Monday, May 29, 2017

Sunday Morning Comin's Down

To my untrained eye, it appears that Jeff Zucker may had a conversation with Fareed Zakaria about his recent flirtations with pointing out that the Right is a shitpile of bigots, lunatics and con men who have come damn near to wrecking this country (Not Safe For Work.)

And so, like clockwork, CNN employee Fareed has scurried back to CNN's Both Sides Do It fortress to pule about Intolerant Liberals.
Yeah, just because they've been right about the Right all along (while Beltway media throw-pillows like Fareed Zakaria got it consistently and horribly wrong) those god damn Liberals think they're sooooo damn smart.

Well cable teevee knows just how to fix that kind of hubris!

Step One:  Never put any Liberals who might actually spill the beans about being right about the Right all along anywhere near a camera.

Step Two:  Instead, round up a handful of Conservative media hacks who created this disaster and have them sit around, scratching their heads and wondering how in the name of Sisyphus things ever got so bad!

CHUCK TODD: Welcome back, panel is here, Charlie Sykes, of course, long-time Wisconsin conservative radio guy and MSNBC political analyst, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, Joy Reid, host of AM Joy on MSNBC and Kimberley Strassel, columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
CHARLIE SYKES:  And the body-slamming itself I think was not a significant as the reaction to the body-slamming. The way in which so many conservatives, so many Republicans felt that the tribal loyalty demanded that they rationalize this. And what's been happening is this, you know, whether you want to call Donald Trump the role model-in-chief, the fact is you have so many now Republicans and conservatives, and I am one of them, you know, who now model their behavior after this. You know, this thin-skinned nastiness that mimics confidence...

CHARLIE SYKES:   Words have consequences. Words have meaning. Ideas have consequences. And it's one thing to I think be upset with the bias of the news media. But, again, we've moved the line now to just pure, raw loathing. And he has stoked those fires...
" Republicans and conservatives,"

" model their behavior after this."

" to just pure, raw loathing."

Conservative media slugs and their Beltway collaborators media prospered during the Bush Administration by pretending the Clinton Administration never happened.

"Words have consequences."

Then they spent the Obama Administration pretending the Bush Administration never happened.

"Words have meaning."

Now they are working very hard to survive the Stupid Administration by pretending the Obama Administration never happened.

"Ideas have consequences."

Yes, words and ideas do indeed have consequences.  In fact, that is exactly what scares the living daylights out of Conservative media slugs and their Beltway collaborators.

And this (from the Wall Street Journal [h/t to Alert Reader chris3rd summers bro]) --
Civil Discourse in Decline: Where Does it End?
The shift away from politeness, decorum and respect is real—and its consequences visible every day. 
A Republican congressional candidate body slams a reporter. A Democratic party state chairman hurls obscenities at both the president and dissidents in his own party at a public meeting...
-- is how they circle their wagons:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Former Republican Campaign Strategist Can't Bring Himself To Say "Republican"

American political journalism has become this perverse, extended exercise in never, ever calling anything by it's simple and obvious name.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Professional Left Podcast #390

"The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half."
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, writer


The Professional Left is "sponsored" by...

...and, of course, listeners like you!

The Triumphant Return of the Three Amigos!

So the Big Plan is to staff the "Watergate II: Electric Boogaloo" rapid reaction bunker with G. Gordon Bannon, Jared The Harpo Marxist, and America's most Obviously Over-matched Anagram (h/t Brother Charlie Pierce.)

Well that should end really, really well.

We're All Driftglass Now, Ctd.

(Graphic is from this post from 2010 because I have been pounding my fists against this wall since the day I started blogging)

Another week in the disastrous administration of President Stupid means another frantic chorus of "We Didn't Start The Fire"...

...from the Beltway media rogue's gallery of Conservative con men, meatheads and blood-drunk hobgoblins who definitely did start the fire.

Once again, Bloody Bill Kristol is scuttling towards the exit of a building he personally put to the torch:
Once again (See also "The Amazing Disappearing Republican Party"), former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior Republican policy adviser and reliable Beltway Republican stalactite, Michael Gerson, has written a very serviceable column which, with very minor modifications, would be indistinguishable from the work of any dirty hippie blogger who has been pointing this shit out since back in the day when Michael Gerson was teaching Dubya to pronounce "mushroom cloud".
The conservative mind has become diseased

To many observers on the left, the initial embrace of Seth Rich conspiracy theories by conservative media figures was merely a confirmation of the right’s deformed soul. But for those of us who remember that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were once relatively mainstream Reaganites, their extended vacation in the fever swamps is even more disturbing. If once you knew better, the indictment is deeper.
Those fever swamps are very old, Mr. Gerson.  Ancient. 

