A Risk Manager’s Take on Anthony Weiner

Years ago when I was still worked full-time in risk management, I awoke to find one of my biggest clients on the front page of the daily Portland newspaper.  It was not good news.  Michael Mooney, the president of Lewis and Clark College, had been caught red-handed misappropriating endowment funds for his own person gain.[1]

Mooney had invested quite a bit of his own money into an Idaho startup that promised to convert waste oil into diesel fuel.  The company was never able to deliver on its promises, however.  When it became obvious that it was going to be a financial loser, Mooney arranged for the college to secretly “loan” the Idaho startup $10 million in order for investors to recoup their losses.  The company paid out dividends, waited a short while, and then filed for bankruptcy, leaving the college in the lurch.

The pool of money Mooney misappropriated had nothing to do with my company, but it was decided that we would do a quick audit of the separate college finances we were in charge of anyway.  That way if anyone asked later we could present the crossed t’s and dotes i’s.

“Do the audit quick,” said our CFO, “before his other transgressions come out.”  I thought this was an odd thing for him to say, and I asked him about it.  Did he have an inside source on the board of trustees?  Was there some salacious detail he was aware of that I had yet to hear?  Why was he so sure that Mooney’s hand would be caught in other cookie jars?  “Because,” he patiently explained to me, “the kind of person that steals $10 million dollars from the college he is entrusted to protect isn’t the kind of person who only ever bothers to do it once.”  He was right, of course.  More shoes did drop, and Mooney was forced to resign.

To this day, that conversation with our CFO remains one of the formative moments in my development as a risk manager.  It colors how I think about scandals, as well as corporate and government malfeasance.  Which is why I thought about my old CFO this morning when I read the most recent news about New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

As I’m sure you all remember, Weiner was the congress critter who was forced to resign after sending inappropriate images of himself to women who hadn’t asked him to do so.  So color me not-surprised to find out that a few weeks after announcing his bid for mayor, he’s been caught doing the exact same thing.  Oh wait, strike that – it turns out he’s been caught doing something far worse:

“[An anonymous girl] was lured by Anthony Weiner post scandal via Facebook. They had a relationship for 6 months and she believed they were in love. Anthony Weiner like a true sex predator promised Anonymous many things like a job at Politico and a condo in Chicago (a place they could meet up and have sex).”

 

His MO and constituency are very different, of course, but at the end of the day the Anthony Weiner story is the same as the Herman Cain story.  In both cases, the press treats the candidates’ actions as  sexual dalliances.  But they’re actually much worse.  Cain took advantage of people he held power over, and so did Weiner.  Promising a 22 year-old sweet young thing a job at Politico in exchange for favors is pretty much the classic, old-school definition of sexual harassment.  What I wrote about Cain back in 2011 holds true for Weiner today:

“The media treats sexual harassment cases similarly to the way they treat stories about secret mistresses. After all, it’s the sex that sells the story, right? The important thing for the cable news networks is, “Somebody Famous is Boinking Someone They Shouldn’t,” along with, “Is the Other Woman Hot and Can We Google a Sexy Photo of Her?”

But sexual harassment isn’t the same as infidelity. Sexual harassment, at the end of the day, is about the abuse of power. What’s more, it’s about a particularly denigrating and malicious abuse of power. I would go so far as to say that if someone has a pattern of perpetrating sexual harassment, he is the last person you want in power over others – and you should vote accordingly.”

Josh Marshall thinks this is the end of Weiner’s career.  I honestly don’t know why.  After all, he isn’t doing anything he hasn’t done before and just last week he was leading in the polls.  Sure, Cain didn’t win the presidential primaries, but he was never going to win regardless of what scandals befell him.  Weiner was and is a frontrunner.

I can pretty sadly predict much of what will happen in the coming days.  Weiner and his people will make all the appropriate apologies and will do so as each new show drops.  Weiner’s supporters[2] will claim that because the woman is choosing to remain anonymous that she’s not a reliable witness, even while they hold press conferences copping to “problematic behavior.” Bloggers and pundits will write back and forth about his chances now, his chances later, his possible contracts with cable news.  In all of the political wonk-talk we’ll lose track of the real story, which is this:

Anthony Weiner is a sexual harasser; as such he is an abuser of power.  And abusers of power tend to abuse whatever power you give them.  Period.  As Ta-Nehisi Coates likes to say, “you are what your record says you are.”

