funded ski trip somewhere?

        I say Ballmer for President! No I'm kidding. We don't need him to say "Fucking Putin is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Russia."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by billcopc (196330)
          Funny, I'd vote him precisely for that short-sighted candor. Maybe that has to do with my belief that Putin is a fucking pussy, after all.
          • Re:Oh God (Score:4, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @09:50PM (#19376801)
            Ex-KGB, martial artist, absolutely no morality, ruthless, has probably been behind numerous deaths... Yeah, dude's a wuss.
            • Re:Oh God (Score:4, Funny)

              by Mjlner (609829) on Monday June 04, 2007 @02:47AM (#19378587) Journal

              Ex-KGB, martial artist, absolutely no morality, ruthless, has probably been behind numerous deaths... Yeah, dude's a wuss.

              Wow, I didn't know all that about Steve Ballmer! I suppose chair-throwing can be a martial art and given that he has threatened to fucking kill Google, I'm not surprised.
              ...But ex-KGB? Wait... You were talking about Steve Ballmer, weren't you?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by random0xff (1062770)
      "Politicians, politicians, politicians..."

      or maybe

      "Lobyists, lobyists, lobyists"
    • Yeah, Ballmer throws a few chairs in the direction of the chinese delegate and they response with warheads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sokoban (142301)

      Imagine Ballmer jumping around and screaming at cabinet meetings.
      As a chairman, he has excelled at throwing chairs, so I guess as a cabinet member he will excel at throwing dishes.
    • by reporter (666905) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:17PM (#19374337) Homepage
      That John McCain would consider picking Steve Ballmer to serve in the cabinet just affirms the stupidity of the American voter. Flash, not substance, appeals to the typical voter. Ballmer has plenty of flash; he is the high-profile leader of one of the most well-known companies in America. To the dumb American voter, Ballmer is good, and the chairman of the electrical enginering department at MIT is bad. The likelihood that McCain would pick a good choice -- like the EE department chairman at MIT -- is zero.

      Among the Republican candidates, both John McCain and Ron Paul are the least dishonest candidates -- even if you disagree with their political positions. McCain is honest in saying that a substantial increase in troops in Iraq can transform the country. He is correct. Increasing the number of Western occupying soldiers to 400,000, pushing aside the Iraqi government, and running Iraq as a colony on the basis of Western values (e.g., equality for women) will transform Iraq into a prosperous, liberal Western nation. At the end of 20 years of occupation, we can relinquish control to democratically elected Iraqi politicians who spent most of their youth in a Western-value-dominated colony.

      At the same time, Ron Paul is correct when he says that American foreign policy (like deposing the democratically elected government of Iran in the 1950s) is, at least partially, responsible for Arab attacks (like the 9/11 incident) against American citizens.

      Note that neither men can win this election. American voters do not want to hear truth. Neoconservative voters especially do not want to hear the truth. They wanted war on the cheap and cheered using a pathetic force of 160,000 soldiers to occupy Iraq. Of course, these voters refuse to support making sacrifices for the war; their attitude is, "You make all the sacrifies for the war. You die for the war. As for me, I make no sacrifices. I will not support even a tax increase to pay for this war. Excuse me! I must hop in my SUV and head off to the baseball game!"

      When Ron Paul told the truth during the recent debate, the Republican voters booed and condemned him. They do not want to hear about American responsibility for the 9/11 incident. In the debate, Ruddy Giuliani viciously attacked Paul and his utterance of the truth. Few politicians are as dishonest as Giuliani, so he has the best chance of being nominated as the Republican candidate. The American voter prefers hearing lies.

      On the Democratic side, the least dishonest politicians are Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, and Barack Obama.

      Okay. Clinton has a good chance of being president. However, she keeps saying the truth. She refuses to apologize for her vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. Although we now know that the CIA intelligence data was wrong, supporting the use of force was appropriate since, in 2003, we believed that the intelligence data was correct. If a nation with a leader making violent threats does have weapons of mass destruction, authorizing the use of military force against this nation is appropriate -- maybe, even, desirable. Clinton voted correctly. She correctly refuses to apologize for the vote.