Those fever swamps are where people like you carefully chose to build your Party of Personal Responsibility. Those fever swamps are your mommy and daddy.  They are your bread and butter and literally the only fucking reason you have a seat at the media table in the first place.  
The basic, human questions are simple. How could conservative media figures not have felt — felt in their hearts and bones — the God-awful ickiness of it? How did the genes of generosity and simple humanity get turned off? Is this insensibility the risk of prolonged exposure to our radioactive political culture? If so, all of us should stand back a moment and tend to the health of our revulsion.
How could they be so inhuman?  Practice, Mr. Gerson.  Decades and decades of rigorous, daily practice calling people like me a traitor and profiting richly thereby.
Who is the politician who legitimized conspiracy thinking at the highest level? Who raised the possibility that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Who hinted that Hillary Clinton might have been involved in the death of Vince Foster, or that unnamed liberals might have killed Justice Antonin Scalia? Who not only questioned President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but raised the prospect of the murder of a Hawaiian state official in a coverup? “How amazing,” Trump tweeted in 2013, “the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ died in plane crash today. All others lived.”
The "Vince Foster" myth -- along with ever other sick Clinton conspiracy ginned up by Right's Pretty Hate Machine -- has been a pillar of of your party's Wingnut Grimoire since the 1990's.  Unhinged hatred of the Imaginary Left  has been standard issue Republican vocabulary ever since your party sold its soul to Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh more than twenty years ago.  Unhinged hatred of the Imaginary Left  is now such a fundamental element of the GOP psyche, that now it just rooooolls off the tongues of the Pig People without them even noticing.

And appeasing those Pig People and teaming up with that Pretty Hate Machine is the only way you and your Party have ever won anything and you god damn well know it.

And you know who else knows it?  Who remember every bit of the history you are so desperate to hide?  We out here on the despised Left.  We French-loving, cut-and run surrender monkeys.  We Libtards and snowflakes and Social Justice Warriors and card-carrying members of the ACLU.  

We remember it all, from all the "good" Republican candidates in 2015 happily trafficking in the ugliest kind of Blood Libel against Planned Parenthood to titillate your party's depraved base -- 
Trafficking in this kind of radioactive poison to fire up the mob is as low as it gets, and anyone who jumps on this bandwagon is not only so unfit for public office, but unfit for public anything. 
So, needless to say, the entire GOP presidential field has been fighting over who can pitch the biggest tent on this most ancient and toxic of slanders. 
-- to Willie Horton in 1988:

So don't you fucking dare pretend you had no idea that any of this was going on.

Mr. Gerson continues:
Those conservatives who believe that the confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch is sufficient justification for the Trump presidency are ignoring Trump’s psychic and moral destruction of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Clinton, with a small number of changed votes, would have defeated Republicans. But Trump is doing a kind of harm beyond anything Clinton could have done. He is changing the party’s most basic moral and political orientations. He is shaping conservatism in his image and ensuring an eventual defeat more complete, and an eventual exile more prolonged, than Democrats could have dreamed.
No, Mr. Gerson.  No and no and no.

Donald Trump is not destroying your conservative movement.  He is just throwing a very inconvenient, million-candle-power spotlight on the rotting, squirmy, midden pile of racists, con men, imbeciles and demagogues that your conservative movement has always been.

Donald Trump is not "changing the party’s most basic moral and political orientations".  He is simply putting your party's longstanding-but-carefully-camouflaged obscene "moral and political orientations" front-and-center in a way that is visible from the orbit of Jupiter.  

And "eventual exile"?  Oh please, Michael, we've been through all of this before.  Remember Operation Endless Clusterfuck?  Ring any bells?  It was big news for awhile.  In fact, as I recall, it was men like you who put so many clever words into Dubya's mouth explaining how imperative Bush's Iraqi Debacle was, and how quick and ouchless it would all be, and how swimmingly it was all going...

...right up until it all went tits-up.  