An interesting footnote to the story of Michael Mooney, the embezzling President of Lewis and Clark College, is that when he was first caught the board of trustees wanted to let it slide.  Maybe he was a scoundrel, they said to themselves, but he was their scoundrel.  He brought in lots of donations from alumni, and because of this they assumed he couldn’t also be a crooked man.  That’s terrible logic, but they believed it because they very much wanted it to be true.  It took a continued line of scandals in order for them to wake up and realize to whom they’d handed the reigns of power.

New Yorkers should wake up and realize the same thing about Weiner before they hand him the keys to the largest city budget in the country.

 

[1] Regular readers of this site know that I almost never mention my clients by name.  I am making an exception in this case because I don’t think my normal rule applies.  The story was national news and involved the trustees’ endowment.  My firm was employed by the college to help them increase worker-safety and self-insure their workers compensation exposure.  Neither my firm nor myself were in any way involved with insider conversations regarding the scandal. I am not imparting any special knowledge of events, but rather relaying facts that are common knowledge here in Portland.

[2] Seriously, is there any way you can’t use his name in a sentence and not sound like you’re making an innuendo?

Follow Tod on Twitter, view his archive, or email him. Visit him at TodKelly.com

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87 thoughts on “A Risk Manager’s Take on Anthony Weiner

  1. Even leaving aside the possible abuse of power, the lack of self-control for a limited period of time for a particular behavior says…something.

    An analogy. I think mandatory drug testing, for jobs which do not involve the safety of others (such as bus drivers, pilots, etc.) is silly, invasive, mostly-pointless, and sort of insulting. What someone does in their spare time, as long as the job gets done, shouldn’t be an employer’s business; if the employee’s work is substandard because they are high or hungover, fire them for the substandard work.

    At the same time, I understand why businesses do it: insurance discounting, CYA’ing, and maybe most important, a first-pass filter.

    See, businesses tell applicants that they will be drug-tested prior to hiring. Most drugs are out of the body in hours or days; even for the chronic (heh) marijuana smoker, 30 days of abstention – from a drug that is generally considered only mildly-addictive to most people – is enough to pass a urine test with flying colors.

    In short, you’ve been warned: if you want the job, you need to pass the test. Clean living for 30 days, Tex.

    AND YET PEOPLE STILL FAIL THE TEST ANYWAY. They knew they were applying for the job, and they knew they were taking drugs, but they couldn’t seem to fit these two simple facts together in a way that landed them the job.

    Now, I may think it ridiculous that they are being tested to begin with; but I can’t deny that it says something about the person that they knew what the deal was, and could not (or would not) do what they needed to do – for a limited time only – to get their foot in the door. They are either addicts, or have poor self-control and planning skills (or, they just don’t give a shit).

    The ability to delay or moderate gratification (and do basic math and scheduling) is sort of an important part of being a responsible adult.

    If a dream job that I thought I would be a good fit for required that all applicants wear a propeller beanie for 30 days – then no matter how stupid it is to wear a propeller beanie for 30 days, if I can’t manage (for just 30 days!) to get up every morning and put on a propeller beanie, I am just not the man for the job.

    Something is wrong with me, or I just don’t want the job bad enough; or I want to wear my regular cowboy hat SO BAD that I am willing to throw away my dream job, instead of just waiting a little longer to wear it, or at least be reasonably circumspect about surreptitiously changing my hat in the privacy of my own home.

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    • Hasn’t modern research shown that we vastly overstate the ability of Willpower?

      People tend to think that willpower is an infinite resource but if I remember the resource correctly it is not. Willpower is a finite resource and using willpower in one area of your life diminishes your ability to use it in another area of your life.

      So these people who know that they need 30 days of clean living, maybe they are serious exerting willpower in some other aspect of life and this causes them to give into weed.

