Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Someone Buy Oliver Willis A Case Of Beer

The Story of Barack Obama (As Told By Conservatives)

Oliver Willis on April 30, 2014

Barack Obama was born in Kenya. His father was the communist Frank Marshall Davis, who taught the young Barack the ways of Communism.

At some point, Barack Obama Sr. came into the picture and pretended to be Barack Obama’s real father. He taught his “son” to hate the British because of their behavior in colonial days. The Obamas posted a birth announcement in a Hawaii newspaper in order to fake their son’s birth on U.S. soil.

Obama attended a Madrassa in Indonesia, where he grew up. This is where he learned to be a Muslim.

Obama then decided to adopt the name “Barry” as part of his long-standing plot to fake being American.

In high school Obama smoked a lot of weed. He was the first and only person who grew up in the 1970s to do so. Obama did not go to college – nobody remembers seeing him and they can fake pictures – and also became the president of the Harvard Law Review. He hugged a black studies professor one time, probably to get secret messages on how to be a good socialist.
It goes on from there.

Fine work, Mr. Willis. Future historians are in your debt.

Go read the rest here.

Understanding Donald Sterling In 30 Seconds

Just substitute "sex" for "ideas".

A Giant Once Lived In That Body

But Ralph looked for headlines too high up and too far away.

From Yahoo News, Mr. "Not a Dime's Worth of Difference" gives your Crazy Uncle Liberty more email fodder, which will arrived with the subject line "See! We Told You!! Even Librul Leftist Radical Ralph Nader Thinks Obummer Should Be Impeached!!!!"
Ralph Nader's America: Impeach Obama, decriminalize drugs, libertarians & progressives unite!
When it comes to the current president, Nader said that Obama has violated the Constitution on several occasions and should be impeached.

"Oh, most definitely," Nader said when asked if Congress should bring forward articles of impeachment against Obama. "The reason why Congress doesn't want to do it is because it's abdicated its own responsibility under the Constitution."
Also this:
But Nader qualified that the success of his envisioned left-right alliance is dependent on strong leaders. He said Sen. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, has the potential to be a leader for the alliance, but added that he thinks the Kentucky Republican has certain shortcomings as a leader.

“He’s a mixed bag, you know, he's evolving. He's broadening his issues that he's talking about and they’re beginning to resonate,” Nader said. “On the other hand … he has problems dealing with people.”
Also this:
Nader has his own vision for who he’d like to be president and has even put forward a proposal of 20 billionaires who he encourages to run for president – a list that includes media mogul Oprah Winfrey and environmentalist Tom Steyer.

“That's where we're at now: 20 billionaires with some enlightened background and I said run. Run! Run as an independent,” Nader said. “Just to shake up this two-party tyranny … So maybe one of them will run. We certainly have enough of them, don't we?”
His truth is marching on.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NBA Drops A House on Donald Sterling

And Alan Keyes waits for the inevitable call...

From the New York Times:
N.B.A. Bars Clippers Owner Donald Sterling for Life


Donald Sterling, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was barred from the N.B.A. for life and may be forced to sell the team for making racist remarks, the league commissioner, Adam Silver, announced Tuesday. Silver said that Sterling would be barred from any contact with his team and the league and that he would be fined $2.5 million, the maximum allowed by the league’s constitution.

“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” the commissioner said. “We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the N.B.A.”

The commissioner said Sterling, in an interview, had admitted to him that the racist remarks on a recording released last week by the website TMZ were his. He said he would “do everything in my power” to see that Sterling was forced to sell the Clippers. “I fully expect to get the support I need to remove him,” Silver said.
Among the misbegotten freaks in the teeny, tiny, Black Conservative wing of the Conservative Movement, "Professional Apologist for Bigots" has become a very lucrative cottage industry.  I wonder who Donald Sterling will recruit as his Special Black Friend to help him rehab his reputation.  

Meanwhile, at the other end of the Conservative asylum, we find Andrew Sullivan deep inside his advanced True Conservatism Research Laboratory, bringing the most powerful tunneling electron microscope in Christendom online so that he can continue split hairs at a nearly subatomic level over whether or not it is OK to punish a public person for doing something really vile or bigoted by taking a bite out of that person's career.

So far, Mr. Sullivan has taken a Principled Conservative Stand on both sides of this issue so often it's a wonder he hasn't been called on it before now.

Oh.  Wait.  I forgot.  He has been called on it.  Repeatedly.  It simply has no effect on him.

