Sunday, June 24, 2018

John Has a Long Mustache...That He Keeps Tight With Harry's Razors*


Trying to imagine what the WWII European resistance movements would have been like if they had to scare up corporate underwriters.

Meanwhile, back in the 21st century, the revolution may not be televised, but it will definitely be sponsored.


*Radio London

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Today In Both Side Do It: Lil Marco





Longtime readers will remember that, like every other respectable coward, clown and con-man in American politics, Marco Rubio practically lives in the basement of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.

From Crooks & Liars in 2016:
Rubio Reflexively Blames 'Both Sides' For Violence At Trump Rallies
From me in 2010:

Centrism Triumphant

In case you missed Jon Stewart's award-verging "interview" with Marco Rubio, here is your rush transcript of Senator Rubio's answer to Jon Stewart every single time Mr. Stewart tried very respectfully to point out that Senator Rubio was, um, lying, and that the relentless, pathological obstructiveness of the Republican Party was unmatched by anything Democrats have done in modern history.

"Both sides..."

"Well, you know, both sides..."

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."

"That's just politics..."

"The Democrats left us no choice..."

"Both sides..."

"Democrats and Republicans..."

"Both sides..."

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."

And so forth, to the point of being comical.

Like every other Republican culture war criminal, Senator Rubio has been conditioned within an inch of his life to always answer any question about the unique perfidy and hypocrisy of his political Party with the Big Lie of Centrism and to refuse to stop repeating the Big Lie of Centrism until the questions stop regardless of circumstances...
However much of a Republican mass-electoral-extinction event the administration of President Stupid turns out to be, the cold fact is that afterwards there will still be 50-60 million brain-dead Fox News brownshirts wandering the countryside looking for someone to absolve them of their atrocities, preach to them that it was all the Libtard's fauly anyway, and to lead them back to the promised land. 

And right now, everyone in Republican party politics is positioning themselves to harvest that crop of toxic miscreants.


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Friday, June 22, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #446


“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” 
-- L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Don't forget to visit our new website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


Links:

The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" 
and real listeners like you!




Local Man Angry That Past Is Remembered Accurately



This is Noah Pollock.

He gets paid by many, well-known publications to put words together.


Memory is the Liberal superpower, kid.

So if you're going to go hiking around in the past, perhaps you should tread lightly.



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David Brooks: Scant Man


Over at The New York Times today, as the world burns in a bonfire Conservatives have spent 50 years building, America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual, Mr. David Brooks has discovered comic books!

And video games!  And Star Wars!

And would like to tell you what they get wrong!

Breathlessly!

From the internet blurb:
In Marvel movies, League of Legends and World Cup action alike, we celebrate the virtues of grandeur and heroic superiority common in classical myths. Is there still room in pop culture for quieter, more contemplative parables?
The Fourth Great Awakening

There are certain melodies that waft through history. One is the cultural contrast between Athens and Jerusalem. This contrast has many meanings, but the most germane one for our day is the contrast between the competitive virtues and the compassionate virtues...
And here's the the thing.  Based on the sheer, rambling goofiness of this spray of consternation and adjectives --
Myths tend to celebrate grandeur and heroic superiority; parables tend to puncture the pretensions of superiority and celebrate humility and service to others.

All of a sudden, we are surrounded by myth. As parable-based religion has receded from the public square, heroic myth, and the competitive virtues it celebrates, has rushed in to fill the space.

I’ll just mention three forms that are immensely popular today. The first is mythic movies: “Avengers,” “X-Men,” “Star Wars,” “Transformers,” “Justice League” and the rest...
-- one might suspect suspect that melodies were not the only thing "wafting" around the Brooks' manor  yesterday.   In fact, one might expect the next column by Mr. Brooks to bash a certain "person from Porlock" for interrupting his reverie.

But as with every David Brooks column, once you pop the hood and look at the machinery, you find it's nothing but the same, shitty column the Sulzberger family has been paying him to write over and over again for decades..

You see, every day as their Republican party continues its relentless rollback of the Enlightenment and validates every single alarm Liberals have been sounding for decades, men like David Brooks become ever more desperate to evade accountability.  Ever more frantic to spread the blame for the atrocities committed by their party and their ideological movement as far away from themselves as possible.

You can hear it in Joe Scarborough's mindless repetition of the new mantra of his show -- "Trump is really a Dimmocrat!" --  every day, Monday through Friday.