      However, if she keeps sticking to the truth, she will ruin her chances to win in the election. The dumb American voter does not want to hear the truth. So, henceforth, Clinton should avoid talking about her vote on the use of force -- if she wants to win. She must focus on flashy superficialities -- just like Giuliani.

      Of course, Fred Thompson has an excellent chance to win. Nothing is more superficial and flashy than an actor.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:05PM (#19374731)

        The likelihood that McCain would pick a good choice -- like the EE department chairman at MIT -- is zero.
        Why would the chairman of the EE department at MIT be a good choice? The position doesn't require technical aptitude, it requires the ability to understand the way technology affects public policy. It requires someone to be able to draw on people like the EE department chair to help interpret new technologies.

        But it also requires skills that highly technical people usually lack. Engineers and developers often take a myopic view of technology that is often far too black-and-white to be useful in a public policy setting. As much as I hate to say it, lawyers, economists and other non-technical disciplines tend to have skills that transfer over better than strictly-tech people.

        If I were looking at creating a cabinet position to advise on technical issues, I'd look more towards people like Lawrence Lessig...the kind of person who has clearly been able to draw on the knowledge of people who deeply understand technology and then apply what they've learned to real-world considerations. Someone who understands the intricacies of what public policy is allowed to and is likely to be able to accomplish.
      • by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:36PM (#19374965)
        "Increasing the number of Western occupying soldiers to 400,000, .... will transform Iraq into a prosperous, liberal Western nation.

        Wow, it only takes 400,000 soldiers to move Iraq West? How many dump trucks does it take?
      • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:59PM (#19375115) Homepage
        McCain is running as a Faux version of his 2000 personna. Flip flopping on his 2000 positions loses all the people drawn to his 'straight talk express' and the religious right is making clear they don't buy it.

        If Balmer wanted to be a politician he could run for President himself, he is a vastly more credible candidate than the rest of the Republican field to date.

        Romney is running against the state he was governor of, openly attacking liberals for holding the views he claimed to hold five years ago, another flip flopper.

        Worst flip flopper of all is Giuliani, he was for terrorism before he was against it. Back when he was running for Major of NYC it was convenient to pander to the expat Irish vote by supporting the IRA. So Giuliani was a regular fixture at Sinn Fein and Noraid fund raisers. In 1994 he gave a 'humanitarian award', the Crystal Apple to Gerry Adams, who blew up a shopping mall 18 months later.

        Thompson is busy hiring staff embroilled in the worst Bush administration scandals. And Ron Paul will have been drowned in the slime generated by the administration noise machine long before the primaries.

        What is particularly disgusting about this crew is the snearing contempt they have for anyone who does not share their exact views. There were plenty of people who understood what the Iraq war was almost certain to become, it was not even a close call if you knew the history of the British occupation. Put one of those people in charge, not the blind sheep.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Watson Ladd (955755)
        Name one colony that is now prosperous that was liberated during the twentieth century without going through socialism. Name one instance where shock treatment has not lead to massive inequity, corruption, and unemployment. And anyone who believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2003 would be ignoring the reports of the UN inspectors. As for relinquishing control to colonial leaders, look at how well that worked in Africa.
        • Name one colony that is now prosperous that was liberated during the twentieth century without going through socialism.

          Hong Kong. South Africa. Philippines. Canada, technically.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by 1u3hr (530656)
            >Name one colony that is now prosperous that was liberated during the twentieth century without going through socialism.
            Hong Kong. South Africa. Philippines. Canada, technically.

            Hong Kong is rich and peaceful, but has no democracy. The Philippines is dirt poor and its politics is corrupt, violent and inefficient. I know less about South Africa, but it doesn't have a shining reputation. Canada "liberated"? It was granted independence in a completely peaceful and orderly process. No shock and awe requi

            • by AdmiralWeirdbeard (832807) on Monday June 04, 2007 @12:45AM (#19377811)

              Canada "liberated"? It was granted independence in a completely peaceful and orderly process. No shock and awe required.