Then do you remember what happened?  Because we here on the Left sure as shit do.

Almost overnight, your entire Republican party -- which absolutely should have died of self-inflicted madness 10 years ago -- was magically rebranded as a band of patriotic "independents" who had never even heard of George W. Bush.  Yes, thanks to unlimited Koch Brothers money and Fox News propaganda and the willingness of our debased media to go along with the scam, tens of millions of your party's faithful vanished overnight...

...and were replaced by tens of millions of brand new "independents" who all believed, with a wild and fanatical fervor, that Barack Obummer was a Kenyan Usurper who was going to kill their sainted white grannies with Muslim Brotherhoods and New Black Panthers and Saul Alinskys and Death Panels.

And they got away with it, Michael.  They got away with for two simple reasons.  

First, the only thing you Republicans truly excel at is lying.  Lying about your party's past.  Lying about its present.  Lying about its future.  Lying about math and science and God and history.  And most of all, constantly, pathologically lying about Liberals.  And as President Stupid has amply demonstrated, your party base will go along with literally any fucking lie no matter how ridiculous or perverse as long as it comes with a promise that they will never have to take any responsibility for all the misery and ruins that their malignant ignorance and racism as unleashed.

And, second, generally speaking, the American political media is shit.  For every noble scrivener who struggles to defy corporate policy and actually tell the truth about how the GOP has maimed this country almost beyond repair, there are a dozen well-paid Bush Regime Dead Enders desperate to rewrite the past to take themselves off the hook, and another dozen weakling, accommodationist Both Siderists who are more than happy to help drive your getaway car.

Finally, no list of this week's most craven, well-paid Bush Regime Dead Enders eager to rewrite the past would be complete without this amazing video from MSNBC's favorite multimillionaire-wingnut-frat-boy-gone-to-pot, Joe Scarborough.  A man who makes his daily bread these days by Shouting Very Loudly and feigning a perpetual state of shock that his Republican Party is -- OMG! --  full of Republicans.

And this late arrival from Fox News muppet, Howard Kurtz, who was similarly stunned to discover that his audience is largely composed of meatheads, shut-ins and the recently deceased (thanks to Alert Reader M.E.T)
Big-time backlash: When all polling on Donald Trump is dismissed as fake
I think it is once again high time to bring the words of the late Steve Gilliard back to the fight, if only to remind Squint Scarborough and Mistah Kurtz and Michael Gerson and Bill Kristol and all the rest of that squalid crowd that we on the Left have very long memories, that we have been on to your bullshit from jump, and we lost any interest in playing nice with you long, long ago.

From Steve in December of 2003, before everything had to be 140 characters or less:
For the better part of a decade, the conservatives made liberal a dirty word. Well, it isn't. It represents the best and most noble nature of what America stands for: equitable government services, old age pensions, health care, education, fair trials and humane imprisonment. It is the heart and soul of what made American different and better than other countries. Not only an escape from oppression, but the opportunity to thrive in land free of tradition and the repression that can bring. We offered a democracy which didn't enshrine the rich and made them feel they had an obligation to their workers.

Bush and the people around him disdain that. They think, by accident of birth and circumstance, they were meant to rule the world and those who did not agree would suffer.

Liberal does not and has not meant weak until the conservatives said it did. Was Martin Luther King weak? Bobby Kennedy? Gene McCarthy? It was the liberals who remade this country and ended legal segregation and legal sexism. Not the conservatives, who wanted to hold on to the old ways.

It's time to regain the sprit of FDR and Truman and the people around them. People who believed in the public good over private gain. It is time to stop apologizing for being a liberal and be proud to fight for your beliefs. No more shying away or being defined by other people. Liberals believe in a strong defense and punishment for crime. But not preemption and pointless jail sentences. We believe no American should be turned away from a hospital because they are too poor or lack a proper legal defense. We believe that people should make enough from one job to live on, to spend time on raising their family. We believe that individuals and not the state should dictate who gets married and why. The best way to defend marriage is to expand, not restrict it.

It was the liberals who opposed the Nazis while the conservatives were plotting to get their brown shirts or fund Hitler. It was the liberals who warned about Spain and fought there, who joined the RAF to fight the Germans, who brought democracy to Germany and Japan. Let us not forget it was the conservatives who opposed defending America until the Germans sank our ships. They would have done nothing as Britain came under Nazi control. It was they who supported Joe McCarthy and his baseless, drink fueled claims.