According to the Last True Conservative:
...yes, of course, if an owner of a business makes baldly racist remarks urging public dissociation from an entire racial group, private sector sanctions – from the NBA or fans or sponsors – are “permissible.” They are always permissible in a free country. That’s why Brendan Eich is out of a job. [As to] whether what is permissible is proper or justified ... that will always depend on the specific case. I think it’s obviously appropriate in the Sterling case – because the remarks are horrifyingly racist. If Brendan Eich had made comments telling his friends to keep away from faggots, if he’d used any such terminology or had ever been shown to have discriminated against gays in the workplace or in his daily interactions, then his case would be very similar. But no such comments are in the public or private record, and there’s zero evidence that he ever acted in the workplace to harm gay employees...
Of course, Sterling did not tell his friends to stay away from blacks: he told his hooker that he didn't give a shit what she did with black men -- including sleeping with them -- as long she didn't bring them to "his" games or include them in her Instagram feed.  Also the NBA did not cite any evidence that Sterling "ever acted in the workplace to harm" anyone, nor did they cite any evidence of him discriminating against his black employees in the workplace or in his daily interactions.

They should have -- they should have canned the asshole years ago discriminating against his tenants -- but they didn't.  They fired his ass for saying horrid shit in secret.  And that horrid shit he thought no one would ever find out or care about was suddenly dragged into the spotlight and guess what?  They did care because it made their business look awful, so they fired him for it.  

So, actually a lot like Brendan Eich, but never let it be said that Mr. Sullivan has ever lets facts stand in the way of saddling up High Dudgeon and riding into the fray.

Honestly, Mr. Sullivan's narcissistic Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism -- his drop-of-a-\\the-hat willingness to reverse-engineer-with-a-sledgehammer his "principles" to fit whatever whim he is enamored of on any given day and then re-reverse himself when the wind shifts -- is usually just funny. 

But some days, like today, it is positively Palinesque.

Sociopaths of Glory

I predict that, pound for pound, nothing else I read or see or hear this week will top the grotesque hilarity of the following nine words from Mr. David Brooks:
I help teach a grand strategy course at Yale...
Wow.  And since we know that since the post-Bush David Brooks is biologically and contractually incapable of writing any column expressing any opinion on any subject without a big, steaming load of Both Siderism right in the middle, you will be unsurprised to find this razor in the apple (emphasis added):
The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system?

It was barely possible when we were facing an obviously menacing foe like the Soviet Union. But it’s harder when the system is being gouged by a hundred sub-threshold threats. The Republicans seem to have given up global agreements that form the fabric of that system, while Democrats are slashing the defense budget that undergirds it.
You know, once upon a time, either Harlan Ellison or Hunter Thompson suggested that the most karmically apt fate post-resignation Richard Nixon deserved was to be shackled hand-and-foot and perp-walked in sackcloth and dung through every American city and town as he was mocked and laughed at and spit on by children.  After that he would be chained to a block in the public square and every American would entitled to one slap.

If you lost a limb or a loved one in Vietnam, you could use your closed fist.

Now I would not presume to judge what level of karmic justice Mr. Brooks has coming to him. Nor can I say in what way it should manifest itself.  But I can say that if this Bush-humping, Iraq-War-Pimping Neocon's participation in teaching a Grand Strategy course at an American Ivy League university does not at least involve being forced to sit in a glass booth wearing this button --

-- while students take turns reading aloud from giant, FoamCore enlargement of his infamous "National Greatness", "Jewels of Nuance" and "Dream Palaces" columns that are helpfully arrayed on the wall behind him, then the Moms and Dads who are spending small fortunes to send their kids to Yale really aren't getting their money's worth.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Roger Ailes' Non-Apology Apology

To understand the Fox News framing/context on he Cliven Bundy issue -- or on every issue -- all you ever need to do is ask your nearest Crazy Uncle Liberty what he thinks about it.   What you will hear is that Fox News/Hate Radio/Conservatism is doing God's work fighting off the Liberal Commie horde every fucking day.


End of sentence.

And if they occasionally make an honest mistake in their holy mission, well, what about Benghaaaaazi, huh? What about Nancy Pelosi or Saul Alinsky smartass!

And although you will never, ever succeed in budging the Conservative lizard-brain out of its that defensive, teeth-bared catatonia (and why it behooves you not to waste your breath trying) it is often educational to take an up-close peek at the how the gears of the Noise Machine grind up reality and extrude Roger Ailes-brand fascist ordure, which is DNA from which every awful thing on the Right is spawned.

Yesterday, for example, as the video above shows, Howie Kurtz has handed the job of offering up Roger Ailes' version of atonement and expiation for the sin of Loving America So Damn Much that they married Cliven Bundy in haste before bothering to ask any Liberal on the face of the Earth what an old, white, male, Fox-loving, radical anti-gummint gun-fetishist and law-breaking moocher was likely to say on the subject of The Negro fully vetting him for incipient Archie Bunkerism.