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      • You are correct ND. Willpower is a limited resource. We only have so much before we need to replenish it. There is a reason AA type groups work for some. Because they wrap so much social support, reading material and stuff to think about that you are remaking almost every detail of your life. They offer fun occasions and support help you rebuild your willpower when it gets low. The typical recommendation is for people new to sobriety to do 90 in 90. That is at least 90 meetings in 90 days. They aim to make recovery your new life. I’d say for anyone really struggling with changing a compulsive behavior, as the W man seems to be, you really need that sort massive makeover.

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        • Without getting into what Weiner gets up to is a compulsion, or addiction, or hobby, or whatever…isn’t the point that, if you need to avoid activity X so as to successfully get a job, and/or keep that job (and do that job to your best ability, with minimal distractions); and you fail to avoid activity X, knowing that it is 2013 and There Is An Internet, Therefore You Will Get Caught – doesn’t that mean you aren’t the man for the job?

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          • “…There Is An Internet, Therefore You Will Get Caught…”

            While a sense of invulnerability or invisibility is typically the domain of the adolescent and young adult, it is not unique to these life stages.

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          • Yeah i’d say he isn’t the human for the job in this case. Its common in diagnosing mental illness/problem behavior to determine if it has negative affects on one or more parts of a persons life. If Otto Danger feels compelled to post dic pix to people who ask for them and isn’t married and their are no negative consequences well then that is more of a hobby. If our little Carlos here posts pix to people who don’t want them he is a perv and this had serious consequences for his career and i would guess his marriage. So he’s the wrong guy and i’d say has a problem that might be treated with some anti-viagra.

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      • It’s not just that “willpower,” to the extent that it is a discrete, quantifiable thing, is a limited resource, it’s also that our resources are limited period. Stress, difficult or complex tasks, fatigue, etc., all reduce our ability to exercise self-control.

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        • You know, I’ve been under a great deal of stress recently. Two jury trials stacked up back to back on ultra-short notice will do that do a lawyer.

          Yet somehow I managed the entire time to find the inner strength to refrain from tweeting photographs of my boners to women half my age and not my wife.

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              • We all have our vices. For some people, it’s a greasy fast food burger, for others, it’s sending unsolicited photos of their penises to young women on the internet.

                Seriously, though, if your compulsions tend towards the sexual, when your cognitive resources are low, it’s going to be sexual behavior that you’re going to have a hard time avoiding. I don’t want to excuse Wiener’s behavior, because whatever your impulses, being a pervy asshole is not cool, but in the way the Wendy’s-Weiner comparison isn’t all that far off.

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                  • Yeah, I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying they’re the same morally, or even on most psychological dimensions. Just that there is a similarity to their underlying psychology that was being pointed out, and I was reiterating.

                    Wiener, like all too many men who seek and ultimately gain power, is the worst sort of sexual deviant: a person with sexual compulsions who ends up in a position of power that allows him to foist his compulsions on people either without their consent at all, or with consent only given because the power imbalance made the person in the lower position feel like he or she had no choice, making the consent no real consent at all.

                    But Wiener is still human, and the way his compulsions work are the same as the way other people’s compulsions work. Part of the point, I think, in comparing it to Wendy’s or to stress drinking, is that his behavior is not going to change, particularly if he’s successful in attaining the incredibly stressful (and at the same time extremely powerful) political position he’s currently seeking. In fact, it might get worse. The other part is that, for Wiener, there are cognitive and behavioral strategies for coping with his impulses, even under stress or other cognitive loads, just as there are for coping with drinking or compulsive eating. They’re not strategies that are easy to learn on your own, though. Learning them usually requires first asking for help.

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              • “Let me tell you about my grandchildren dong”.

                I am no great fan of Freudian analysis except as reliable source of comedy, but Weiner probably took a lot of grief for his name as a boy – not just because of the double entendre, but at least when/where I was growing up, “weiner” (or “weenie”) was also synonymous with “wussy” or “wimpy” (that is, not “tough” or most importantly, “manly”).

                I’m not saying that this is at the root of his constant need to – ahem – demonstrate his manhood; but if I were writing a novel, it wouldn’t be a terrible backstory.

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                • Donald Westlake used to do this pretty often. One of his novels has a main character named Peter Abbot (say it out loud), and another stars Harry Künt. (Don’t forget the umlaut!)

