Thursday, August 27, 2015

Three Million and Counting

Many, many thanks to all of our listeners from all over the world.

After all this time it's still just Blue Gal and me, in a hobbit hole in the cornfield, with donated microphones, talking about culture, politics, media and our lives, once a week, every week, for the last 300 weeks and counting.

Apparently the key to keeping going is to keep going :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trump is the Tea Party

From The Week:
Trump crushes the rest of the GOP field in new nationwide poll

Donald Trump's lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination just reached an all-time high in a new national poll conducted by Gravis Marketing. The survey, released Tuesday by One American News Network, shows Trump leading the Republican field with a whopping 40 percent, up from 31 percent in Gravis' July poll.

Ben Carson, who placed second in the new poll, had just 13 percent — 27 points behind Trump. Jeb Bush came in third at 10 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 7 percent, and John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, and Marco Rubio at 5 percent each...
The real, shocking news about Donald Trump's popularity with the Pig People is that our corporate media continues to pretend that Donald Trump's popularity among the Pig People is shocking news at all.  As I wrote way back in 2009 when these dregs of American democracy initially began quietly shredding their Bush/Cheney lawn signs and calling themselves "independents"...
And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?

Those fucknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshit their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fucking day, that's who.

Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.

Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.
They got away with eight years of Clinton witch-hunts.  Then they got away with eight years of incompetence and treason under Dubya,  And with the wild, reckless arrogance that comes from living on a perpetual holiday from accountability, they have been going ever more boldly and publicly insane, getting ever more knee-walking drunk on cask-strength Strategic Forgettery and scampering through the latest iteration of the Bush-Off Machine over and over again, faster and faster, like kids running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day.

Thirty years of being kicked in the balls by Demon Reality every day has taught the Pig People nothing except to band together tighter, amp their reality denial shield up higher and scream that much louder every time it looks like Demon Reality might kick some sense into them.  So don't expect anything on that front but more dangerous, shoutycrackers crazy every day.  

The media, for its part, is now suspended in a state of paralysis, stranded between being mesmerized by this monster they have created, and being repelled and terrified by it.  

And frankly, watching them drown in this cesspool of their own making is one of the few pleasures we peasants have left here at the ass end of the American Dream.   

Donald Trump Says The Truest Thing About Our Political Media

That you are likely to hear anywhere, from anyone.

I listened to part of this speech yesterday.  In between promising to restore Teutonic greatness and annex the Sudetenland (OK, I was only half listening) Trump also said a few very true things -- radically true things -- about how complicit our media has become and how completely money has warped the political process.  Obvious shit, which really does drive good people to despair, and which under normal circumstances would never, ever be talked about on nation teevee.  

In a sense Trump is running the campaign Rand Paul wanted to run -- say some sensible stuff before gobbling down a fistful of mescaline, dropping trou and letting your crazy off the leash.  But Trump is mixing the ingredients and proportions much more proficiently than anyone in the Paul family ever did. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Well, There's Trump, Egg, Sausage and Trump

That's not got much Trump in it.

From every god damn cable news outlet in Christendom:
Man: You sit here, dear.

Wife: All right.

Man: Morning!

Cable news: Morning!

Man: Well, what've you got?

Cable news: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and Trump; egg bacon and Trump; egg bacon sausage and Trump; Trump bacon sausage and Trump; Trump egg Trump Trump bacon and Trump; Trump sausage Trump Trump bacon Trump tomato and Trump;

Wingnut Chorus: Trump Trump Trump Trump...

Cable news: ...Trump Trump Trump egg and Trump; Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump baked beans Trump Trump Trump...

Wingnut Chorus: Trump! Lovely Trump! Lovely Trump!

Cable news: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and Trump.
Wife: Have you got anything without Trump?

Cable news: Well, there's Trump egg sausage and Trump, that's not got much Trump in it.

Wife: I don't want ANY Trump!

Man: Why can't she have egg bacon Trump and sausage?