              Actually they withheld cream and sugar when having the British Ambassador over for tea. He was both shocked and awed at the impropriety of it all. No amount of stammering, "Now listen here, old chap, this simply will not do," could conjure up the required accompaniments, and he was forced to telegraph home immediately recommending that such dastardly manners be answered with expulsion from The Empire.

              The rest of the world was like, "What the Fuck? Canada just got its independence now? That's stupid, why'd they bother after waiting so fucking long?"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *

        Although we now know that the CIA intelligence data was wrong, supporting the use of force was appropriate since, in 2003, we believed that the intelligence data was correct.

        WTF?! "We" knew the intelligence data was bullshit back in 2003 too -- the UN inspectors said so! Only the goverment thought it was correct, mostly because it was Hell-bent on going to war and needed an excuse.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Revenge is sweet.
  • "Infuriating love" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Admodieus (918728) <john@misc[ ].net ['zak' in gap]> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:10PM (#19373739)
    So a presidential hopeful wants somebody who at least knows how technology works to be a technology adviser? Say it ain't so! However, I do hope this happens so he is able to re-use the "Developers, developers, developers" presentation.
    • by Erris (531066) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:18PM (#19373837) Homepage Journal

      So a presidential hopeful wants somebody who at least knows how technology works to be a technology adviser? Say it ain't so!

      If "knifing the baby", "cutting off oxygen" and "fucking killing" is how technology works, McCain has his man. Ballmer knows NOTHING about technology and needs the kind of business ethics class that comes with steel bars on the door.

      I hope the whole thing was a bad joke, but there is no mistaking McCain's stance on network neutrality. Love of M$ goes hand in hand with approval of ATT's tactics.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:50PM (#19374135)

        and needs the kind of business ethics class that comes with steel bars on the door.

        Ballmer needs to be in a Zoo? But won't he scare the (other) monkeys?
      • erris == twitter (Score:5, Informative)

        by dedazo (737510) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @07:39PM (#19375849) Journal
        The person [slashdot.org] who posted this journal and somehow got kdawson to get it to the front page is the same person [slashdot.org] posting under the "Erris" account. twitter thinks it's cool to shill [slashdot.org] his own submissions, probably because moderators have wised up to his twitter account and just mod him down on sight.

        I think /.'ers need to see these stories, but kdawson needs to get a better source.

    • by ushering05401 (1086795) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:19PM (#19373849) Journal
      A presidential hopeful wants someone who actively opposes fair competition/cooperation in the industry to advise him on tech policy.

      This is not trollish conjecture, the anti-trust lawsuits didn't come out of thin air, and the anti-cooperation charge should require no explanation.

      Allow me to also note the increasing movement among U.S. State governments to pursue open standards technology. You want to talk friction? What sort of leverage would MS have on this issue? They already threatened contract-infringement legal action against the state of California just because the state considered having an official conversation about open standards.

      Regards.
      • by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:50PM (#19374137) Homepage
        Watch the beginning of the video on this link. [allthingsd.com] Mossberg asks him if the debate on frivolous software patents is anywhere on his radar and McCain says "No" in a manner that is very dissmissive of Mossberg's nerd question. I was a McCain supporter before, but after watching this interview he comes off as totally clueless about technology. You'd think he'd get someone to at least brief him before going to this event.
    • However, I do hope this happens so he is able to re-use the "Developers, developers, developers" presentation.

      How about:
      Congress Critters, Congress Critters, Congress Critters...
      or
      Ambassadors, Ambassadors, Ambassadors...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HangingChad (677530)

      So a presidential hopeful wants somebody who at least knows how technology works to be a technology adviser?

      We're talking about Steve Ballmer. He understands how technology works the same way a chef understands bovine psychology.

      For the last six years we've had the problem dictating the solution. John McCain has just gone on record promising to continue that tradition. It's obvious who he's trying to appeal to and it's not you and I.

