September 1, 2008

Major Hillary supporter comes out for McCain; says Obama not who he says he is and Dems being taken over by types

Donald B. Hawthorne

Here is some interesting news:

John Coale, a prominent Washington lawyer, husband of Fox TV host Greta Van Susteren and a supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton, announced today that he was supporting John McCain for president. Coale, who traveled with Sen. Clinton, President Clinton and her family through out the primary season, complained of sexism, and said the Democratic Party is "being taken over by the types" in an exclusive interview with's Tammy Haddad.

Watch the video. Says he is recruiting "lots" of Democrats who will come out for McCain in the next few weeks.

Given their now well-documented inability to discern fact from fiction, how well do you think the Kos Kidz will handle this actual news? Maybe they will learn something about not over-playing their hand between now and when they hit puberty. LOL.


Froma Harrop reflects on Hillary's words and actions at the Democratic convention as well as the reaction of her supporters to being Kos'd. Bush Derangement Syndrome seems to have begotten Hillary Derangement Syndrome and now Palin Derangement Syndrome. Sounds like a clinical condition, doesn't it?! Or, at least a maturity problem!

As I wrote in the comments section:

It is also probably true that Coale and his ilk are political pragmatists who are motivated by wanting to see Hillary be able to run again for President in 2012. For that to happen, Obama has to lose in 2008 and they need to be able to pin the loss on him and the types so they can marginalize all of them in time for 2012 - without Hillary being tainted directly by their actions. A 1-term McCain presidency provides them with the chance to make that gameplan happen.

More broadly, what these immature Kos Kidz don't get is that some of us have intensely disagreed with Bush, the Republican Party, and Hillary at various times but we haven't felt the need to do what they have done and jump off the emotional deep end over our disagreements.

By overplaying their hand, the Kidz have polarized people and appear to have fractured their party's coalition. Hard to win elections - even in what should be a slam-dunk year - when you drive away key elements of your left-of-center coalition.

Hey, Kidz, politics is a contact sport so either grow up now so you can play ball with the rest of us grownups or sit on the sidelines until you have the emotional and intellectual maturity to run onto the field.

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John Coale - a lawyer heavily involved in the negotiations that produced the cigarette settlement and now wants to sue the gun industry - is another lawyer with a very troubled "past" and a personal life that Coale himself admits he tries to keep as unpublicized as possible.

As of April 1996, Coale, his wife Greta Van Susteren - who is also his partner in a law firm, and the law firm were all the subject of serious bar disciplinary proceedings in West Virginia, whose state bar's discipline board was seeking to suspend their right to practice law in West Virginia for a year as a result of soliciting prospective clients in ways prohibited by bar rules, generally referred to by the public as "ambulance-chasing"; in Coale's case, the term seems particularly appropriate because one of the incidents that landed him in trouble was his law firm's employee allegedly trying to chat up a severely-burned man in an intensive-care unit. Such phone or in-person solicitation of prospective clients is so likely to lead to suspension of a lawyer's law license that it very rarely happens.

As the April 24, 1996 issue of "People Daily" (a web-site offshoot of "People" magazine) described their situation:

"The firm headed by Susteren, her husband John Coale (who recently handled Lisa Marie Presley's divorce from Michael Jackson) and their former law partner Phillip Allen illegally contacted families of West Virginians injured in accidents between 1990 and 1993, the state's Lawyer Disciplinary Board contends. In one incident, the Charleston Daily Mail reported, a firm employee, over the protests of the accident victim's wife, tried to enter a hospital intensive care unit to talk to a man who suffered burns over 60 percent of his body. "We don't do these things in West Virginia," state bar lawyer Sherri Goodman told the paper.

" By the end of 1996, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia had ruled that Coale and his wife were both guilty of professional misconduct in such solicitations, stating:

"Accordingly, we find that respondents Allen, Coale, and Van Susteren engaged in professional misconduct by inducing others to initiate the improper telephone solicitations which we found violative of Rules 7.3(a) and 7.3(b)(1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct."