Wife: THAT'S got Trump in it!

Man: Hasn't got as much Trump in it as Trump egg sausage and Trump, has it?

Wingnut Chorus: Trump Trump Trump Trump... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

Wife: Could you do the egg bacon Trump and sausage without the Trump then?

Cable news: Urgghh!

Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like Trump!

Wingnut Chorus: Lovely Trump! Wonderful Trump!

Cable news: Shut up!

Wingnut Chorus: Lovely Trump! Wonderful Trump!

Cable news: Shut up! Bloody wingnuts! You can't have egg bacon Trump and sausage without the Trump.

Wife: I don't like Trump!

Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your Trump. I love it. I'm having Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump beaked beans Trump Trump Trump and Trump!

Wingnut Chorus: Trump Trump Trump Trump. Lovely Trump! Wonderful Trump!

Cable news: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

Man: Well could I have her Trump instead of the baked beans then?

Cable news: You mean Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump...

Wingnut Chorus: Trump Trump Trump Trump. Lovely Trump! Wonderful Trump! Trump Tru-u-u-u-u-mp Trump Tru-u-u-u-u-mp Trump. Lovely Trump! Lovely Trump! Lovely Trump! Lovely Trump! Lovely Trump! Trump Trump Trump Trump!

In Which The Donald Sends Roger Ailes a Sicilian Message

Khartoum. Khartoum.  

Remember the scene? Not the horse's head, but the one before that. The one where studio mogul Jack Woltz reveals his weakness by taking Tom Hagen down to his stables and showing him what he values most:
Hey, come on over here with me; I wanna show you something really beautiful. You do appreciate beauty, don't you? There you are, $600,000 on four hooves. I bet a Russian Czar never paid that kind of dough for a single horse. Khartoum. Khartoum.
Trump is a monster who thrives on conflict, disorientation and always pressing, pressing, pressing his advantage. Where there is no turmoil, he will manufacture some, and how better to do that than to publicly remind Ailes that Trump can fuck up the most valuable piece of horseflesh Ailes' owns, any time he feels like it.

After forcing Roger Ailes to sign a truce less than three weeks ago, it now appears that Donald has spent that time re-arming with the intent of forcing Ailes to renegotiate the terms of their non-aggression pact.


It's Munich all over again!

David Brooks Multiple Choice

Five of these are delivered to you hot and stanky from America's Most Respected Moral Thought Leader, David Brooks, via a column in the New York Times for which he is paid large sums of real, American money.

One of them I just made up.

  1. Live life as a series of revelations.
  2. We’re social creatures.
  3. We’re historical creatures.
  4. We’re mystical creatures.
  5. We’re moral creatures.
  6. Have you ever looked at your hand, man? I mean really, really looked at it?
I currently hold the title of America's Leading Brooksologist and I have no fucking idea what he is prattling on about.

Did I mention that this --
Let’s say you had the chance to become a vampire.
-- is the opening sentence?

Is the New York Times paying him to creep on some co-ed who's into Twilight? Or is he barely sublimating his divorce into his column again? Or does he haz a sad that Donald Trump is making a picnic lunch out of the carefully constructed fascist political movement to which he has devoted his entire adult life?

No. Fucking. Clue.

Monday, August 24, 2015

David Brooks Endorses Donald Trump?


Sure as hell sounds like it, because his famous National Greatness Manifesto from back in his Weekly Standard glory days --
A Manifesto for a Lost Creed
MAR 3, 1997, VOL. 2, NO. 24 • BY DAVID BROOKS
-- starts right out of the box by telling his readers that Buildings Are Important.

Especially, big, brassy buildings that wave their big, Murrican dicks around!
But the Jefferson Building is more than just a giant Faberge egg. When you get down to looking at the details, you find that the craftsmanship is actually mediocre: You can travel around Europe and find a hundred buildings with better paintings and better sculpture. Nonetheless, there is something about the energy of the building that makes it more than the sum of its parts, that makes it not so much an artistic wonder as a spiritual artifact. How did any group of builders muster so much vitality?