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            • Actually, no, and the truth is that I’ve caught myself using both indulgent food and more plentiful alcohol as stress-alleviating methods in the past.

              This go-around, I’ve dealt by incorporating light daily physical exercise, in the form of forcing myself to walk at least two miles a day, every day, and to lose myself after work in the rituals of preparing reasonable sorts of meals at home. I’ve actually managed to drop a few pounds!

              Here’s hoping I can do as well the next time my practice calendar gets slammed.

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          • One thing that really and constantly surprises me is what people are willing to do to get sex. I keep hearing these stories in the media or among friends in real life and all I can think is about the potential problems that happen after you get caught. Maybe I’m just cautious but I can’t bring myself to do these foolish things simply for the possibility of sex.

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      • I’m not sure what the current vogue is. In the early 90’s my then-girlfriend got a job at Blockbuster and it was hair (she was annoyed because they took a big whack of it). All my jobs have always been urine samples, but I have been working since 1995 for the same company so I don’t know what’s common now. I got the impression the hair tests had fallen from fashion (plus, what do you do about guys who are bald?)

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      • Guess I’m lucky. I’ve worked for five different companies since starting my career in 1979 (my last job switch was in 2010) and have not once been subjected to a drug test. All have been good, above-average paying jobs, one at a very large company everyone’s heard of.

        I can’t even imagine willfully submitting to a drug test for a job at a place like Blockbuster! As a teenager, I was once given a lie detector test as part of the interview process for a job at a gas station, but I didn’t get the job (no idea how I came out on the lie detector test, but I did answer truthfully). I don’t think I’d want to work for any company that seems more interested in the quality of my urine than the quality of my work.

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  2. Seriously, is there any way you can’t use his name in a sentence and not sound like you’re making an innuendo?

    Is it not pronounced “Viner?”

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  3. Aside, during the original Weiner scandal*, I remember slate ran article about how the foreign press needed to explain why this was funny to Americans. Apparently weiner as a slang for the male member is a Yiddishism that the rest of the world never got. In general, American English has a lot more Yiddish slang.

    We shall we what happens. You are right that if the polls hold, there will probably be a run-off between Quinn and Weiner but we will see what happens in the coming days (pun not intended). As a former New Yorker, I always have opinions about their politics and was always a DeBlasio kind of guy. Maybe he will make a comeback (pun not intended again).

    *I made my favorite joke of how it was sad that he would never be a judge. I think it would be funny to hear a baliff say “All rise. All rise. The honorable judge Weiner presiding…..”

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        • A Weiner is a weeper, from weinen, to cry, from which English get “whiner”. A Wiener is someone or something from Vienna, hence Wienerwürstl or weenies. The hot dog was invented in Frankfurt, hence the name “frankfurter” or “franks”. But the butcher moved to Vienna, and the sausage became “Wiener”.

          The etymology is certainly not Yiddish. Yiddish calls the Male Member “putz”, a euphemism originally meaning absurdly decorative clothes, hence idiot. The word is still used among the Amish, derogative for show-off clothes and not standard bescheiden Amish attire, “Er traegt Englischer Putz == he wears English (fashionable non-Amish) clothes. The Yiddish also use Schwantz, a tail, a bit odd since it’s on the wrong side for a tail.

          Yiddish wasn’t one language and though it’s written in Hebrew script (though it often isn’t) there’s surprisingly little Hebrew in it. Yiddish was oddly strict about keeping Hebrew separate, designating the kadesh Hebrew words it used as loan words only, always having a Yiddish standby word for vernacular use. Spoken Yiddish is a vast trove of curious fragments from a dozen languages.

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        • Yeah, that’s why I said straight from the German. I should have noted modern German. The slang use came about in the late 19th or early 20th century, but again, I’m not sure if it was here or in Germany. I’m not even sure the word is used in Yiddish or Yiddish slang.

          It could have originated here, though I’m not sure. That would certainly explain why even Germans wouldn’t get it.

          Schlong, on the other hand, is Yiddish.

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  4. As long as we’re being clear on why what Weiner did was wrong, let’s be clear on why what he did was wrong.