Coale's "personal life" is also "unconventional"; he and his wife are both prominent in the Church of Scientology, which the public generally considers a cult. As Scientologists, Coale and his wife are very active in a "religion" that believes - as described by the Dec. 13, 1998 St. Petersburg Times: "And what about the fact they belong to a religion that teaches of Xenu, evil head of the Galactic Confederation? Who flew people to Teegeeack (Earth) 75-million years ago in space ships, chained them to volcanos and blew them up with hydrogen bombs, releasing exploded "thetans" that are now the source of most human suffering?" As the St. Petersburg Times quoted Coale in that article:

"I did a lot of drugs back in college," he explained.

"Into the '80s, I didn't do a lot of them, but I felt that I wanted to handle this problem, and Scientology handled it." (Coale is now 52; he would have been in his mid-thirties at the start of the 80s - not a kid in college.)

Coale and his wife are major donors to the Church of Scientology and employ the mother of the current Scientology leader at their law firm. Both Coale and his wife have attained the uppermost ranks possible for Scientologists - and are hardly casual members. Both Coale and his wife are very well connected with the Clintons and he is a big donor to Democratic causes - but he admits that he has to avoid his Washington friends hearing about their involvement with Scientology.

It is time to tell the truth.

Posted by: Out of the Blue at September 1, 2008 3:17 PM

From the National Review archives:

"Bhopal Coale"

Regrettable Van Susteren
The rise of Greta Van Susteren.

By Jonah Goldberg
From the October 26, 1998, issue of National Review

EDITOR'S NOTE: Greta Van Susteren defected yesterday to the Fox News Channel. Van Susteren marks Fox's second recent high-profile liberal addition, the first being Geraldo Rivera. In the October 26, 1998, issue of National Review, Jonah Goldberg wrote "Regrettable Van Susteren" about Miss Van Susteren and her ardent Clinton defending.

he smoke has not yet cleared enough to determine exactly which part of the civic culture has been damaged the most by the Clinton presidency. But surely one noxious outcome of Bill Clinton's effrontery has been to advance the "legal analyst" to the highest niche in television's pundit taxonomy.

Increasingly, the pundit class is dominated by people trained primarily in how to keep guilty people out of jail. Thus these new pundits are especially gifted in the techniques of equivocation, confusion, distraction, and blame shifting. So, largely thanks to the lawyers in this Administration of lawyers, and to their colleagues on TV, we have a scandal that is called complex ("What are High Crimes and Misdemeanors really?") when it is actually quite simple ("He's a pig").

The dogs of law were first unleashed on the viewing public by the decision to allow cameras in the courtroom, together with the boom in all-news networks. They found their supply of raw meat in the televised trials of William Kennedy Smith, the Menendez brothers, and, of course, O. J. Simpson. Their influence was as deeply pernicious as it was straightforward: "Put the system on trial." They made Davids out of alleged rapists, Goliaths out of venerable institutions, and jokes out of deadly serious moral points. Jill Abramson claimed that her clients, the Menendez brothers, did not blow their parents' heads off. Instead the boys merely unloaded a shotgun in their direction.

But the Clinton scandal is something new. Using the independent counsel as their entree, the lawyers have replaced the philosophers, journalists, and politicians as the priestly class charged with reading the entrails of the Clinton presidency. En masse they have slithered from the shadow of O. J. to become the Greek chorus of the Clinton scandal. It should not be surprising, then, that the high priestess of Clinton apologists is the first among equals from the O. J. punditocracy: Greta Van Susteren, co-host of CNN's Burden of Proof and ubiquitous CNN legal analyst. She is, thanks to CNN's global presence, the international poster girl for all that is wrong with American political commentary.

Miss Van Susteren distinguished herself during the O. J. Simpson trial by muddying the waters of Simpson's crystal-clear guilt by picking at procedural nits. This was a clever marketing tactic — if every intelligent person in the world thinks X, television producers will seek out and exalt someone who argues for Y, all in an effort to provide "balance." Miss Van Susteren became a passionate advocate for Simpson — although she often denied it. She was masterly at importing a courtroom technique into the television studio: the moral equivalence of facts. According to this credo, an almost comical abundance of DNA evidence carries no more weight than one detective's racist comments ten years before the murder in question. As Felix Frankfurter once observed, "To some lawyers, all facts are created equal."