As so today, as a public service, we take a fast look at the official, Fox News "Fine! Fine!  We're Soooo Fucking Sorry! There! Are you happy now you fucking parasites! !?" moment, which was the most "Yeah, but... Yeah, but... Yeah, but... Yeah, but..." 'apology' you are likely to hear outside of a Charles Manson parole hearing.

Sure, Fox News brought on two Conservatives and a token, neutered Centrist to officially say they were rill sorry they gave The Racist Cliven Bundy all that airtime, but you gotta understand that...
...he was a story before Fox News/Hate Radio ever showed up!

...Cindy Sheehan was bad too!  After all, not only did she say she felt she shouldn't have to pay her taxes to support the treasonous Dick Cheney's meatgrinder clusterfuck that had gotten her son killed, she also had the temerity to actually suggest Dubya should be impeached!  (Next up on Fox:  The 1,897th panel of wingnuts calling for The Kenyan Usuper to be impeached...) clouded the real issue -- fomenting an armed moocher uprising against the "overzealous" US government -- which Mistah Kurtz thinks might be "true".

..the reason it's bad is that "it gives ammunition to Fox-detractors".  Because now the Liberal Leftist Commies and their Liberal Left Commie media will just use this to unfairly impugn the Conservative Movement which everyone knows is NOT racist.

...the Incident at Moocher Pass had nothing to do with the goodhearted souls of the Tea Party who just want Small Gummint, but was instead just a bunch of fringe anarchists acting all crazy 'n shit.

...and don't forget, the Bureau of Land Management dared to show up to try to enforce a legal court order, and they were carrying guns!  Can you believe it?  Cops?  Upholding the law? Carrying guns?  What is this, Russia?!
Conservative blogger Matt Lewis (who looks more eerily like Tron's Master Control Program 

every time I see him) went on to explain that while this incident was certainly unfortunate, he is old enough to remember the Dark Ages before Hate Radio and Fox News when the Mainstream Media "filters" kept America from hearing about the glories of Conservatism, and we certainly would not want to go back to those bad old days now would we!

But the moment that genuinely chilled me was when Conservative blogger Matt Lewis stated that "Conservative outlets" and "Sean Hannity" were expecting this to be a "Ruby Ridge/Branch Davidian situation where Cliven Bundy would be turned into a marty".  And then he added, with a big 'ol smirk on his face:
"...and that might have been the best thing that would have happened for Conservatives.  Unfortunately President Obama gave him enough rope to hang himself."
As long as there is a Democrat in the White House, Fox News and Hate Radio will continue to use every means at their disposal to try to touch off an armed rebellion against the federal government of the United States using any excuse they can gin up.

Anyone who thinks I'm exaggerating has not been paying attention.

Immaterial Girl


Someone's relapsing/remitting "Pay Attention To Me!" Deficit Disorder is flaring up again:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) defended the controversial enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding this weekend, and implied that the practice would still be commonplace “if I were in charge.”

“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” she said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Saturday evening, referring to prisoners. "Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

The remark stands in stark contrast to the opinion of her former running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).  The former Republican presidential nominee, who spent more than five years in a prison camp during the Vietnam War, has repeatedly denounced the practice, which he says is torture.

In her speech, Palin praised the NRA, a group whose members “are needed now more than ever, because every day we are seeing more and more efforts to strip away our Second Amendment rights," she said.

“See, our patience is running thin. It’s being teased and tempted by some intellectual elite in some far distant capital wanting us to abandon even the ideas of the American revolution," she added.
Manufactured out of thin air and based on a complex algorithm that no outsider can understand, raw fascist sadism mixed with constant, whiiiiiiiining indignation over imaginary slights have become the Bitcoin of American Conservatism.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

Today, Fox News served up a real Low Sunday Tur-Duck-En of Awful (I hope Crooks and Liars will have the video) in which the oleaginous Howie Kurtz -- who landed a gig at Fox on a dead-cat bounce after getting sacked from his last job -- interviewed what appeared to be Wallace Shawn's Id on Crank... about what a fucking hash David Gregory has made out of "Meet the Press".

To be fair, they raised a few points which are indisputably true. For example, I think we can all agree that Gregory is a flat, hollow cipher.

But being a Fox News segment, and being that Mistah Kurtz is a loyal Fox News employee, it was inevitable that his final question would be...
Mistah Kurtz: The rap on David Gregory is that he also that he is...favors Democrats, that he's harder on Conservatives guests. Fair or unfair?

Wallace Shawn's Id on Crank: Uhm...I don't wanna go there. I don't want to make that judgement...
Like the wingnut meme that Libruls are the Real Racists, despite overwhelming and easily available evidence to the contrary, it is an article of faith among the Pig People that Gregger is a shill of the Lefty Liberal Commies and a shameless apologist for the Kenyan Usurper. No surprise, then, that a cipher like Mistah Kurtz would use his last 30 seconds of Sunday air time to dutifully repeat one of his employers' most popular lies.