    It’s not a classic case of sexual harassment. Pulling strings to get your mistress a job, which is what this looks to be, is not the same thing as telling an employee or job interviewee to have sex with you if they want to keep/get the job. This does not appear to be, based on the small amount of information in the linked article, a case where a woman came to Wiener looking for a job and got pushed into a sexual relationship. The connected via facebook, the woman in question “thought she loved him”, they had a consensual relationship. Anonymous is not the victim of sexual harassment.

    Getting someone a job based on an existing sexual relationship is still a problem. It’s nepotism, which is still an abuse of power, but of a different sort. And it does send an implicit message to other women in the workplace, so there is a 2nd order sexual harassment dynamic. Nevertheless, it’s not “classic sexual harassment”, and while it’s related in the general sense of being tied to sex, it’s not a matter of unwelcome advances.

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    • It could be evidence of a sexualized environment at a workplace under control of the supervisor pulling strings. It signals to women in the workplace that if they sleep with the boss, favorable treatment is on offer as a reward.

      Maybe that isn’t enough on its own to support a hostile workplace environment claim, under most imaginable circumstances. But it could be one brick in the wall.

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      • As I said, there is a 2nd order sexual harassment issue, in the implicit message it sends to other women in the work place. But it’s a long way down from the initial claim of “classic sexual harassment” to “one brick in the wall”.

        Was Wiener even in a supervisory position at Politico? His wikipedia article doesn’t mention what he did, if anything between his resignation and starting up the mayoral race. But it looks like he wasn’t. It’s entirely believable that a politician could get a friend a job at a political news organization, but it makes the picture of “a workplace under control of the supervisor pulling strings” harder to buy if the string-pulling is a one-off done by someone outside the organization.

        At that, did Wiener even deliver on the promised job offer?

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        • I don’t know the specifics, the story is too new and I’m still applying rounds of eye bleach after seeing the offending photograph on The Daily Show. But please note my use of words like “could” and “maybe.”

          Perhaps what you’re referring to as “2nd order sexual harassment” is roughly congruent with what I’m referring to as a “hostile workplace environment.”

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          • By “2nd order” I specifically meant that it’s harming women OTHER than the central figure (the one in the relationship who got the job), by sending an implicit message about what it takes to get ahead. It may fall under hostile work environment (although it is about an unspoken quid pro quo) but not all hostile work environment stuff would be second order.

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            • Fnord, I think I agree with this. This woman presumably agreed to this arrangement; it’s not a force being held over her that she must put out or loose out on employment.

              It’s a bigger problem for the other women in the work environment; they are competing in an environment where their sexual attraction is a key ingredient, and they may not even know it; it’s not how you do the job but the benefits you bring to the job. And those benefits fade, too. Talk about a glass ceiling.

              But it does leave me wondering about one thing: what’s the difference between capitalizing on a sexual relationship to land a job and capitalizing on your Daddy’s connections? We live in a world where employment often depends as much on who you know as what you can do. Job seekers are constantly told to network and capitalize on their existing connections; putting those job seekers from unconnected backgrounds at a distinct disadvantage right out of the gate.

              I don’t find any grace in any of Weiner’s actions. But I can’t help but wonder if the biggest problem here is a culture that rewards connections of over merit and ability.

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  5. I have all kinds of problems with Weiner’s behavior, what it says about his integrity and his impulse control.

    But you know what it really says to me? It says that this man is too stupid in a very basic way to run the most important city in the world.

    It reminds me of that scandal where people at the SEC were found to have been perusing Internet porn instead of Protecting Us All. And my main reaction was “who the hell doesn’t know that you don’t look at porn on the work computer!!!“? Seriously, does anyone not know that? The IT people will find out! DUH!!!

    This strikes me the same way. If you are a highly-visible, flame-throwing politician with a prominent elected position/hoping to once again hold a prominent elected position, do not transmit pictures of your genitals via the Internet!! The Internet is forever!! Enterprising people with an axe to grind or in search of a scoop will always be able to find it. Always.

    If you are too stupid to understand this, you are way way way way too stupid to present yourself as a plausible candidate for NYC mayor. (He was probably an OK fit for the House, however.)

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    • “It reminds me of that scandal where people at the SEC were found to have been perusing Internet porn instead of Protecting Us All. And my main reaction was “who the hell doesn’t know that you don’t look at porn on the work computer!!!“? Seriously, does anyone not know that? The IT people will find out! DUH!!!”

