Sunday, September 01, 2013

Sunday Morning Comin' Down -- UPDATE

The Jerry Dantana Hour Continues

Being a man on a budget, I'm always looking for a cheap laugh.

Watching Young Steve Kornacki lose control of his show?

Cheap laugh. 

Imagining  James Kirk whispering "Climate Change.  Marriage Equality.  Voting Rights.  Auto Bailout. Health Care. Chooooice." into the ear of the "Bush!Lied! so everything any Administration says about anything from now on is automatically a lie and fuck your fucking 'evidence' " crew?

Cheap laugh.

The price goes steeply up and the laughs evaporate when the subject gets down to the actual costs of taking any action in Syria.

I personally don't want any American military anything going anywhere near the place, but I am willing to listen to people making arguments to the contrary without assuming the only reason they are making those arguments is that Richard Perle slipped them a Ceti Alpha brainworm.

Yes, it was a disaster for our commonweal that the Bush Administration so methodically and spectacularly sabotaged public confidence in the government and debased the English language's storehouse of Scary Adjectives, just as it was a disaster for our commonweal that clowns like David Broder and David Brooks and David Gregory and Tom Friedman turned the whole idea of thoughtful moderation into (as one long-discredited hack once wrote) "an empty brand, pimped by hustlers.  A Potemkin construct.  A --
...Universe...carefully divided into Conservatives – who are wrong – and Liberals – who are somehow, mysteriously and equally wrong all the time and in equal numbers on every issue. And only Captain Obvious, frolicking across the few lonely yards of sand on his Isle of Reasonableness, can see the truth. 
It does not matter how many millions of miles the Shining Path Republicans drag the “middle ground” to the Right. 
It doesn’t matter that the Party of Lincoln is now infested crotch-to-crown with maggoty Segregationists. 
It doesn’t matter that Nixon looks like a fucking Socialist compared to the positions now being advocated by the GOP today.
However far into the Armageddonist Abyss the wingnuts charge, Captain Obvious will dutifully pace off half that distance back towards where the Left (the band formerly know as “Rockefeller Republicans”) happened to be that day, drive his little stake into that shifting ground and declare that THIS is where the treasure of Comity and Reasonableness is buried. And that everyone on either side of his little islet is equally and oppositely wrong.

And then stamp his chubby little feet and whine that No One Is Listening to Him!
-- by using the weaponized Fake Centrism as suppressing fire for crazy people who were advancing depraved agendas.

It is also tragic that our public square is now so fucking bent that unreconstructed Neocon war wholesalers like Bill Kristol

still have an honored place at the "Meet the Press" table.  Because apparently Paul Wolfowtiz was busy and the Joker is fictional and the Gasbag Conclave long ago stopped being anything other than bad-acid Beltway establishment cartoon:


And if the state of our ability to have grownup conversations about anything weren't already enough to make a slab of granite weep, remember that any public debate on any subject is going to include several million meatsticks who think this -- 

Aspirin tax under Obamacare

Effective Jul 1, 2013, aspirin will be heavily taxed under Obamacare.
The only explanation given was that they are white and they work.
-- is the absolutely apex of wit.

Finally, since these days it just isn't a proper Mouse Circus without Glenn "Not The Story" Greenwald popping up somewhere to denounce the jackbooted thuggery of Barack Obama, I can only assume that the same person who publicly and preemptively mocked President Obama's Syria policy based on speculation that he would not be taking his case to Congress

will now be expressing perhaps just a modicum -- just a shard, a soupcon, a whisper -- of cautious optimism now that President Obama has announced that he will take his case to Congress.

Unless, of course, he just can't:



He just can't.

Mr. Greenwald from The Guardian:

It's a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. 
Relatedly, it's hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one's national "credibility" depend upon periodically bombing other countries.
Other standout performances?

Peggy Noonan telling us that pretty much every one of the voices in her head agrees that the President taking his case for dropping bombs on Syria to Congress was weakling awfulness:

Pretty much everybody views it as 'The president blinked.'
Also a special award goes out to whoever it was that convinced Mary Matalin to go for that freezer-bag-of-silly-putty-crowned-with-a-snapped-off-mop-head look:

Bravo, sir!  Bra-vo!