While this kind of argumentation is despicable, we make allowances for it in the courtroom because of our admirable devotion to due process, especially in capital cases. But Greta Van Susteren and her colleagues have carried this mode of analysis into the political arena. It has had a lobotomizing effect on civic discourse. For example, on September 21 on Larry King Live Judge Robert Bork asserted that a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would be, and should be, impeached if he was sexually serviced by an intern in his chambers-even if he never lied about it. That someone should be punished for something that is not a crime flummoxed Miss Van Susteren to the point of incoherence, "Maybe if he's a bachelor, may-have-what if he's a . . . bachelor? . . . as consenting adults?"

There was a time when poor manners and dishonorable behavior were judged as reprehensible as committing a crime. In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Claude Rains tries to commit suicide on the Senate floor because he has disgraced himself, not because he's going to jail. Today if one has violated every tenet of decency but stopped short of violating criminal law — a constantly moving goalpost — then one is merely expressing oneself (like Larry Flint) or minding one's own business (like David Cash, the vile Berkeley student who stood aside as his friend raped and murdered a young girl). We are greeted constantly with the images of scoundrels triumphantly leaving courthouses celebrating the fact that their repugnant behavior was found not to have technically violated the law.

Now the president of the United States benefits from this new standard. During the seven long months when Bill Clinton interrupted the business of government far more severely than any "government shutdown," and allowed the entire Executive Branch to lie for him, Greta Van Susteren was his chief cheerleader. The president was just another perp, with no obligation other than staying out of the orange jumpsuit of the federal penitentiary. She argued time and again that the president should be praised for "standing on his rights" and that he has no obligation to clear the air about whether or not he's a scoundrel. "Had I been the president's lawyer," she said, "I would have urged him to fight this all the way to the United States Supreme Court."

In the end, all the legalese may simply be a con. Miss Van Susteren is pathological in her insistence that she is not a journalist. She asserts that she is a lawyer first and foremost and just concerned with "arguing the evidence." This is plain dishonesty. Say what you will about the serpentine James Carville or even Geraldo "I want to hug the President" Rivera, at least their biases are open for inspection. The legal pundits claim in an aw-shucks style that they are simply stating "the law." This infuriates lawyers who actually care about the validity of the law. Miss Van Susteren often suggested that there was no precedent for a president to testify. But there are numerous recent examples of presidents offering testimony, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Miss Van Susteren suggests that everyone ranking higher than the White House janitor has executive privilege, although the judges before whom the question has been brought scoff at the notion and hand Kenneth Starr courtroom victories.

Miss Van Susteren recently observed of Clinton's testimony, "There was no perjury. . . . I mean is the president obligated to make out the case for Paula Jones's lawyers?" According to Stuart Taylor, writing in National Journal, "The most charitable interpretation of such stuff is that Van Susteren had read neither the Jan. 17 deposition transcript replete with unambiguous perjuries — nor the Starr Report, which provides so-far-unrebutted proof of those perjuries and powerful evidence that Clinton resumed perjuring on Aug. 17." We can forgive Paul Begala's distortions of the truth on behalf of Bill Clinton, but should CNN's leading legal analyst fall in the same category?

Greta Van Susteren elicits strong feelings, which usually translate into high ratings. She is a ubiquitous presence on CNN, constantly on the air even when Burden of Proof isn't. She co-hosts the show with Roger Cossack, who is at best like the silent partner from Penn and Teller: a silent straight man whose interruptions are only permitted to allow Van Susteren to take a breath or for comic relief. To explain Miss Van Susteren's perspective, many critics point to
her real partner. John Coale*, her husband as well as her law partner, is a self-described "ambulance chaser" and has enthusiastically earned himself one of the most nefarious reputations in the country. In 1984 he acquired the nickname "Bhopal Coale" by being the first lawyer to hop on a plane to India to sign up gas-leak victims who couldn't even read their retainer documents.