It's A Little Known Fact That Purity Trolls Have A Godhead

He's this guy.

The guy with nothing to offer but helplessness.

Nothing to add but predictions of certain doom.

They fucking love that guy.

Odd, then, they can't even be bothered to take ten minutes to set up their very own online shrines to glorify his name: a cozy little spot where they could repose in the comforting perfume of their own dismal stink extruding one dreary, sour post extolling the virtues of sneering futility after another... until they died of loneliness.

But of course that would not serve His Holy Cause, would it?  Because their wee church of Give The Fuck Up Because Nothing Matters depends entirely on infecting others with their petty pestilence, and you can't really do that off in some dank corner of the internet penning little paeans to despondence that no one wants to hear.

And so we end up trying to make sense of this longstanding internet paradox: How is it that these connoisseurs of disconsolation and impotence also have such bottomless reserves of time and manic energy to squat in Liberal comment sections obsessively preaching their gospel despair?  I mean, if everything is useless, pointless, hopeless -- if we'll never make it out of these caves! -- why exactly are they so fanatically devoted to convincing you that hope is for pussies and change is impossible?

Why not follow their own advice and give up, shut up and go away?

The answer is simple. 

However much they posture as the humble evangels of cynicism and misery, they are, in reality, nothing more than stooges for these guys.

I hope they're getting well-paid.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cliven Bundy Gets A Special Black Friend

Guess who got tired of no one paying attention to his crazy, raving ass?
Alan Keyes Absolves Cliven Bundy Of Racism, Says Liberals Are The Real Racists

SUBMITTED BY Brian Tashman on Friday, 4/25/2014 10:30 am

Well that settles that.

Alan Keyes tells WorldNetDaily today Cliven Bundy’s remarks on “the Negro” were not racist at all, arguing that liberals are the real racists for describing Bundy’s rant about his nostalgia for slavery as racist:
“He wasn’t talking so much about black folks, but about the harm and damage that the leftist socialism has done to blacks,” said former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes, who also is a columnist for WND.

“I find it appalling that we basically have a history of the leftist liberalism that wants to extinguish black people by abortion [and] destroying the family structure,” Keyes told WND. “All of these things if you just look at the effects, you would say this was planned by some racist madman to destroy the black community.”
You had me at "Alan Keyes tells WorldNetDaily...".

No word on whether or not Mr. Keyes went on to describe the joys of White Heaven (NSFW):

The Clout Club Never Dies

Anyone surprised by this needs to hike up their Underoos and get back to playing with Tinkertoys:
Report: Rahm Emanuel aides coordinated with 'Chicagoland'

By HADAS GOLD | 4/25/14 10:49 AM EDT

Aides to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel coordinated scenes with the producers of the CNN series "Chicagoland," emails obtained by the Chicago Tribune show.

More than 700 emails show that the production team, led by executive producer Marc Levin, worked with the mayor's team to develop storylines, arrange specific scenes and review news releases for what was billed as an unscripted documentary series.

In one email asking for more access to Emanuel, Levin wrote they were seeking more time with the mayor not to show his weaknesses "but instead to show the best of who he is and what he is doing."

"I know we still have time to round out the Mayor's story and present him as the star he really is," Levin wrote.
By request, I watched the first 1.2 episodes of this series. I even made a buncha notes just in case I was ever inspired to write about it.

I never was.

In Chicago politics, the Press is the Enemy, and to rule Chicago a mayor must know how to subdue an Enemy.  I refer you to Lesson Six of the Ten Lessons of Rahmses:

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and the fuckin' consultants jammed face-first right in your crotch every fuckin' minute or they'll bleed you dry.

stab anyone who looks at you funny in the fuckin' neck with a fuckin' pencil.

Except for fuckin' Mike Madigan; that bastid's got a neck stabbin' pencil of his own that reaches all the way to Chicago.

Gotta respect that.
Also Lesson Two:
Being Da Boss:

Obey? Moses, Moses, are you fuckin' kidding me?

Bring me a 
fuckin' pencil so I can fuckin' stab you in the fuckin' neck.

Then say "Thank you, Boss!"
Even though I am a "Chicago writer" of some minor stature, and even though I have written extensively about the grubby, on-the-ground operating realities of Chicago and Illinois politics as they look from inside the Clout Fortress, I was never moved to write anything about "Chicagoland" because from camera placement, to the way each scene was edited, to the way the stories of the main characters were slanted it was painfully obvious to me that it was crafted to be mayoral campaign fodder every bit as much as this much shorter video about a Chicago mayor dealing with schools and gangs and crime:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Today In "Both Sides Do It"

Alert commentor Anon caught this example of Christine Todd Whitman spending a minute excoriating Republicans for their depraved climate-change denialism before suddenly and predictably retreating to the last refuge of scoundrels (at the 1:06 mark.) 