  • Not Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Raindance (680694) * <`johnsonmx' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:11PM (#19373751) Homepage Journal
    Well. Better the devil you know than the usual political hack that doesn't know anything about tech. :)

    Seriously, it's got to be mostly a symbolic move to lure some business/tech folks. I think McCain is probably just throwing a name out there, and that Ballmer would be a poor choice due to his personality and the small fact that he already has, you know, a pretty full-time job. But if McCain's announcement gets voters and candidates thinking that yes, tech policy actually does matter, that's a very good thing.
    • Re:Not Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vivaoporto (1064484) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:21PM (#19373853)
      Oh, yeah, very good thing. But for them, not for interoperability. It would be the death for access to Open Source and Open Formats all across the board of the federal government. If Microsoft can kill legislatures pro Open Formats using "only" lobbies, imagine how aggressively they would defend their own interests by having someone with capacity to directly influence TPTB.

      Think about Cheney and Halliburton, but this time for I.T. instead of good ol' military contracts.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'd rather an idiot who might do the right thing by accident than someone who will maliciously undermine their competition (McCain said that he would bring the successful people into Washington, who we all know would make themselves more successful with their newfound influence).

      BTW, Mod the article down, McCain [allthingsd.com] didn't say anything like that. He laughed at the suggestion of Secretary of State!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:12PM (#19373755)

    He did not however say what position Ballmer might be hired in...
    Obviously, they would want him to be the chair
  • by Rahga (13479) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:14PM (#19373785) Homepage Journal
    Bill Gates may be chairman of Microsoft, but CEO Balmer is certainly a capable chair-man in his own right.... Please don't let Balmer anywhere near the Chief of Staff position.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:14PM (#19373791) Homepage Journal
    with Hu Jintao now:

    throws chopsticks

    SOY SAUCE! SOY SAUCE! SOY SAUCE!
  • But a sad Joke (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:14PM (#19373797)
    McCain was once a Republican I could vote for: His own man. But a few years ago he became little more than a lapdog for the RNC. Makes you wonder what kind of dirt they have on him. He's not White House material. Once maybe, but not anymore. Not because I think he's become crooked, but because I think he's become weak.
    • Re:But a sad Joke (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:16PM (#19373817)
      Not because I think he's become crooked,

      Oh, he was crooked a long time ago. Google the "Keating Five" to see the sorts of people McCain has chosen to associate with over the years.

      I do not understand the appeal of this simpering asstard to voters with otherwise-enlightened sensibilities.
      • I do not understand the appeal of this simpering asstard to voters with otherwise-enlightened sensibilities.

        Because all of our choices seem to be worse than usual this time around?
      • Re:But a sad Joke (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sunburnt (890890) * on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:28PM (#19373939)

        I do not understand the appeal of this simpering asstard to voters with otherwise-enlightened sensibilities.

        Simple: many people have decided that he can't be as bad as Bush (generally ignoring his voting record) solely because he lacks any obvious mental defects, and at least has some personal knowledge of why torture's a stupid method of intelligence gathering.

        When you lower the bar enough, anyone can reach it.

    • I was for McCain in 2000, no longer. The straight talk express has been derailed. I still respect him greatly as a war veteran, and that he was 1 of 2 republics to denounce torture along with Ron Paul, in the debates - but otherwise he has become a political hack like the rest.

      Mike Gravel or Ron Paul. They might be older, but Washington needs adult supervision.
      • by WaZiX (766733)
        Oh please not Ron Paul...

        I mean, he has a point with Iraq, but have you seen the rest of his agenda? He wants to go back to a gold standard for gods sake! Having it right on one issue doesn't make you a good president...

        His comments on the "inflation tax" and abolition of income taxes are just plain ridiculous.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rolfwind (528248)
          You're not really explaining why that would be a bad thing...
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by WaZiX (766733)
            1) Well, during economic growth, the demand for money goes up, with a Gold standard the government can't increase the monetary mass without getting more gold... THis would mean the government should never immediately face money demand.