Without liberals, there would be no modern America, just a Nazi satellite state. Liberals weak on defense? Liberals created America's defense. The conservatives only need vets at election time.

It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?

From Steve in January of 2005:

...There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think. The NRO Corner thinks I'm a racist, I don't care, their opinions on race are meaningless.

Instacracker doesn't like what I say?

That's the purpose of the exercise.

I want conservatives to read this site and come away steaming. I don't want them to think they will like a word I will say here. I don't want them to think I will consider their opinions or viewpoints. I want them to think: boy he doesn't like conservatives and really, really doesn't care what we say.

I'm tired of people acting like these people can be reasoned with or talked to. They don't want to talk, they want to drive us away into a corner and ridicule our ideas.

I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions.

I'm not interested in debating them.

I want to stop them.

Also fuck the fucking Yankees.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

President Stupid Has a Bad Brain

From Der Spiegel Online (translated):
"The Germans are evil, very evil"

At the meeting with the EU leaders Donald Trump has criticized massive criticism of Germany. The SPIEGEL learned from the circle of participants the exact wording.

US President Donald Trump has complained bitterly about the German trade surplus on his meeting with the EU top in Brussels. "The Germans are evil, very evil," said Trump. This was learned by the SPIEGEL from participants in the meeting.

Trump said, "Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US, and we'll stop that."

There is no strategy in any of this beyond Pee Wee Herman saying he meant to do that.

He's just a ignorant old racist with a job 10,000 times to big for him, who only knows what he sees on Fox and whose filters have completely collapsed.

Bad brain.

Today In Cognitive Dissonance: The Washington Post

Were you to crack open the WaPo opinion page this morning you would see a heartbreaking piece written by Seth Rich's parents pleading with the wingnut conspiracy machine to stop politicizing their son's murder.

We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder.

Still, conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.

We know that Seth’s personal email and his personal computer were both inspected by detectives early in the investigation and that the inspection revealed no evidence of any communications with anyone at WikiLeaks or anyone associated with WikiLeaks. Nor did that inspection reveal any evidence that Seth had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks or to anyone else. Indeed, those who have suggested that Seth’s role as a data analyst at the DNC gave him access to a wide trove of emails are simply incorrect — Seth’s job was to develop analytical models to encourage voters to turn out to vote. He didn’t have access to DNC emails, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails, John Podesta’s emails or Hillary Clinton’s emails. That simply wasn’t his job.

Despite these facts, our family’s nightmare persists. Seth’s death has been turned into a political football. Every day we wake up to new headlines, new lies, new factual errors, new people approaching us to take advantage of us and Seth’s legacy. It just won’t stop. The amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable. With every conspiratorial flare-up, we are forced to relive Seth’s murder and a small piece of us dies as more of Seth’s memory is torn away from us...
Sadly, pleading with monsters to stop being monsters rarely works.  If it did, the GOP would have vanished from the face of the Earth decades ago.

And then, just a few inches up the electronic page, you would see veteran ghoulish wingnut conspiracy monger, Seth Rich conspiracy bandwagon-jumper-oner and future Vatican layabout, Newt Gingrich, once again being given ample room by Fred Hiatt to pimp another one of his unreadable lumps of self-aggrandizing prose and proclaim the foreign policy genius of Donald Trump.
The president just made a titanic foreign policy shift. The media missed it.

Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, was speaker of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He served as vice chair of the Trump transition team and is the author of the book “Understanding Trump,” which is scheduled to be released in June.
In American. all the wrong people get body-slammed.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Matthew Dowd Remains a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person

File under: "Words? What do they mean?"

For example, ABC's chief political analyst and the future co-founder of The America Platitude Party does not know what the word "ideology" means:

From noted radical "Phonemes Matter!" extremist Merrriam-Webster:
Definition of ideology 

1.  :  visionary theorizing2.  a :  a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or cultureb :  a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culturec :  the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
ABC's chief political analyst dreams of a world where pesky things like "concepts" and "aims" don't clutter up political parties.

I dream of a world where the American media does not pay people like Mr. Dowd enormous amounts of money to string together meaningless bromides and cat poster feel-goods.

Pretty sure neither of us are gonna see our dreams come true.