The alternative -- admitting that one of our two political parties has gone insane

and needs to be put down like a mad dog -- carries personal and professional costs that are too terrible for Conservatives and Centrists to contemplate.  

And so this greatest and most destructive of all political lies will continue to roll merrily along, enabling lunatics and traitors and snake-handlers, and suppressing honest debate, until it becomes too personally and professionally painful for the liars to continue to wield it.

To Repeat This For What Seems Like The Millionth Time... is impossible to understand Conservatism in America AT ALL unless you understand that millions of Conservatives wear this special pair of glasses through which they filter everything they see.

If you continue to pretend these special glasses do not exist, or are politically trivial, you are lying.

If you continue to pretend that the GOP has not been deliberately manipulating and amplifying the warped, paranoid perceptions of these Conservatives for political gain for the last two generation perceptions, you are lying.

If you continue to pretend that there is anything remotely similar going on on the Left -- either in the breadth or degree or level of destructiveness -- you are lying.

Long ago American Conservatism was engineered by men with money and vision into an opportunistic disease designed to relentlessly attack democracy's immune system -- our courts, our schools, our free press, our electoral process, labor protections, etc. -- until the nation became weak enough to be knocked to its knees, chopped to bits and sold for parts.

And whether you like it or not, you are either a carrier of that disease or you are part of the cure.

And no, stepping aside and letting the Cliven Bundys win on the theory that, after unspeakably awful shit happens and everything falls apart and million die and Democrats have been sufficiently chastens, the Underpants Gnomes will arrive on their Libertarian unicorn cavalry to save the day is not a "viable strategy" -- 

-- so much as it is an "infantile tantrum" thrown by privileged children who have the money and connections to skip out on the horrorshow once their grand social experiment turns to shit and the Kochpocalypse reaches escape velocity.

Professional Left Podcast #229

"There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Da' money goes here:

And The Authentic Frontier Gibberish Just Keeps On Coming

It appears that Sean Hannity may have finally met his very own Trash Can Man.

In an amazing interview with CNN’s Bill Weir (in which Weir explained using very small words that Sean Hannity doesn't like him, never liked him, and the only reason he gave him that stupid valentine is because nobody else would! Also the locks have all been changed. Also Sean's Mommy said they couldn't have no more sleepovers.) Free Range Moocher and former Fox News Superfriend, Cliven Bundy, continued to stand by his man.

Because, damn it, that's what Fox News patriots do!
"I don’t think I’ve been abandoned. I think maybe they misunderstood me a little bit,” Bundy said. “But I think Fox and I, I think, Hannity and I are just right on. I have no doubt that he would support me if he understood really what’s in my heart. And I think he does understand me.”
When told that Hannity had called him many mean names, Bundy responded with this airtight bigot logic:
“I hope I’m not that way. I’ll tell you what, I’m not.”
And then, this:
Weir suggested it was ironic that Bundy often spoke about those who are dependent on the government when he has been grazing cattle on federal land, and said some might call him a welfare queen. Bundy responded, “I might be a welfare queen.”
At which point were I Weir, I would have dropped the mic and left. Boom! What more is there to say? 

But Weir kept the interview going and caught the most revealing gem of all -- the fact that, because pig-ignorant Conservative racists like Bundy sincerely believe the Godawful shit they have roiling around in their heads, they are genuinely baffled that people shun and run when they start belting out their free-verse tributes to The Turner Diaries. 
Bundy, though, continued to back his comments on race, saying that he doesn’t understand why people are so upset and that his comments were “from the heart.”
This is why I refer to Bundy as "The Grand Dragon of the Tribe That Rubs Shit In Their Hair". Because, with the eager assistance of Fox News and Hate Radio,  Conservative bigots like Bundy have not only been encouraged to construct, furnish and take up residence in an all-encompassing and completely deranged ideology, they have been repeatedly assured by Fox News and Hate Radio that their batshit bar-stool sociology and unhinged paranoia are, in fact, deeply patriotic, Christian opinions which are shared by the majority of their countrymen and which they should proselytize proudly. 

From Bundy's perspective, he has been the model Conservative citizen.  To misquote Proverbs, Hate Radio trained him up in the way he should go, and when he got old he did not depart from it.  
He dutifully honored his Conservative media Mommy and Daddy and in return they made him a star and put him in from of a camera night after night to bring the people the Good News.

Yay!  Just like the Bible foretold!

Then, one day, there he was professing his sincere Conservative faith just as he'd been taught, when Mommy and Daddy suddenly freaked out for no explicable reason.  They started yelling at him.  They called him terrible names.  And then they piled him into the car, drove him out into the middle of the dark forest and abandoned him to the witches and the wolves and the Liberals.