And proving once again that the Beltway can't stop leaning on it's 2003 Palm Pilot Chickenhwawk Contact list and that Fox News is the real last refuge of scoundrels, ladies and gentlemen, Holy Joe Lieberman (h/t Heather!):

Meanwhile, as far down the spectrum as one can get from Holy Joe, the "Tavis Smiley" half of the "Smiley and West's Deeply, Deeply Disappointed in Barack Obama Road Show" hangs a Deeply Disappointed expression on his face and explains how Vietnam is Syria, how violence is never the answer, and how Deeply Disappointed he is that President Barack Obama is not President Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Just days ago we were celebrating 50 years since the March on Washington and President Obama stood where Dr. King stood 50 years ago. And we honored Martin with our words in Washington and now here we are days away from dishonoring him with our deeds in Syria.
There’s the issue of violence. War, Dr. King would say were he here, is not the answer. We cannot worship at the altar of retaliation. It’s either non-violent co-existence or violent co-annihilation, Dr. King would say were he here...This is connected to Iraq, it’s connected to all of our history and we can’t honor him with our words and then dishonor him days later.
Rotting somewhere at the bottom of the sea, the remains of Osama bin Laden could not be reached for comment as to whether or not violence is never the answer.


Compound F said...

Obama is possibly bringing the case to Congress because Cameron got his butt handed to him. He needs to spread the blame for his impending crimes as broadly as possible. I do see this as an improvement over unchecked executive power, but it's hard to say what Obama's calculations entail. He could be trying to torpedo an act of war, but that seems far-fetched given his history and recent stern rhetoric.

what does greenwald have to do with this again? I've already forgotten.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to point out, after listening to the varied punditry hold forth over the last three days, a simple bit of logistical info.
We do not have to directly target chemical weapons storage itself to have a dramatic impact on Assad' ability to kill his people in new and excruciating ways, or old and excruciating ways...
The weapons themselves are just artillery shells or bombs, they require delivery systems...conventional delivery systems to be utilized.
These can be anything from fixed artillery to mobile, helicopters, fighter jets...the works.
Who doesn't think in the time the President and his military advisers have had to consider action, they have not located and locked in a number of these delivery systems to be ...taken out?
Not only does targeting and attacking all of these systems, take away Assad's ability to launch chemical attacks, it also mitigates some of the lopsided nature this conflict has had so far.
All of this can be done without a single U.S. boot on the ground, as I have heard so many people lament, and it will most assuredly slow down the overall slaughter rate that has taken place so far.
I would have thought this method and goal to be the obvious plan...but apparently these days, obvious is just too complex for today's arm chair generals on the go....

Damian, Pink No More said...

And the verdict is in before the trial has even begun.

Overclock speedy said...

Greenwald has a lot to do with this because his entire goal is to delegitimize the American government completely, and have Democrats destroy their own party (which of course will let the most rabid of the right wingers loose, ravage women and the poor) all because this will magically translate into... utopia!

It's utterly wrong and stupid, but that can be said of all libertarian crackpot schemes. I'm also fairly sure Glenn will find a way to interject himself into anything that happens in Syria. Because as well all know, everything is always about Glenn!

Things can stop being about Greenwald when he stops making them about him. Democrats can start not thinking him and his supporters are certifiable when they stop lying, start dealing in facts, and stop claiming destroying the Democratic party is a magical solution to the worlds problems.

Till then, they can remain mocked and marginalized as cranks, loons, and liars in the public circle.

Compound F said...

Nah, you folks just keep *making* everything about Greenwald. He's like your imaginary friend whom you hate and blame everything on. He's your "Mr. Maconium!" Except that you're trying to convince everyone he's Mr. Maconium, because the reality of wars of aggression from the uniparty state is fine with you as long as the correct right wing is doing it.

Plus all your twaddle about "libertarians" is twaddle. I'm no libertarian, and I despise cruise missile liberals like you can't imagine.

Hang up your obsessions with Greenwald, all of you, which have nothing to do with fukall, fukity bye.

Carmelo Clandestine said...

"Cruise Missile Liberals"


I was looking for a good successor term to "Cold War Liberals". ^_^

gratuitous said...

Yeah, we sure showed that bin Laden fella, and now all violence everywhere has magically stopped!


Maybe, just maybe, this is one of those times when setting the military in motion to visit some indiscriminate bombing and missiling on folks isn't the answer? If a crime against humanity has been committed, maybe, just maybe, we can trust the rule of international law to work, and bring the malefactors to justice to answer for their crimes? Invoke international norms agreed upon for nearly 90 years to operate and show the world that the United States has changed its tune and is ready to let the law do its work? That it's not too late to do the right thing, even after a decade of our own crimes against humanity?

Naaaaaah. Bombs away!

driftglass said...