      … this is why most folks who peruse p0rn at work are in IT.

      ” The Internet is forever!! ”
      … no, it’s really not. the Dole/Kemp website is forever, but that’s contractual.

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    • Russel, see my comments above. There are seemingly a lot of people who like sex so much that they simply get when they can and damn the consequences. I suspect that the number of people who watch porn at work is higher than you think. I’ve heard a lot of tales of office sex in the legal community that isn’t exactly professional. I’m honest enough to admit that I’m a little jealous at the people who can indulge in these things but I also like being in control.

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      • I have no doubt that many, many people do stupid things and get away with it. Some because they are lucky, and some because they are savvy enough to figure out how to avoid getting caught.

        I just happen to think getting caught makes it obvious that one is not in that latter category. And I’m sorry, if you’re not savvy enough to get your jollies discreetly, you’re almost certainly not savvy enough to run the Big Apple.

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  6. and ,

    The new women does not appear to be a staffer at all but rather a very partisan Democrat who initially wrote on Weiner’s facebook page to express her disappointment. This seems to be more of a classic affair than anything else and the Politico offer and Chicago apartment are typical “kept women” behavior. This does not excuse him but this seems more same-old than anything else:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/07/24/the_dirty_carlos_danger_editor_of_gossip_blog_says_her_source_s_relationship.html

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  7. What you say is probably true, , but there’s also the mirrored element of the guy tweeting a picture of his junk. If nothing else, that suggests an inability to learn from experience. Still nothing new, either — just an indication that the man’s temperament is not consistent with the sort of personality well-suited for working in a critical decision-making capacity.

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  8. One or two weeks ago, there was a lot of talk about whether Weiner or Spitzer should run for office again. A lot of people on the left seemed to have the views that Weiner was always a grandstander and opportunist but Spitzer had real ideals but a serious vice. A lot of people on the left seemed to like that Spitzer is making is return by going for a “backwater” office as well.

    Who knows whether Spitzer learned his lesson or not from his scandal? So far nothing indicates that he has not.

    You are right that Weiner has not learned so far but I think there is a difference (albeit a small one) between tweeting pictures of your junk to random people and to your mistress (who was sending pictures in return)

    Though whenever I hear about these scandals, I wonder how many non-politicians engage in these type of behavior. I think sexting (pictures and words) is very common among all people and a lot of people do it with people who are not their spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends. A society probably cannot function without taboos but the problem with taboos is that we think things are rarer than they really are.

    Humans are a messy lot.

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    • – I was definitely “against” both of them in that convo, but I find Spitzer by far the more off-putting of the two, since his transgressions had a direct relationship with his job as a prostitution-busting AG.

      Weiner’s transgressions, as noted by many, have little (though maybe not nothing, per Tod’s OP) to do with his job.

      I feel like, if elected, Weiner would probably be, at best/worst, somewhat ineffectually-buffoonish. A clown, mostly.

      I feel like Spitzer should not be trusted with the keys to my Civic hatchback. I see him as more actively dangerous: a toxic combo of ambition, tenacity, and ruthlessness coupled with utter shamelessness and no moral compass.

      If the two of them were running for the same position and I *had* to choose one, it’d be Weiner, no question.

      But – I am self-aware enough to say that some of this could be personal animus talking. I just really don’t like Spitzer, and used to get really mad when he was doing his talking-head/columnist thing after his scandal. I just wish he’d go away.

      But “Carlos Danger” is the gift that keeps on giving (ladies, check your inbox for his latest gift).

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      • “Just wish he’d go away”

        Yeah, you do realize, that’s why there was a scandal in the first place?

        [And someone around here was calling me an idealist the other day.
        fuckers, I’m a cynic if ever you met one.]

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      • You know, I tend to agree. I think that Wiener is just a guy who sends out pictures of his dong to people and has mistresses whose rent he pays. Who doesn’t do that?

        Spitzer’s madam, however, has said some stuff about Spitzer (girls complained that he would get rough with them, that sort of thing) that tells me that he’s seriously in “dangerous” territory.