Jesus, no wonder he's confused.  I mean, how can his close personal friend Sean Hannity possibly be against him when the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Himself would undoubtedly be in Cliven Bundy's corner were he alive today!
I thought about what Reverend Martin Luther King said. I thought about Rosa Park taking her seat at the front of the bus. Reverend Martin Luther King did not want her to take her seat in the front of the bus. That wasn't what he was talking about. He did not say go to the front of the bus and that's where your seat was. What Reverend King wanted was that she could sit anywhere in the bus and nobody would say anything about it. You and I can sit anywhere in the bus. That's what he wanted. That's what I want. I want her to be able to sit anywhere in the bus and I want to be able to sit by her any where in that bus. That's what he wanted. He didn't want this prejudice thing like the media tried to put on me yesterday. I'm not going to put up with that because that's not what he wanted. that's not what I want. I want to set by her anywhere on that bus and I want anybody to be able to do the same thing. That's what he was after, it's not a prejudice thing, but make us equal.

I took this boot off so I wouldn't put my foot in my mouth with the boot on. Let me see if I can say something. Maybe I sinned and maybe I need to ask forgiveness and maybe I don't know what I actually said. But you know when you talk about prejudice, we're talking about not being able to exercise what we think and our feelings. We're not freedom — we don't have freedom to say what we want. If I call — if I say 'negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave,' I'm — If those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive, then Martin Luther King hasn't got his job done yet. They should be able to — I should be able to say those things and they shouldn't offend anybody. I didn't mean to offend them.
Finally, this is just wonderful.  Go check it out -- "Cliven Bundy, born on a Monday..."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Krugman vs. Brooks: If It Were a Fight, They Woulda Stopped It

In this corner we have heavyweight Noble Prize-winning economist Dr, Paul Krugman talking about income inequality.
The Piketty Panic
New scholarship by the French economist is a bona fide phenomenon, and the right is terrified.
APRIL 25, 2014
In the opposite corner we have bantamweight Conservative apologist David Brooks who has been humiliated so many times and so publicly on matter economic that he has taken to chloroforming anything that remotely relates to number or money and dragging it to a secondary location where he can safely pontificate gassily about something safely squishy and vague like "culture".
The Piketty Phenomenon
The reaction to Thomas Piketty’s new book says more about class rivalry within the educated classes than it does about expanding opportunity.
APRIL 25, 2014
I will leave it to others with much heftier throw-weight to fisk the entire thing.  I will only point out the striking difference between Dr. Krugman's economics-based analysis -- 
“Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the new book by the French economist Thomas Piketty, is a bona fide phenomenon. Other books on economics have been best sellers, but Mr. Piketty’s contribution is serious, discourse-changing scholarship in a way most best sellers aren’t. And conservatives are terrified. Thus James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute warns in National Review that Mr. Piketty’s work must be refuted, because otherwise it “will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged.”
-- and David Brooks' trenchant "C'mon, bro-ham!  You know hippies don't really give a shit about the poors.  Because coastal cities!" commentary:
Many people join the political left driven by a concern for the poor. But, over the past several years, the Democratic Party has talked much more about the middle class than the poor. Meanwhile, progressive political movements like Occupy Wall Street directed their fervor at the top 1 percent. Progressive movies and books have focused their attention on conspiracy and oligarchy at the top, not “Grapes of Wrath” or “How the Other Half Lives” stories at the bottom.

This is natural. The modern left is led by smart professionals — academics, activists, people in the news media, the arts and so on — who tend to live in and around coastal cities...
Also the contrast between Dr. Krugman's specific focus on what the book does and does not say -- 
Mr. Piketty is hardly the first economist to point out that we are experiencing a sharp rise in inequality, or even to emphasize the contrast between slow income growth for most of the population and soaring incomes at the top. It’s true that Mr. Piketty and his colleagues have added a great deal of historical depth to our knowledge, demonstrating that we really are living in a new Gilded Age. But we’ve known that for a while.

No, what’s really new about “Capital” is the way it demolishes that most cherished of conservative myths, the insistence that we’re living in a meritocracy in which great wealth is earned and deserved.

For the past couple of decades, the conservative response to attempts to make soaring incomes at the top into a political issue has involved two lines of defense: first, denial that the rich are actually doing as well and the rest as badly as they are, but when denial fails, claims that those soaring incomes at the top are a justified reward for services rendered. Don’t call them the 1 percent, or the wealthy; call them “job creators.”