American Lawyer magazine called him "a symbol for everything wrong with the plaintiff's bar." In 1987 the same magazine awarded Coale its Most Frivolous Suit Award: He had sued his tailor, on the grounds that the sub-par work on his shirts had subjected him to "public humiliation . . . severe emotional distress, and embarrassment." The West Virginia Bar tried to disbar both John Coale and Greta Van Susteren for their allegedly unethical behavior in soliciting the families of coal-mine accident victims, among others. Coale's repeated unapologetic defenses of his professional practices are true to form: "Everything I've done is permissible under the First Amendment."

This attitude highlights the deeper sympathy between Greta Van Susteren and Bill Clinton. Trial lawyers are the president's most loyal constituency — and not just because he employs so many of them. They contribute vast amounts of money to his campaigns and to the Democratic party generally. Indeed, when one looks at the lawyers who are his most ardent defenders they are trial lawyers, starting with the wildly biased Larry Pozner, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Those lawyers who are more critical of Clinton's behavior — Robert Bork, Jonathan Turley, James Stewart — tend to be academics or self-described journalists. If Miss Van Susteren and all those lesser lights who imitate her on the various television shows claim that their first allegiance is to the legal profession rather than to journalism, is it any wonder they are wild defenders of the president?

When Bill Clinton announced that he would have a Cabinet that "looks like America," he must have thought that 90 percent of Americans had passed the bar exam. For quite some time he relied on Jeremy Bentham's adage: "Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished." Had Bentham lived two centuries later he might have said, "Television lawyers."

Posted by: out of the blue at September 1, 2008 3:24 PM

My point here is that Obama supporters are thrilled and relieved that Scientologist and ethical albatross John Coale ("Bhopal Coale") is backing McCain. We sure don't want him endorsing Obama.
You can have the jerk! Not every former Hillary supporter will go for Obama, but it is totally OK in this case! Gov Palin herself will be rejected by almost every Hillary Clinton supporter- I've heard from a couple dozen to confirm this.

If McCain has good sense, he will reject Coale's support.

Greta and her husband John P. Coale were investors in the Ponzi scheme of Scientologist Reed Slatkin; they invested $2.1 million and received $2.7 million in payments according to this report by the court-appointed trustee. When being told that even innocent parties (i.e. participants who didn't know it was a Ponzi scheme) are required to return the extra money, John Coale said: "I'll fight this thing for 100 years" because "Most of that money went to the IRS." (Source: The Los Angeles Times from 21.12.2001)

Posted by: Richard at September 1, 2008 3:33 PM

Out of the Blue:

And your point is?

Nobody is suggesting John Coale or Greta be nominated for sainthood or ordination. Besides, by definition, anybody who is that close to the Clintons would have to have a high tolerance for low ethical standards!

But he is a big $ Dem and apparently he is bringing more big $ Hillary Dems over to McCain during September. Which means more money for the Republicans and that the Dem coalition is far from united as we enter the home stretch for the election.

Even non-angels can see the obvious: The Dems are being taken over by types while Obama is an unaccomplished man who reads a script very well and has a history of hanging with radicals who publicly state their hatred of America.

It is also probably true that Coale and his ilk are political pragmatists who are motivated by wanting to see Hillary be able to run again for President in 2012. For that to happen, Obama has to lose in 2008 and they need to be able to pin the loss on him and the types so they can marginalize all of them in time for 2012 - without Hillary being tainted directly by their actions. A 1-term McCain presidency provides them with the chance to make that gameplan happen.

Geez, what a complete surprise that the Clintons would place their personal self-interest ahead of their party and their country! LOL.

Welcome to power politics 101.

Some of us understand that it's hard for the Kos Kidz to grasp these concepts as they require an elementary understanding of human nature and the underlying incentives which drive human behaviors.