For his sins, ABC News has given Mr. Dowd his own "digital show" once a week where he will answer questions --

-- except, presumably, questions from people who he has already blocked for, y'know. asking questions.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

David Brooks Urges Out-Of-Touch Snobs to Listen to the Wisdom of the Meatheads

For at least the hundredth time, America's Most Famous Speaker-for-Plutocrats has again manifested an entire New York Times op-end column excoriating the political correctness and "faculty lounge" sensibilities of, well, somebody.  Apparently, is reckless faculty loungery that makes Trump voters have bad fee-fees over their profound, malignant and self-inflicted ignorance and their often out-and-proud racism, and those bad fee-fees are, in turn, the reason why everything is fucked up and shit.

From Mr. David Brooks in The New York Times:
The campaign of 2016 was an education in the deep problems facing the country. Angry voters made a few things abundantly clear: that modern democratic capitalism is not working for them; that basic institutions like the family and communities are falling apart; that we have a college educated elite that has found ingenious ways to make everybody else feel invisible, that has managed to transfer wealth upward to itself, that crashes the hammer of political correctness down on anybody who does not have faculty lounge views.
Mr. Brooks then goes on to cite one of his Conservative ideological clones to underline his point --
As Robert W. Merry put it recently in The American Conservative...
-- before moving on to citing yet another Beltway Conservative and Brooks acolyte to underline his point once again:
As Yuval Levin argues in a brilliant essay in Modern Age...
Because if three, ideologically interchangeable Brooksian Conservatives say a thing, well then that thing must obviously be true!

And what would a David Brooks column be without a big, steaming load of Both Siderism smack in the middle of his addled Whiggish reveries?
Alienation also breeds a zero-sum mind-set — it’s us or them — and with it a tribal clannishness and desire for exclusion. As Levin notes, on the right alienation can foster a desire for purity — to exclude the foreign — and on the left it can foster a desire for conformity — to squelch differing speakers and faiths.
And, of course, after the main course of Medallions of False Equivalence Turd main is served and cleared, then comes dessert and brandy in the form of Mr. Brooks' utterly predictable call for Both Sides to be rejected in favor of a brand-new political elite, led by insightful yet humble Whiggish heroes like, say, David Fucking Brooks:
Now is the moment for a new establishment to organize, to address the spirit of alienation that gave rise to Trump, but which transcends him.
In other words, exactly the same lazy, dishonest, dishonorable Beltway-enthralling bullshit that David Brooks has been very profitably slinging -- come rain or shine or End of Days -- for an audience of millions for over a decade now (David Brooks, August 10, 2006) --
Party No. 3

The McCain-Lieberman Party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism, and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency.

The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess.

But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people...
-- and which I have been fruitlessly deconstructing for an audience of dozens over the same period.

Wretched Mole Rat

Suffocates on own dick.

Film at 11:00

If Bobo is going to do nothing but recycle his old beerfarts over and over again into new column inches, then I may resort to rerunning old refutations and save my secret, new adjectives for new arguments. Because in his Thursday column, Bobo just retreads the tired, discredited "Tyranny of False Bisection" dodge and runs it around the block.


You know the joke (driftglass tm):
So Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.

What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?

“But the Democrats!”
Here’s a snip from his column entitled “Party No. 3”, mercifully walled up like Fortunato behind the subscription-only fortification of the NYT...

Finally, because I am sprinting between appointments today, I can only provide you with this brief and incomplete list of words and phrases you will not find anywhere in Mr. Brooks' impotent indictment of our parlous modern times:
Fox News.
Conservative talk radio.
Gingrich. Paul Ryan.
Mitch McConnell.
Koch Brothers.
Alec Jones.
David Fucking Brooks.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Today In Both Sides Do It: America's Sad Clown of Centrism

Once upon a time Ron Fournier, America's Sad Clown of Centrism, promised this country that he would pack up his little "Both Sides Do It" grift and go away forever.

But such promises are for lesser mortals, so there he was again, on Fox News (Motto: "America's network leader in flagrantly broken promises!") throwing down more pure Fournier bullshit than I'd think would be healthy for a guy that age (h/t Alert Reader Rod Green) --

-- while also absolutely nailing a vintage Richard J. Daley impersonation:

Because a journalist's job aren't [sic] to create false equivalencies.

A journalist's job is to preserve false equivalencies.

E'rrybody knows dat.