But how do you make that defense if the rich derive much of their income not from the work they do but from the assets they own? And what if great wealth comes increasingly not from enterprise but from inheritance?
-- and David Brooks' bored swipe at economists generally because "economists are really not good at predicting the future" ascends to a very special level of hilarious when you consider Mr. Brooks is a man notorious for being wrong about everything since forever:
And into this fray wanders Thomas Piketty. His book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” argues that the real driver of inequality is not primarily differences in human capital. It’s differences in financial capital. Inequality is not driven by young hip professionals who arm their kids with every advantage and get them into competitive colleges; it’s driven by hedge fund oligarchs. Well, of course, this book is going to set off a fervor that some have likened to Beatlemania.

The book is very good and interesting, but it has pretty obvious weaknesses. Though economists are really not good at predicting the future, Piketty makes a series of educated guesses about the next century.

Piketty predicts that growth will be low for a century, though there seems to be a lot of innovation around...
But it was this last sentence --  "Piketty predicts that growth will be low for a century, though there seems to be a lot of innovation around..." -- that sank its tiny claws into my hippocampus and demanded that I think, man, think!

Why does this specific sentiment -- David Brooks invoking the magic conjure word "innovation" to swat down criticism of the economic system on which parasitically feeds -- sound so damn familiar?

Oh yeah!  I remember now.

The year was 2001.

We had just spent eight, ugly years digging the country out from under the crippling deficits which the destructive economic voodoo of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush had racked up -- deficits about which Republicans never gave a shit until Bill Clinton was elected.  So, for eight years Clinton spent his time scaling down or sacrificing programs and promises that were near and dear to Liberals so he could repair the crippling disasters Conservatives left behind...while Conservatives spent their time on witch-hunts and show trials designed to destroy the presidency of the man who was cleaning up their messes.

Sound familiar?

Anyway, after eight lean years of Liberal dreams short-sheeted so we could pay down Conservative profligacy, we were then forced to accept the fact that the dry-drunk halfwit son of the last Republican president was going to get away with stealing the election.

And what was Dubya's first order of business?

Huge fucking tax cuts!


Of course a lot of economists and ordinary people who could count to twenty without taking off their shoes and socks thought this was a terrible idea.  Something that would undo all the sacrifices Democrats had made in the name of fiscal prudence and plunge us right back into the kind of everything-crushing deficits which Republicans had spent the 12 years of Reagan/Bush completely ignoring, and the eight years of Clinton shrieking about being the Death Of The Republic.

And for those people, David Brooks had a name.

And that name was "Stupid".

Stupid Democrats, who cooked up some crazy "brainless, self-destructive" fantasy that Bush Administration policies were about to wipe out the Clinton surplus, run up a gargantuan deficit and put Social Security under the gun:
The New Stupid Party
LONG AGO, the Republican party was nicknamed the Stupid Party, and at times Republicans have done their best to live up to the label. But after the past week, it is perhaps time to acknowledge that when it comes to brainless, self-destructive behavior, the Democratic party has achieved a level of excellence that will be unsurpassed in our lifetime.

Last week the Congressional Budget Office came out with a budget forecast. The report immediately got submerged in a chatterstorm about whether Congress or the White House would dip into something called the Social Security trust fund, but the essential facts are these: The CBO economists estimated that the federal government will run a surplus of about $150 billion in 2001. That’s a lower surplus than the CBO estimated a few months ago, before the economic slowdown, the Bush tax cut, and the recent congressional spending splurge. But even in these adverse circumstances, the surplus is still projected to grow to about $200 billion a year in 2004 and close to $300 billion a year by 2006.

The Democratic party proceeded to work itself up into a collective aneurysm. Dick Gephardt—who, when given the chance to play the demagogue, never goes halfway—said that the United States now faces "an alarming fiscal crisis." Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe said on Face the Nation that it had taken Bill Clinton eight years to build up the surplus, but Bush was able to "blow it in eight months." Other Democrats rose up en masse to declare that the Bush administration was going to bankrupt Social Security/the federal government/western civilization because the administration was going to have to "raid the Social Security trust fund."... 
Stupid Democrats  who wandered stupidly around stupid Paul Krugman-land!
The Pelosi Democrats  
Are they going to become the stupid party? 
ARE THE DEMOCRATS about to go insane? Are they about to decide that the reason they lost the 2002 election is that they didn't say what they really believe? Are they about to go into Paul Krugman-land, lambasting tax cuts, savaging Bush as a tool of the corporate bosses? Are they about to go off on a jag that will ensure them permanent minority status in every state from North Carolina to Arizona?
And why were they so stupid?

Because they did not understand that the Economy had been Fundamentally Transformed!  

Thanks to...Innovation! (emphasis added):
Yes, There Is a New Economy
Thanks to once-in-a lifetime productivity gains, Bush's plans are easily affordable
MAR 19, 2001

...There is a rough historical pattern here. A new technology is invented. It takes a long time before people figure out how to use it. The electric motor was invented in the 1880s, but it didn't transform factories until the 1920s, economist Paul David has noted. Once the technology is fully deployed, however, there are decades of positive results. Daniel Sichel of the Federal Reserve points to previous technology-driven surges that lasted 10 and 25 years. That suggests we may still be near the beginning of this particular period of bounty.