Posted by: Donald B. Hawthorne at September 1, 2008 3:48 PM

Van Susteren is a bottom feeder ever since the OJ trial.Nancy Grace is another one.Larry King is a flatulent limousine commie.Cable tv has squandered is promise of wide "bandwidth" for disseminating information by giving over huge time slots to these walking,talking incarnations of supermarket tabloids.Of course it could be worse-we could be watching the Matt Jerzyk Show on MSNBC.Actually, it might be more fun.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 1, 2008 6:59 PM

Geraldine Ferraro has also indicated she is considering voting for McCain/Palin over Obama-

'Geraldine Ferraro told NPR that she hasn't decided who she's going to vote for in November, while also stating that whatever Sarah Palin doesn't know about foreign policy "she will learn very quickly - she seems smart enough."'

McCain has the support of one former Democratic VP nominee in Joe Lieberman---will he get a second?

Posted by: Anthony at September 1, 2008 7:05 PM

As I read about "Kos Kidz" I couldn't help but think that Pat Crowley is one of them, even though he's no spring chicken ... or should I say, he's no "spring duck."

His Kos Kidz membership is a symptom of arrested development, I guess.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at September 1, 2008 7:33 PM

I take John Coale seriously.
I also take the political views of Tom Cruise and other prominent Scientologists seriosly.
Yeah, Obama's in trouble.
As for Ferraro coming out for McCain, that's old news, at least six months old.

Posted by: rhody at September 1, 2008 8:26 PM

Out of the BLue:
In ther words, what you are telling us is that Coale is a typical Democrat, eh?

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at September 1, 2008 9:18 PM

"As I read about "Kos Kidz" I couldn't help but think that Pat Crowley is one of them"

Ah, but how many of them would have the nerve to go around in public in a George Bush mask?

Posted by: Monique at September 1, 2008 11:24 PM

Please. You call Larry King a Communist and complain about my use of hyperbole in some of my writings. Try to be more fair and balanced.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 2, 2008 11:23 AM

We're winning. And we're winning because Clinton supporters are OVERWHELMINGLY backing our Democratic ticket. The same can't be said for the Republicans. See Ron Paul or Bob Barr.

Or read this:

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 2, 2008 11:27 AM

--We're winning. And we're winning because Clinton supporters are OVERWHELMINGLY backing our Democratic ticket."

Well of course you are. Why wouldn't we expect "collective" support as you march forth under the Socialist, err, I mean, Democrat Party banner?

Carry on Comrades!

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at September 2, 2008 12:26 PM

>>We're winning

Yes, if you're talking about Rhode Island. Questionable otherwise. When you look at the battleground states, McCain is winning in Nevada, Ohio, Florida and trailing Obama by .4 in Colorado. Obama is up in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Truthfully, we're probably not going to know who is "winning" until election day.

Posted by: Anthony at September 2, 2008 3:27 PM

OTL-I was once leafing through larry King's autobiography to see what makes a sleaze merchant tick,and he mentioned how it was de riguere to vote for the American Labor Party when he was a young man.That party was in fact a subsidiary of the CPUSA."limousine communist" is sort of a generic term anyway for filthy rich left wingers.
I'll bet you think he is a no-class jerk also.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 2, 2008 3:50 PM

I KEEP WAITING for the Anchor Rising post on the Ron Paul "counter convention" in Minnesota. You know, the one with 18,000 people at it...

How about a little intellectual honesty, dear friends??

Why have the Republicans denied Ron Paul a speaking role at your convention even though he accumulated more delegates than Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson?

A party divided???

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 2, 2008 5:23 PM

Hey Matt-worry about the family fights in your party-have all the "misguided"Hillary supporters been rehabilitated?
I recall not long ago you took Grace Diaz to task for daring to support Hillary-will you send her to a re-education camp where she will be made to write "cellophane shouldn't be illegal"1000 tmes?

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 2, 2008 5:30 PM

Speaking of a "Party Divided", nobody has commented on Joe Lieberman's speech last night--it was OUTSTANDING!

As one political pundit noted, if he could have spoken that passionately about Al Gore, Lieberman might have gotten to be VP.

Posted by: Anthony at September 3, 2008 10:28 AM

Here's my challenge:

Will AR respond?

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 3, 2008 11:31 AM

Actually Matt, I've already been in on a group-interview with Bob Barr, and posted his views on Anchor Rising, for people to discuss if they want. Feel free to jump in the comments there, if you think his candidacy is a topic worth of discussion.