Just to make sure I understand, you are actually arguing that the only two acceptable positions anyone is allowed to take in this debate is either that force (which is what we're talking about) never solves anything or that force always solves everything?

wagonjak said...

Afraid I agree with Compound F here...and don't quite understand why Greenwald has been placed on dg's hate list right up there with Brooks, Broder, Friedman and Kristol. I think Greenwald is doing this country a great favor by helping these releases of US misdeeds (the latest being how we spied on the presidents of Mexico and Brazil!)

The leaders of this country are doing a DAMN GOOD JOB of bringing down this country around our ears, and to somehow blame it on Greenwald is mistaking a messenger for a traitor.

Anonymous said...

Could you tell me what problem a missile strike will solve?

As I understand it, this is a demonstration of pique. Assad, or people associated with Assad, used chemical weapons, so we must bomb some part of his infrastructure to register our disapproval.

And this solves, what? How does this make a cease fire possible? How does this direct more resources and support to Syrian refugees. How does this support secular Syrian civil society projects?

Oh, it doesn't.


Anonymous said... us from the intentionally obtuse.
It is not "a missile strike", it is the removal of the advanced military capabilities Assad has to wage war against his own population.
Right now it is his artillery, his planes, his helicopters launching his conventional and his chemical weapons vs. varied factions with AK-47's and a few shoulder fired launchers!
There will be no peace talks between Assad and those varied factions as long as he maintains that massive advantage. He will continue to rain fire and chemicals down on the population, until his ability to do so is taken away from him.
Forget, whatever groups the various factions are composed of,right now they are using the civilian population as shields, and Assad doesn't care who he hits.
So removing his ability to use that modern weaponry, at the very least, slows down the killing, conventional and otherwise...

Anonymous said...

urbanmeemaw said...

Driftglass: You're every bit as insightful and articulate as Pierce (whom I no longer read) and as funny as TBOGG (whose writing I miss). Your riff on the Smiley and West road show is classic.

Anonymous said...

And here I thought Osama bin Laden died of kidney failure on December 13, 2001.

Anonymous said...

Not gratuitous here. "[T]he only two acceptable positions anyone is allowed to take" says it all. Who said anything about what is or isn't acceptable? Who's allowing whom to do what? Your choice of words in response is symptomatically evasive. For all of your bluntness and swagger, your self-certainty and self-righteousness, you're rendered almost mute by a series of rhetorical questions that lament the seeming inevitability of officially sanctioned military violence. This isn't what liberal has ever meant in my book.

Compound F said...


"delegitmize American govt. completely..."

oeuf. If only. Explain to me the ignobility of such a goal, which I am definitely not attributing to Greenwald. Seriously. For my part, I think they have de-legitimated themselves, with zero help from myself or Greenwald.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, as far down the spectrum as one can get from Holy Joe, the "Tavis Smiley" half of the "Smiley and West's Deeply, Deeply Disappointed in Barack Obama Road Show" hangs a Deeply Disappointed expression on his face and explains how Vietnam is Syria, how violence is never the answer, and how Deeply Disappointed he is that President Barack Obama is not President Martin Luther King, Jr.

Oh my god yes, DG. You've totally unmasked the concern troll that is Tavis Smiley. Much like Krugman's "Very Serious People" (not really serious), Smiley & West aren't really disappointed in Obama for legitimate reasons. They're not frustrated about things not tangibly improving the lives of black people; not angry about the still-racist policies under Obama like the drug war and harsher penalties for crack; or the targeting of muslims (many of whom are black); or the persistent wealth gap that has only worsened under Obama; no no, you've seen through it, Tavis is just trolling us all. He's on a "Road Show." He "hangs" a mask over his face. When people criticize Obama from the left, or feel that their communities are not being served appropriately by him, they're really just concern-trolling. It's not real.

Rotting somewhere at the bottom of the sea, the remains of Osama bin Laden could not be reached for comment as to whether or not violence is never the answer.

Truly DG, you are the new, less famous and less popular Tom Friedman. I mean, you are so right: this guy killed Osama bin Laden. And by pumping a bullet in the brain of an old man heading a now-disheveled terrorist organization and dumping his body in the ocean, terrorism and threats to American lives have ended. All is better now and the death of bin Laden proves the usefulness of violence. After all, that's exactly what America needed to say to the world: Suck. On. This.

Replace "Osama bin Laden" with "Saddam Hussein" and see how far your argument about violence gets you, and what it sounds like. About what I've seen happen on this blog, I can only quote the old Bajoran saying, "He who studies is in turn studied by evil."