You can see it in Michael Gersons sweaty, pleading denial that there was ever anything terribly wrong with his Republican party until Donald Trump magically transformed the entire Republican base into a shitpile of bigots and imbeciles overnight and stole the whole party out from under him.

And you can read it twice a week, every week in The New York Times, where David Brooks has spent the past 15 years moralizing from op-ed mountaintop to the squalid masses below by reverse-engineering every vagrant thought and every passing fad into a wheedling sermon about how, instead of Republicans being to blame for the catastrophic choices they make, the lies they tell and the monstrous people and policies they have promoted and endorsed, it's really Both Sides who are always to blame.

Or human nature is to blame.  Or The System is to blame.  Or "tribalism" is to blame, which means everyone is to blame.  

And thus it was today when, after meandering through soccer and video games and Ant Man, Mr. Brooks finally got around the delivering the payload the Sulzberger family pays him to deliver.
...
There are many virtues to the mythic worldview — to stand heroically for justice, to be loyal to friends and fierce against foes. But history does offer some sobering lessons about societies that relied too heavily on the competitive virtues.

They tend to give short shrift to relationships, which depend on the fragile, intimate bonds of vulnerability, trust, compassion and selfless love. They tend to see life as an eternal competition between warring tribes. They tend to see the line between good and evil as running between groups, not, as in parable, down the middle of every human heart.

We’re spiritual creatures; our lives are shaped by the moral landscapes and ideals we inherit and absorb. I’d say our politics and our society are coming to resemble the competitive mythic ethos that is suddenly all around.
As Mr. Brooks knows perfectly well, we are a nation at war with itself.  And broadly speaking, the outlines of this war are actually pretty simple and clear: One side has always devoutly wished to resolve our conflicts through negotiation and compromise -- has always held compassion and public service and cardinal virtues,  and the other side -- the Republican side, would have none of it.

For eight years, the Clinton Administration tried it Mr. Brooks' way and Mr. Brooks' Republican party spared no expense trying to sabotage, slander and witch-hunt him from office.

And for eight years the Obama Administration tried it Mr. Brooks' way to a fault, and Mr. Brooks' Republican party -- already an suppurating mass of rage, racism and paranoia -- simply and irrecoverably lost their minds.  For eight years, the way they treated The Kenyan Usurper made the way they they treated Bill Clinton look like they had been greeting a long-lost lodge brother.  The pathologies of Mr. Brooks' Republican party are so ingrained, so deep in the bones, that in 2016 they ran to the polls to nominate and elect an openly racist madman because he promised to burn down everything Obama had ever touched.

And here we are now, a nation fully at war with itself, not due to The System or "tribalism" or Both Sides, but due entirely to the fact that Mr. Brooks' Republican party has always wanted it this way. 



And if for some reason you absolutely must have the casus belli that has rent our nation explained by a Republican then run as fast as you can the hell away from the asphyxiating sanctimony of Mr. David Brooks and pick up a copy of one of the greatest speeches in history, delivered to a war-weary nation.  Delivered by a compassionate, selfless American superhero who also stood heroically for justice and fiercely against foes.  Who never wanted to his nation plunged into a "competition between warring tribes" and did everything humanly possible to avert it, but  failed, for reasons he explained in words carved into the bedrock of our democracy so deeply they will never be forgotten.  He also frequently spoke in parables and is buried just a few miles from where I'm sitting right now:
...
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war -- seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Potty Mouth Will Get You Nowhere




In his stunted imagination, the typical Trump voter is a 1967 Hell's Angel who loves golf, can't see his dick anymore and rolls to the local Stupid Rally on his Pride Victory 10 4-Wheel Scooter.

Today In Both Sides Do It: Advice From The New York Times On The Proper Use Of "Fuck"

The tone police
They live on cable teevee
The tone police
They're paid to shush and decree
The tone police
They're coming to denounce me
Oh no...
As a card-carrying vituperative, foul-mouthed blogger of the Left, I spend most of my evenings pretty much like every other vituperative, foul-mouthed blogger of the Left in America:  leading my local chapter of the notorious Libtard "lang-gang", MLA-13, on a city-wide reign of linguistic terror. 

Our signature move?  Spray painting churches with improperly positioned Oxford commas.  Ha!  Take that, Corrupt Duopoly! 