            2) During a recession, you cannot use a monetary tool to reboost the economy. This eans that when reession hits, it hits (much) harder.

            3) It is supposed to bring stable prices, but gold (or silver) is far from being a stable commodity, prices fluctuate, hence a completely exte
        • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:15PM (#19374317) Homepage
          "Oh please not Ron Paul..."

          I've heard what the man has to say, and yeah, a lot of it is typical Libertarian wacko BS.

          As the same time, he hasn't been bought off by the usual suspects. Like the poster above, I would have voted for McCain in a HEARTBEAT in 2000, even knowing what I do now about Gore (Gore 2000 is a different man than Gore 2007 regardless of what he'd like to say...I still think he has been one of the most consistently smartest people in politics for 20 years, just not a great politician).

          But I'll take a president that offers wacko ideas just to break the monotony. No party is going to get lockstepped behind him the way the Republicans did Bush, or partly the way the Dems did behind Clinton before the Republican uprising. Which brings up another thing -- one of the greatest things of the Clinton era was that EVERYONE had to compromise. No one got what they wanted. And because of it, there was discussion and debate and things had to happen because everyone found a common platform that they could agree on and the country had some of the largest gains because of it.

          With Ron Paul, I could see the same thing happening again. I'd LOVE to see a president that actually understood how to veto. And knew when it was appropriate. Clinton understood how to do this and even tried to get a line-item veto in that would allow his to use his pen even more (unfortunately, it was passed in an unconstitutional manner...I bet if they did something like this with Riders it might actually pass the supreme's muster...errr...then again, maybe thats what it was...it was a long time ago that I read up on this stuff).

          I'd love to see a real maverick running the country. I could care less if his politics match mine or not. I just don't want some jingoistic motherfucking corporate whore that seems to be able to convince the lower half of the bell curve that something is right and thus you shouldn't question nor educate yourself about such matters (you only need 51% in the US of A).
  • One more reason why I'm voting for Hillary. I guess I'm going to have to switch from being a moderate Republican to a conservative Democrat, and a paint a broader yellow stripe down the middle of my back.
    • I hate them both (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      People say I am a bad American because I don't vote for president.

      But...

      There are NO candidates that I like. I also see no value in voting for the lesser of two evils since I hate them both equally (there is no lesser) and such a vote is pointless anyway (who you vote for is still evil).
      With options like these, voting is not an effective means of bringing about positive change.

      Once we get rid of this completely wrong-headed "one-person-one-vote" nonsense and also start allowing a wider range of options (tw
  • Ballmer = autocrat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rdean400 (322321) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:17PM (#19373829)
    The appointment of Ballmer would make more sense coming from a dogmatic president like Bush. Ballmer's all about preaching the Windows dogma. The cabinet should be populated with pragmatists.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:19PM (#19373847)
    that Ballmer finally gets his chair ...?
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:21PM (#19373859)
    ... how far out of touch McCain is with respect to technology and those in the technology industry.

    On the other hand, if McCain is looking for someone to help build monopolies illegally and then illegally leverage those monopolies, then Ballmer's the dude.

  • McCain won't win the Republican primary. He's too soft on the vital topics of torture [youtube.com] and deporting Mexicans [ontheissues.org] to rally the ever-important base, so I'm sorry to say that I don't think we'll ever have the joy of seeing Ballmer throwing a chair at Wan Gang. [wikipedia.org]