Posted by: Andrew at September 3, 2008 1:03 PM

As an RI reader but not a contributor, I’d like to accept this challenge.

The reality is that Ron Paul and/or Bob Barr are less of a threat to McCain/Pail than Hilary supporters are to Obama/Biden. The poll you linked to showing Barr at 6% was two months old, from early July. The most recent Zogby polls show Barr at 3.8% and Nader at 1.8% - with some variation among polls. That’s a mere 2% difference and also assumes that all of Barr’s voters come from those who would vote Republican in lieu of Barr being on the ballot. A majority likely would but I believe a higher % of Barr voters would back Obama than the % of Nader voters who would back McCain.

So to call conservatives divided based on the existence of Ron Paul and Bob Barr supporters while asserting the unity of liberals behind Obama ignoring the Hiliary and Nader factions is pretty weak

I think the Republican’s are more afraid of the attacks on Palin’s husband for his 1986 DUI than they are of the supporters of Ron Paul or Bob Barr.

Posted by: msteven at September 3, 2008 3:00 PM

Andrew -

Your link does not address my question.

And the "discussion" composed of 1 comment doesn't either.

Do you deny that Ron Paul supporters are worrisome for Republicans? Or the impact of Bob Barr?

Why are you concealing this story that is being reported all over except AR?

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 3, 2008 4:26 PM

To answer your question, I think they'd be some concern if it was Ron Paul was running as a third party candidate instead of Bob Barr. Paul has shown a capacity to raise campaign funds, Barr has not.

Also, Ron Paul fits the mold of pure libertarian making him attractive to that group. While he has switched positions recently, historically Barr isn't a libertarian and there is little indication that the enthusiasm for Ron Paul can be transferred to Bob Barr.

I actually thought Bob Barr has passed away until I found out that he was running as a libertarian. If you're running for public office, you're in a lot of trouble if voters thought you were dead.

Posted by: Anthony at September 3, 2008 11:44 PM

"So to call conservatives divided based on the existence of Ron Paul and Bob Barr supporters while asserting the unity of liberals behind Obama ignoring the Hiliary and Nader factions is pretty weak"

Good point, MSteven. Hillary's eighteen million votes cannot be denied.

Matt J, if I ever want to conceal something, I sure won't go to Andrew, seeing that his idea of "concealing" something is to attend a group interview and then do a post about it.

Posted by: Monique at September 3, 2008 11:48 PM

Matt apparently sees himself and RIF as the keeper of the "A" and "B" lists of liberals,where getting on the former means you adhere to every minute detail of the template.
I wonder if they have "self-criticism" sessions over there?

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 4, 2008 6:43 AM

Joe Lieberman and his former Senate colleague Fred Thompson both made misleading claims about Obama in their prime time GOP convention speeches on Tuesday. We've heard two of them before – many times.

* Lieberman said Obama hadn't "reached across party lines" to accomplish "anything significant," though Obama has teamed with GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar to pass laws enhancing government transparency and curtailing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.
* Thompson repeated misleading claims about Obama's tax program, saying it would bring "one of the largest tax increases in American history." But as increases go, Obama's package is hardly a history-maker. It would raise taxes for families with incomes above $250,000. Most people would see a cut.
* Lieberman also accused Obama of "voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield." But Obama's only vote against a war-funding bill came after Bush vetoed a version of the bill Obama had supported – and McCain urged the veto.

Posted by: nc at September 4, 2008 3:07 PM

Between last night and today, I heard over 20 references to Paul or Barr on different media outlets.

Any analysis from AR?

s i l e n c e


A New North Carolina Poll

* McCain - 47%
* Obama - 44%
* Barr - 4%

Barr could cost McCain FIFTEEN electoral votes in North Carolina!!!

s i l e n c e

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 4, 2008 3:08 PM

"Most people would see a [tax] cut."

NC, as you've brought it up, Senator Obama has also proposed some very expensive initiatives. How would he both cut taxes for "most people" and pay for those initiatives?

Posted by: Monique at September 4, 2008 10:27 PM