The answer is that this is an American building. For all its classical and Renaissance style, this 1897 building speaks to us in American. It embodies the optimism and brassy aspirations of Americans in the Gilded Age, their faith in the power of beauty to elevate, their confidence in America, their brash assertion that America was emerging as a world-historical force...
But since the glorious Gilded Age, everything as gone to pot.  Heck, even Murrica's greatest politicians are boring 'n shit:
For all that our current politicians take advantage of the library -- J. C. Watts delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union there, Bill Clinton signed the telecommunications bill there -- present-day leaders possess none of the library's confidence and sureness of purpose. American politicians show little evidence of the great national vigor that animates this building. They don't dare to make great plans or issue large challenges to themselves and their country. At a moment of world supremacy unlike any other, Americans are not asking big questions about their civilization, nor are they being asked anything but the sorts of things pollsters and marketers want to know. And so our politics has become degrading and boring. Political conflict appears trivial, vicious for no good reason.
Because the fucking hippies ruined everything!
For much of this century, liberals possessed high aspirations and a spirit of historical purpose. Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, the New Deal, John F. Kennedy's New Frontier -- these were efforts to aim high, to accomplish some grand national endeavor. Liberals tried to use American preeminence as a way to shape the world, fight communism, put a man on the moon. But then came the 1970s, and suddenly liberalism became a creed emphasizing limits. Small became beautiful. A radical egalitarianism transformed liberalism, destroying hierarchies and discrediting elitist aspirations. An easygoing nihilism swept through academia, carrying away any sense of a transcendent order. The civil- rights era turned into the affirmative-action era, and what had been a great national crusade for justice devolved into a series of petty squabbles over spoils.

Worse, under the influence of the New Left, the personal became political. Private concerns came to eclipse the larger public realm. At a time when a teenager's haircut was a political statement to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court, all the issues of the private realm -- smoking, methods of raising children, sexual preferences -- began to overshadow the traditional subjects of the public realm: subjects like order, justice, and the distribution of wealth. Americans have almost forgotten what the public realm is and how it differs from the sum of private concerns.

But cultural liberalism has smashed reticence, mistaking it for hypocrisy. Finally, the national-greatness ideal was based on iron discipline over the passions. But cultural liberalism mistook self-control for unhealthy repression.
But you know what? It's really Conservative who are to blame, because WTF people?  Why aren't you Reaganing the shit out of everything?
But it is primarily the fault of conservatives that America has lost a sense of national mission and national greatness. After all, this is a conservative era, and one shouldn't expect the Democrats to come up with the energy that animates a conservative era. But since Ronald Reagan returned to California, conservatism has shrunk.
And Both Sides, also too, because it comes with everything David Brooks writes.  Like shitty little plastic forks.  You can tell them at the drive-thru "No, thanks, I have one million forks at home and I do not need your shitty plastic cutlery" but damn if, when you open them bag, there it is, at the bottom, mocking you.  Same thing with David Brooks and Both Siderism, always forever:
Currently, American political philosophy has divided itself into the opposing principles of "order" and "freedom." Now, when liberals stand for one, conservatives stand for the other. Liberals want economic order; conservatives want economic freedom. Conservatives want social order; liberals want social freedom.
So now that you are sufficiently sad and paranoid and pissed off at the Dirty Hippies for messing up Murrica and at Conservatives for not punching those damn hippies with sufficient vigor, what's the solution?  How do we get on with the business of....  Restoring American Greatness?

It turns out, the answer is that you build something.  Build anything.  Because it literally doesn't matter what we build so long as it Yooooge!  And built by ambitious individuals, because the gummit is run by craven idiots.
The national mission can be carried out only by individuals and families -- not by collectives, as in socialism and communism. Instead, individual ambition and willpower are channeled into the cause of national greatness. And by making the nation great, individuals are able to join their narrow concerns to a larger national project.