    Unless, of course, somebody gets busy in GIMP.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:22PM (#19373877)
    "Fucking Hu Jintau is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill China."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hxnwix (652290)
      Then his hands shot to Angela Merkel's shoulders, roughly kneading her skin as he likened Iraq to a bone that will not leave his mouth until he's done coming and coming and coming.
  • by ragingmime (636249) <ragingmime@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:23PM (#19373887) Homepage
    Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest if the CEO of one of the country's biggest tech companies was helping determine tech policy? Certainly even someone who isn't tech-savvy can see that. It'd be a little bit like asking the CEO of an oil company to determine environmental policy. Even if Ballmer were to step down from his position (and I'm not holding my breath on that one), he probably still owns tons of MS stock. On a side note, McCain's opinion on net neutrality seems to be founded on a general small-government policy, not on a technical understanding of the situation. You can't just use a blanket "small government" argument for all things... some things work better when they're private companies, and others work better as public institutions. There's a reason why water is a public utility, power is often regulated, and software is produced mostly by private companies. Politicians should think that through before they parrot the party line on small/big government again.
    • by gilesjuk (604902)
      Why do you think it took Bush so long to get with it on climate change? his family has made a lot of money from oil.

      You can imagine the sort of things Ballmer would do for the government. Mandate Windows in education and local government.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      As to the conflict of interest point: It would be nice if the world worked like that.

      Cheney/Halliburton... Monsanto Brass/FDA (revolving door)... Energy lobbyists/DIO appointments(the forced resignatin of Bush's first appointee didn't stop him doing the same thing a second time, currently under investigation for misconduct a second time)... the list goes on.

      Regards.
    • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:41PM (#19374055) Homepage Journal
      Certainly even someone who isn't tech-savvy can see that. It'd be a little bit like asking the CEO of an oil company to determine environmental policy.

      Don't they do that already?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by darkwhite (139802)

      It'd be a little bit like asking the CEO of an oil company to determine environmental policy.

      Wait. I'm confused. Isn't that what we have now? If it works for energy policy, it would work just as well for IT, right?

      Seriously, how is this a surprise? McCain, Clinton, Guliani, any number of other bodies up on those debate stages - none of them have their own views, none of them are competent to lead a country, all obey special interests without understanding the repercussions, all are thoroughly opportunist, and all have little if any understanding of the real intricacies and problems to be addressed

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Would be Minister of Temper Tantrums.
  • by The Analog Kid (565327) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:25PM (#19373911)
    He is old, and he would be the oldest President if he won and he also supports the unpopular Iraq War. If Fred Thompson enters the race which is just a formality now, there will be no chance McCain will grab the Republican nomination.
    • by nick_davison (217681) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:49PM (#19374617)

      he also supports the unpopular Iraq War
      Somewhat of an oversimplification - though that's pretty much how the political process if conveyed to the public so, hey, in electoral terms, you're probably right.

      McCain is a veteran and a P.O.W. who experienced torture first hand.

      From his perspective: If you're going to commit to a war, commit to it.

      He's admittedly avoiding questions about whether we should have gone in the first place (realities being what they are, there's absolutely no way he could get the republican nomination if he went that far against the republican president.

      Still, accepting that it has happened, there are basically three choices: get the hell out and deal with the fallout (becoming the more popular view), stay with your head burried in the sand (the administration policy for the last 4 years), stay and do what needs doing to do it right (McCain's choice). That's pretty common amongst Vietnam vets who are largely convinced Vietnam was winnable had the politicians not hamstrung them at every turn.

      The interesting thing about McCain is his ethics on how you go about winning that war. Month on month, the war in Iraq has become more of a failure and more insurgents are turning up. Surely if you kill or capture the numbers the U.S. do, that number should go down? No, you piss away all credibility by torturing people, you piss off far more people who would never otherwise have been insurgents - torturing and abandonning ethics recruits for the other guy far better than anything he could do. As a P.O.W. who was tortured, McCain's been vocal that it's never justified (sure, you might prevent an attack that kills 5,000 now but you radicalize enough people to kill 50,000 over time).

      Personally, I think the war in Iraq was an horrific lie fed to the American people - Bin Laden never had real ties, Saddam never had real ties to 911, they never tried to buy yellowcake uranium and the chemical weapons that we sold to them were destroyed after the first gulf war. I think the current method of occupation is a great way to make the situation in the middle east worse and kill a lot of young Americans along with thousands of Iraqi civilians. I also think that getting out [sensibly] is the right thing to do... ...Still, while I don't agree with McCain that it should be continued, if it is to be, I have vastly more respect for his notion about how to do it than the current administration's system that seems to be based largely on denial or any of the other republicans that seem to hope more of the same may work differently for them.