Yes, for years I put the "punk" in "improper punctuation" but it turns out that, as good as it felt to stick it to The Man, I was wrong to do so.  So very wrong! 

What turned me right around was the very wise column by my betters at the New York Times yesterday.  Mr. Peter Baker and Ms. Katie Roger note very wisely that, when fighting a Russia-backed white-supremacist/theocratic minority who have taken over your country, are aggressively destroying every democratic institution right before our eyes, deliberately trashing our key alliances, and ripping babies from their mothers and putting them in cages, nothing is more important than good manners.  
In Trump’s America, the Conversation Turns Ugly and Angry, Starting at the Top

...
Mr. Trump’s coarse discourse increasingly seems to inspire opponents to respond with vituperative words of their own. Whether it be Robert De Niro’s four-letter condemnation at the Tony Awards or a congressional intern who shouted the same word at Mr. Trump when he visited the Capitol this week, the president has generated so much anger among his foes that some are crossing boundaries that he himself shattered long ago.

The politics of rage that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise now dominate the national conversation, as demonstrated repeatedly during the debate over his “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated children from parents apprehended at the border.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a decline in civility and an uptick in incivility,” said Christine Porath, a Georgetown University professor and author of “Mastering Civility,” a book on behavior in the workplace. “It seems like people are not only reciprocating, but we tend to stoop lower rather than higher. It’s really putting us in an unfortunate place.”

...
Yes, by the simple act of pretending that the entire Bush Administration never happened, the entire Obama Administration never happened --


 -- and, indeed, the entire history of the modern Republican party never happened --



-- Mr. Baker and Ms. Katie Rogers are able to dial in on the real problem facing our democracy.

Bad manners!  On Both Sides!

So take heed, Libtards:  in the fight against the Republican forces of darkness and barbarism that are squeezing the life out of our country, how can you expect to be taken seriously if you use language that  would offend the extremely delicate sensibility of Peter Baker and Katie Rogers?  I mean, can one even imagine what an irreparable blow to the cause of emancipation it would have been to if, for example, at the height of the Civil War, instead of dainty, polite locutions, Abolitionists had used harsh language to denounce the pro-slavery goons across the aisle?


And so, in aid of this vital directive from our betters at The New York Times here is a short but helpful guide to the proper use of the word "fuck" in a formal dining situation:
Dinner fuck: The largest of the fucks, also called the place fuck, is placed on the left of the largest Republican atrocities. Other smaller fucks for other crimes against democracy are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fuck, according to when they will be used.

Fish fuck: If there is a fish course, this small fuck is placed to the left of the dinner fuck because it is the first fuck used

Salad fuck: If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fuck is placed to the right of the dinner fuck, next to the the largest Republican atrocities. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the fucks would be arranged (left to right): salad fuck, fish fuck, dinner fuck.

Important additional etiquette tip!  No more than three of any fucks should are ever be used during a formal occasion, except when a "Fuck you, you baby stealing motherfuckers!!!" is used in addition to three other fucks.

Yours in Christ,

driftglass.




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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

S.E. Cupp Cannot Imagine a World Without National Socialism



So why is my graphic of Matthew Dowd -- "Portrait of a Political Analyst Looking For a Fence to Straddle" -- at the top of this post?

Because it is cross-referenced under: "Matthew Dowd is a fundamentally ridiculous person".

Why?

Behold!


Because the man proffering Sippy Cupp the advice to shut up and vote Democrat even if it doesn't taste like Begian white chocolate or we're all gonna die is this guy, both from back in the days when some action in the general directions of not being a leader of the Don't Vote For Hillary Because K'rupt Duopoly circle-jerk might have made a tangible difference --
-- and from long past the point when anyone who was not transcendentally puerile would finally have given up the "Both Sides Do It" ghost.


Did happen to mention that Mr. Dowd is ABC News' chief political analyst?

That his whole fucking job is to not be this ostentatiously stupid about politics?

Weird, eh.




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Krusty the Konservative Kwits Komedy



Because pimping for GOP monsters ain't fun anymore.

Steve Schmidt Announces He Is Leaving The Republican Party

Longtime Republican political operative Steve Schmidt renounced his membership in the Republican Party in an overnight tweetstorm. He said he was leaving “the party of Trump” after nearly 30 years as a registered voter.

He explained that he can no longer stand the continuing abuses of President Donald Trump and he believes “the GOP has become a danger to our democracy...