Historically, national missions have included settling the West, building the highway system, creating the post-war science faculties, exploring space, waging the Cold War, and disseminating American culture throughout the world...

The most successful missions have set physical goals, rather than abstract ones: America in 1897 constructed the world's finest library. The library has had an important impact on culture, but its impact is the byproduct of a physical project. Sometimes the federal government has funded these efforts. Sometimes it has merely identified the new national cause. Sometimes it has eliminated barriers to ambition.

It almost doesn't matter what great task government sets for itself, as long as it does some tangible thing with energy and effectiveness. The first task of government is to convey a spirit of confidence and vigor that can then spill across the life of the nation. Stagnant government drains national morale. A government that fails to offer any vision merely feeds public cynicism and disenchantment.

But energetic government is good for its own sake. It raises the sights of the individual. It strengthens common bonds. It boosts national pride. It continues the great national project. It allows each generation to join the work of their parents. The quest for national greatness defines the word " American" and makes it new for every generation.
Which, taken all in all, sure sounds like one hell of an endorsement of a plan by the loudest, most ambitious New Gilded Age asshole in Murrica to build the yooogest, most beautiful wall ever on the face of the Earth.

And the cherry on top? The fact that now that the candidate of The Weekly Standard's wet dreams has finally arrived in the flesh, Bloody Bill Kristol (Mr. Brooks' former Weekly Standard employer and fellow National Greatness tub-thumper) is scuttling as fast as possible in the opposite direction:
Is It Time for Another GOP Candidate?

August 24, 2015
By Taegan Goddard

Bill Kristol says it may be time to encourage another candidate to enter the Republican presidential race.

“It may seem odd to suggest that the solution to an already unprecedentedly large field is to expand it further. But politics is full of oddities. And what would be truly odd would be to go into battle in 2016 with a candidate we settle on rather than a nominee the country can rally behind.”

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

The Beltway Gasbag Cavalcade in one picture:

"If you want a vision of the future of news, imagine a Beltway loafer stamping on real news - forever."

There was one bright spot.

But one bright spot is not enough.

Not nearly enough.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

As The Late Mr. Gilliard Used To Say --

"When your opponent is drowning, throw them an anchor."

Or, in this case, "anchor babies".

From CBS:
Donald Trump calls out Jeb Bush for flip-flopping on phrase "anchor babies"

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are both taking heat for using the derogatory term "anchor babies," but Trump on Friday suggested that he's at least been consistent and straightforward about using it -- unlike Bush.

As Trump tweeted, the former Florida governor is indeed affiliated with a group that has advised Republicans to stay away from the derogatory term for American babies born to undocumented immigrants. In 2013, the Hispanic Leadership Network produced a memo that said, "When talking about immigrants... Don't use the term 'anchor baby.'" Bush helped launch the group and is still a part of its national advisory committee.

Straying from the advice of the Hispanic Leadership Network, Bush used the term on a conservative radio show on Wednesday. He said there should be better border enforcement "so that you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies,' as they're described, coming into the country."

Later, when a reporter asked him if he considered the words "bombastic language," Bush testily replied that "no, it isn't."

"Here's the deal -- what I said was that it's commonly referred to that," he told reporters Thursday. "I didn't use it as my own language."

Asked if he regretted using the term, Bush said no, and responded, "Do you have a better term? You give me a better term, and I'll use it."

Trump, meanwhile, has had no qualms about using the term as he discusses his proposal to end birthright citizenship, even though the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

And it's too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around.
So have a good drown, as you go down, like a chump,
Dragged down by the Trump...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Professional Left Podcast #298

Thanks one more time to Kevin for the promo video that remains evergreen.

"Trump Trump Trump Trumpity Trump Trump Trump."
-- The name of a reality teevee show in which
various members of the Mainstream Media
pretend to be baffled about why
Donald Trump is on teevee so much.