      So, I'd prefer a democrat that gets us out of the war entirely. Still, if I have to have a republican that keeps us there, let's get one with an actual clue about how to do something positive.
  • said that he would ask Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to serve on his cabinet to deal with technology issues
     
    Exactly which cabinet position is that, anyway? There is the general pool of advisors of this and that but the president's cabinet is a specific set of high level advisors and I can't think of which one might be in charge of tech issues. Is he thinking of making some new cabinet position for technology issues?
  • Translation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rlp (11898) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:30PM (#19373967)
    I'm not making much headway against Rudy, Romney. (and Thompson), so I need some REALLY big campaign donations.
  • by kahei (466208) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:31PM (#19373975) Homepage

    Ballmer has a track record of taking a large, powerful empire and gradually frittering away its goodwill, resources, and internal cohesion by his aggressive posturing, constant confrontation, and wilful ignorance of what made it great in the first place.

    The question is, how has he *avoided* becoming a member of the Republican administration for so long?

    Disclaimer: I couldn't care less about US party politics, but the parallel is actually striking enough to mention.

    Meta-Disclaimer: I am aware of the locution 'could care less' and I consider it WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! *throws chair*

  • I doubt Ballmer would be interested in any such a position, and think McCain is merely speaking metaphorically that the type of guy he would seek, would be someone competent in technology and bussiness like Steve Ballmer, but not him literally.
    • I guess his strength is more like in killing the competition and throwing chairs. On the other hand, he will be on spot noticing the chinese stealing technology, M$ has the expertise in it as well. And why would Ballmer be uninterested? He already damaged Microsoft enough, time to look for some other playground.
  • Wooooooooooooo!!!! I have four words for you: Politicians, politicians, politicians, politicians, Politicians, politicians, politicians, politicians, Politicians, politicians, politicians, politicians, Politicians, politicians, politicians, politicians! Wooooooooooo!!! Maybe not the best choice for an important position...
  • McCain's Bad Taste (Score:2, Informative)

    by kabz (770151)
    John McCain's wretched bad taste in singing 'Bomb! Bomb! Bomb! Bomb bomb Iran...' [youtube.com] to the tune of the the old Beach Boys hit shows he is completely unsuitable for high office. It was disrespectful to those who have given their lives in these misguided wars.

    Very few Americans seem to realize that the terrorists in Northern Ireland were not bombed out of existence by the RUC and British Government, but that an American called George Mitchell brought the different parties together [mit.edu] and negotiated a power-sharing
  • Maybe Microsoft would get a CEO who has a fucking clue.

    Naaah...what am I thinking? Not while Bill still runs the show. He'd find some other nitwit he can control.

    Like McCain has a snowball's chance in hell of being President anyway. First of all, he's lost it and is totally out of touch with reality, as his "Baghdad stroll" comments proved to everyone (of course, Bush is totally lost in a dream world as well and he IS President). Second, he's got all the charisma of a thug (well, actually, so does Bush). Th
  • Criminals? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:05PM (#19374237) Homepage Journal
    Err... Balmer is the CEO of a convicted criminal corporation.

    In a country where convicted criminals can lose the right to vote, you can also go to the White House for being one? That's not really something that can be explained in english without getting into some kind of semantic Moebius loop, can it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eebra82 (907996)
      convicted criminal corporation vs you can also go to the White House for being one

      Is Ballmer a convict or is it Microsoft? He is the CEO of a company that is constantly involved in lawsuits, but can you name one large company that isn't? And does that make the CEO a criminal? Regardless of what you may think of him, he is one of the world's most powerful voices in the world of technology, so I am sure his word counts.