Instead, sir or madam, Mr. Steve Schmidt would like five minutes of your time to talk to you about an amazing "...proud and meaningless association of people" called The Church of Latter Day Independents!


“I have spent much of my life working in GOP politics. I have always believed that both parties were two of the most important institutions to the advancement of human freedom and dignity in the history of the world. Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values.”

“This Independent voter will be aligned with the only party left in America that stands for what is right and decent and remains fidelitous to our Republic, objective truth, the rule of law and our Allies. That party is the Democratic Party.”
I'm being a little hard on Mr. Schmidt today because based on the totality of the history of the modern Republican party, it has been my observation that once the accelerating and downward-spiraling depravity of the GOP hits certain benchmarks, inevitably a handful of formerly-staunch party men and women throw up their hands, slap on an "Independent" name tag and make a great show of exiting the party, usually 20 or 30 years too late.

For Mr. Schmidt, that benchmark was internment camps for babies.  Which is fine.  I'll take what I can get.

However, it has been my observation that as soon as the immediate crisis that triggered their gag-reflex has passed, many of these same suddenly-conscience-stricken quickly find their way into the front pews of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.  Because inside the Beltway Bubble, blaming Both Sides still absolutely the official state religion.

And these newly-minted "independent" dutifully pray the prayers -- "Lord Of Th' Holy Centre, Sayve Us From Th' Curs'd Extemese On Bothe Sydes"  -- and sing the hymns -- "In Brooks alone my hope is found/He is my light, my strength, my song..." -- because that is how you keep your fucking job.

And very soon after that they will find a way to convince themselves that maybe the Republican party really wasn't so bad after all...and it's getting more awesome every day!  Take this sterling example from the pope of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It himself from November 5, 2014 -- less than one year before Donald J. Trump oozed down the Escalator of Doom and into the hearts of the base of Mr. Brooks' Republican party with emphasis added
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
The Beltway media is full of former-Republicans-now-"Independents" who had whatchacall a "moment of clarity"...and quickly found out that that the price of following their newly-discovered principles all the way to its logical conclusion was to risk losing their place at the table, having the "L"-word tattooed on their head, being be cast into permanent media Coventry like any other Libtard loser.

And so, after their brief and glorious flash of horror and idealism, they weight the very real professional and financial cost of their actions, fall back to Earth, and go in search of nice, safe, media-approved Both Siderist fences to straddle.  Like this guy.





Now if Mr. Schmidt's Acela Corridor Train to Damascus conversion is real and permanent, well that's great!   But as Mr. Schmidt is fond of quoting Ronald Reagan, let me to put this is terms he will understand.

  

And just as soon Mr. Schmidt verifies his principles by admitting out-loud and with no equivocation that the Left has been right about the Right all along and I will begin to trust him.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

David Brooks and the Triumphant Return of "Conservatism Cannot Fail"


A well-placed poisoner inside the castle is worth 10,000 troops outside the castle.
-- driftglass

File under: "Know your internet traditions".

This morning, after glancing at the latest godawful dreck extruded by Mr. David Brooks for the titillation of the House of Sulzberger, I went on a brief but rewarding sojourn to that undiscovered country from whose bourn, no Conservative returns.

The Past.

Conservative, you see, are absolutely terrified of the Past, which is objectively hilarious because the Past is the place into which Conservatives dream of dragging the country, kicking and screaming if necessary.  And the reason Conservative are terrified of the Past is because, for them, it's all just one big, untraversable  minefield of their own making.

The Past is packed to the gunnels with Conservatives saying colossally stupid shit over and over again with perfect confidence and telling big, whopping lies over and over again...and then pretending that none of it happened or none of it mattered when it blows up in their faces over and over again.

The Past is also stacked to the rafters with smirking Conservatives using the media to rain an unremitting barrage of unhinged slanders on the Left with  over and over again (Liberals are the real racists!)...and then scuttling back into the safety of their False Equivalence fortress when it all comes roaring back at them over and over again  (Can't we all agree that Both Sides are equally wrong and that politics is a competition between partial truths.)

For its part, the mainstream media is equally terrified of the Past, because the Past is a long and damning record of their steady capitulation to the escalating madness of Right in the name of balance and objectivity.

(And for the record, the Past is fraught for Liberals too, but mostly because it's where our high school pictures are lurking.)