        Wiener? As spectacularly creepy goes, “sending unsolicited pictures of one’s parts” is mostly harmless spectacularly creepy.

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    • Jaybird,

      There are seemingly a lot of people who send out dick picks (we talked about this on the other thread). There are also probably a fair number of people (jncluding not rich people) who have a kept mistress, house boy, whatever.

      This is the problem with taboo. You don’t really know how many people engage in a particular activity.

      There was an article a few weeks ago in the Sunday Times about how the Internet is allowing more people to do or consider sex work than before. The basic story is that you no longer need a pimp, an escort agency, etc. All you need to do is by clever with your euphamisms on Craigslist or some other site and you could be earning a 1000 dollars a night instead of whatever minimum wage job you had. The article mentioned that prostitutes still faced lots of dangers from clients There was a medical school student who would arrange to meet prostitutes and then rob (and maybe kill) them because he had gambling debts. He latter committed suicide in prison. The was also the serial killer on Long Island who killed prostitutes.

      Almost anyone who has ever been to graduate or professional school hears stories about people (usually but not always women) who pay their way by being high-classed escorts or some kind of fetish work. Every now and then you also hear a story about someone who got a job from one of their powerful Johns.

      On your “they are both pro-choice” point, I get that you are being sarcastic but that is also real politic. Most people are not single issue-voters. You have to say I don’t agree with the candidate on A but I do agree with him or her on B,C,D,E,F,G…. Or that maybe the candidate did something questionable/scandalous but I really disagree with what the other guy advocates. I don’t think I would vote for Anthony Weiner in a primary but in a general election against someone like Ken Cunicelli or Newt Gingrich (hypothetical), I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.

      If we were talking Anthony Weiner vs. Jacob Javits (another impossible hypothetical), I’d probably cross the aisle and vote for Jacob Javits but they don’t make Republicans like Jacob Javits anymore.

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      • When I was in my 20s, I was privy to a conversation between my aunts where one of them explained the conversation she had with my grandmother explaining what had happened between then-President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. My grandmother couldn’t process the innuendos made by the news. They giggled as they discussed Gran-gran’s slowly dawning horror as the explanation went on.

        At the time, I thought it was funny.

        Now I know exactly how Gran-gran felt.

        While I suppose I should have expected that, I am surprised that it’s happening so soon.

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      • Which parts are surprising to you? That people send sexy photos over the Internet to people? The Escorting stories?

        Again, I have no statistics here. We can be an exaggeration land or an underreporting land.

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      • Jay, Jay, Jay,
        extremely few people send sexy photos to people who Do Not Ask First.

        I know 4chan has a meme about TITS or GTFO… (and the correspondingly coarser male version).
        but…
        1) nobody actually sends identifying data (other than timestamp)
        2) the entire meme is intended as a joke. of the variety “there are no women on the internet”

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      • Kim,

        Reports from women I know who are on OKCupid tell me otherwise.

        Just because you send out a sexy pics to someone you know, does not mean it will stay between you and the recipient? A few years ago there was a big scandal about teens and sexting and a lot of teens getting hit with child pornography charges. The issue was that teens would send it to their boyfriend or girlfriend but the picture would get forwarded around the school anyway or some authority figure would see it inadvertently and call the cops…

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      • ND, in law school I never heard any gossip of a person being an escort to pay for as school or to even help with payments. I know a lot of professionals and never heard anything like that happening. The sheer amount of studying you need to do and the costs kind of prevent these things.

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      • LeeEsq,

        I don’t know how common it is or not. This is all taboo but I’ve heard at least one story about someone paying for law school via escort work and another person funding another professional program.

        An escort can make a thousand or so a night according to the Sunday Times article from a few weeks ago about how the Internet is luring more people to consider sex work. The article mentioned that it was more than people with no-education but also people with good educations who were stymied by the recession.

        http://sundial.csun.edu/2011/12/sex-workers-in-higher-education/

        From a quick google search

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  9. Tod.,

    I haven’t read your post or the comments yet, but I have a (mostly off topic, but I’ve been wanting to ask it for a while) question:

    Do you (or anyone else here) know of any good textbooks or primers on risk management? I’m interested in studying it, not really to make a career of it, but mostly because I’m fascinated by the topic.

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