      And while we're at it, don't forget to criticize George W Bush for using the constitu
      • Re:Criminals? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EvilRyry (1025309) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:26PM (#19374887) Journal

        convicted criminal corporation vs you can also go to the White House for being one

        Is Ballmer a convict or is it Microsoft? He is the CEO of a company that is constantly involved in lawsuits, but can you name one large company that isn't? And does that make the CEO a criminal? Regardless of what you may think of him, he is one of the world's most powerful voices in the world of technology, so I am sure his word counts.

        And while we're at it, don't forget to criticize George W Bush for using the constitution as toilet paper.
        I was trying to think of something that may get modded insightful as a response, but I don't have the time at the moment.

        Ballmer is the head of a company that is violating US law. He is not trying to fix this. Rather he seems quite content with the current situation. Microsoft continues to force its way into new markets by abusing its monopoly power, and tightening its grips on its existing markets. They seem to be ignoring the very weak settlement of their antitrust suit, but by putting a pretty face on, no one seems to notice! Ballmer undoubtedly has a hand in this, he is a criminal and an enemy to the free (as in capitalism) market.
        Ballmer may be well known, but he should be thrown into a pool of sharks, not into a government office.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:46PM (#19374593)
    I see little mention here about Gore's close ties to Microsoft, who is on the board I believe and has made numerous visits to the campus...

    Microsoft doesn't care who is in power. They just like power.
  • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:48PM (#19374607) Homepage
    Department of Health & Human Services: Josef Mengele
    Department of Defense: André Maginot
    Department of Energy: Kenneth Lay
    Department of Homeland Security: Osama bin Laden
    Department of Education: Terri Schiavo
    Department of Labor: Beevis
    Department of State: Butthead
    Department of Commerce: Karl Marx
    Department of State: Groucho Marx
    Department of the Treasury: Jesse James
    Department of Agriculture: William R. Simonson
    Department of the Interior: George Custer
    Office of National Drug Control Policy: Timothy Leary
    Environmental Protection Agency: Joseph Hazelwood
    Department of Transportation: Joseph Hazelwood
    Office of Management and Budget: Paris Hilton
    Department of Housing & Urban Development: John Spartan
    United States Trade Representative: John Rambo

    Oh yeah, and...
    Department of Justice: Alberto Gonzales

    -
  • Cabinet? (Score:3, Funny)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:21PM (#19374861) Journal
    How far can he throw one of those?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:05PM (#19375141)
    I mean, in medieval times it was good custom to have a court jester.
  • by ScottForbes (528679) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:07PM (#19375147) Homepage
    ...John McCain is not going to be choosing cabinet officials anytime soon. The right-wing extremists who dominate the GOP primaries still mistrust him for publicly calling them out in 2000 [cnn.com], and the centrists who loved McCain back then have since been alienated by his blatant pandering to the right-wing extremists [washingtonpost.com]. All McCain has left to attract voters is a lingering nostalgia for the pre-Dubya, pre-9/11 days when political moderates roamed the earth and had not yet been pulverized into extinction.
  • by emjoi_gently (812227) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:53PM (#19375535)
    Does "Conflict of Interest" have any meaning in US politics?

    I thought it would be an utterly obvious case of No, he can't help formulate technology policy for the government because, obviously, he's a bit biased towards one particular company.
  • by alizard (107678) <alizardNO@SPAMecis.com> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @08:18PM (#19376111) Homepage
    and "Insane" McCain and the "Crazy Talk Express". . . a match made somewhere or other, I'm sure. They deserve each other.
  • Oh well (Score:3, Funny)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @08:49PM (#19376325)
    Like I needed another reason to NOT vote for this egocentric attention whore? I meant McCain.
  • not a bad choice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by briancnorton (586947) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @09:07PM (#19376453) Homepage
    Before you flame me, you have to see the abysmal state of federal IT systems. A federal CTO that REALLY understood what was going on and could reallocate the resources to fix the problems would be a HUGE boon to efficient government. Feds are like 90% MS anyway, so it's really not a huge conflict of interests. Somebody like Balmer (might?) get it. Personally I would prefer some sharp Google exec that understood the nature of information, but I'll take what I can get.

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