Anyway, I was inspired to go spelunking around in the Past this morning thanks to the utterly predictable No True Scotsman turd which Mr. David Brooks was paid real American money to shit into the op-ed page of The New York Times today. A column in which Mr. Brooks declares that the Trump Administration is definitely not Conservative because, well, because David Brooks says so damn it!
This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.
In fact, True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here because they are the ones who have been warning us about the rise of someone like Trump all along!
What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against.
And just how long have True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks been the real heroes here? 

For centuries!
For centuries, conservatives have repeated a specific critique against state power...
And if True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here, take a wild guess who the real villains must be (emphasis added):
People like Stephen Miller are not steeped in conservative thinking and do not operate with a conservative disposition. They were formed by their rebellion against the stifling conformity they found at liberal universities. Their primary orientation is not to conservative governance but to owning the libs.
So I went rooting around the Past this morning, looking for the earliest example of some stifling, Miller-monster-making Liberal blogger turning the old Bolshevik adage on it's head and coining the now-famous adage "Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed", and of course it was Digby.

And what is most infuriating and tragic is the context in which Digby was writing at the time. 

It was 2006, and after six years of blind, rabid loyalty to the Bush Administration, Conservatives were watching all going to shit right before their eyes.  And their response was this mad, Orwellian scramble -- aided and abetted every step of the way by the mainstream media -- to transform Dubya from tax-cutting hero, military genius and the savior of the Republican party into an unperson as fast as possible:
George W Bush has won two elections with the unquestioning support of conservatives. In his first term he made it quite obvious that he was not a conservative in any sense that I understood conservative. From out of control spending to federalizing education to nation building and messianic foreign policy, he has simply not been conservative by any common definition of the term. None of that stopped conservatives from virtually worshipping the man. It is only now that he has become unpopular and his policies are failing that his brand of conservatism is being criticized on the right. And he's being criticized for being

George W. Bush will not achieve a place in the Republican pantheon. Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. (And a conservative can only fail because he is too liberal.)
And who does Digby name-check as being in the vanguard of that frantic Conservative "It Wasn't Our Fault" propaganda campaign that might as well have been called #NeverDubya?   At  moment in history when Conservatives controlled all three branches of government, just like they do now?

None other than loyal Bush stooges and respected Conservative public intellectuals, Andrew Sullivan --
Following up on my earlier post, I just realized that Andrew Sullivan entitled his piece "Religious Left" which is very interesting. This latest dialog began with Glenn Greenwald's great post earlier this week in which he proclaimed modern Republicanism a Bush cult. It was widely read and discussed on the right as well as the left blogopshere. I disagreed a little bit with Glenn's analysis and called it a Republican Authoritarian Cult because I can already see beginning to detach from Bush and prepare the ground for whoever the next object of their authoritarian passion turns out to be.
and David Brooks:
David Brooks says that the left is Stalinist. I assume that's what Sullivan's title refers to as well. Communism is often considered a secular religion, although that clearly underestimates the huge power of state coercion. If the American left is Stalinist, it certainly has been extremely ineffective. After all, conservatism now dominates all three branches of government. And I can't help but find this argument amusing considering that the primary critique of Democrats is that we have no convictions and are constantly fighting amongst ourselves. We are remarkably undisciplined totalitarians.
And in 2006, what was Mr. Brooks' weapon of choice when it came to weaseling out of taking any responsibility for the Republican catastrophe he had helped to author? 

Well thanks to delicious bit of video I found way in the back the the Crooks & Liars archives, you can watch David Brooks from February of 2006 doing exactly what the Sulzberger family has been paying him a king's ransom do twice a week, every week, in the pages of The New York Times:  deploying the mighty hammer of "Both Sides Do It, But Liberals Are Worse!"

While Chris Matthews laughs and laughs and laughs.




PS.  The "tell" with every David Brooks column in which he lies about the state of his Republican party is that the crises is never here and now and it is never the fault of men like David Brooks.  All Republican crises are always at some point in the future (from Mr. Brooks today) -- 
“Amnesty” has become a club the trolls use in their attempt to stamp a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.
-- or have passed -- whew! -- and now everything is fucking awesome and it's clear sailing ahead as far as the eye can see! (From Mr. Brooks, November 5, 2014 -- less than one year before Donald J. Trump oozed down the Escalator of Doom and into the hearts of the base of Mr. Brooks' Republican party with emphasis added):
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 



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