If we are, an occasional period of slower growth or even a recession may occur, but the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong, and both laymen and legislators have good reasons to believe it will remain strong for many years. Industrial productivity is surging. Americans are not only the hardest working people on earth (the average American works about 10 weeks a year more than the average European) but also the most productive workers -- by far. If you measure value added per hour worked, Americans do about 20 percent better than Germans and the French, and 40 percent better than the Japanese.

In other words, if you wade through the economic literature, it's hard not to agree with the Cleveland Fed's Jerry Jordan: We are living at a once-in-a-generation moment of economic opportunity. As productivity grows, the economy will grow. As the economy grows, revenues will grow, maybe beyond what the CBO projects. The real question about the Bush tax cuts, then, is not, Can we afford them? The real question is, Why are they so small?

They are not small in a dollar sense. They are intellectually small. Now, maybe for the last time in our lives, we have the financial opportunity to enact fundamental changes. We will have enough revenue to allow us to reform our entire tax system. We can simplify it, cut it, and turn it into a system Americans will at least regard as fair. We have the chance to reform our entitlement system, and much else. Bill Clinton squandered the first three years of this opportunity. The Bush administration promises fundamental Social Security reform. But the Bush tax plan is a meager response to events. It was designed two years ago, and, stubbornly, the Bush team has refused to change it, even as the new productivity trends have become obvious.

So to the immediate question on people's minds in Washington --  Can we afford a $1.6 trillion dollar cut? -- the answer is plainly yes. The Bush plan is better than nothing. But it is not the ambitious rethinking the times demand.
Anyone who wants to take the time and do the reading can learn with very little effort that David Brooks has been bit as consistently and spectacularly wrong about economics as he was about Iraq.
And Bush.

And poor people.

And the middle class.

And the rich.

And Mitt Romney.

And John McCain.

And the Conservative movement.

And the GOP.

And Liberals.

And the past.

And the future.

And the present.

And, well, everything.

Both Siderism Remains The Last Refuge Of Conservative Scoundrels


Whether it's the umpteenth unhinged email you've debunked and thrown back at your Crazy Uncle Liberty or the umpteenth lie that has blown up in the face of Fox News' Number One Treason-Monger...


...another racist, seditious fairy tales goes up in smoke leaving a Conservative cornered by his own words, the response is always the same.

Indignant shock, because Who On Earth Could Have Predicted...? --
Hannity admitted he’s incredibly “pissed off” about the whole thing, saying, “His comments are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me.” He said that plenty of conservatives have been supporting Bundy’s case because of sincere beliefs about eminent domain abuse but now they’ll all be “branded because of the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments by Cliven Bundy.”
-- which is always, immediately and loudly followed by, "But the Libruls are wooooooorse!"
Hannity cried, “Every conservative that I know does not support racism, period!” He said liberals “get a pass” for this sort of thing, but made it clear unlike hypocrites on the left, “I find it repugnant no matter who it comes from.”
This will be followed by another day of pro-forma repudiation, followed by a day of radio silence and Fox News memory-zapping White Noise distractions (Benghaaaazi!  Keystone!  Fast and Furious!  IRS!...[Surprise! It's already begun.]) , after which the Strategic Forgettery that is our basic Beltway media default setting will kick back in.  Cliven Bundy will cease to exist entirely and we'll get back to Roger Ailes' employees being taken seriously as they whiiiine that Libruls are the real racists.

There are times when both sides -- when many sides -- are wrong or mistaken or damnfool.  However these are overwhelmingly outweighed by the many, many, many more times when the Right is clearly wrong and/or insane and/or actively destructive and/or acting in bad faith.

Which is why pundits and public intellectuals who use their positions of privilege and influence to deliberately cripple our ability to address national problems by reflexively responding to every Conservative atrocity with "Both Sides Do It"

are the worst people in America.

Whine's World

Young Conservative Supermen rise and fall so fast these days that you have to look quickly or you might miss them.   Like very, very stupid virtual particles they do not necessarily have much in the way of mass, but they always conserve wingnut energy (Ermehgerd!  Librul fascists are destroying Murrica!) and wingnut momentum (Why yes, I would love to discuss my atavistic views on Fox News!)

This week's hero was a Reaganbaby named Jason Veley (from the Rudest Pundit of us all):
Brent Terry is a part-time adjunct professor in the English Department of Eastern Connecticut State University. In case you don't know, "adjunct instructor" is the lowest rung possible in the hierarchy of academia. Everyone from the maintenance staff to the Associate Provost's ball washer has more job security. Part-time adjuncts are treated as disposable at best, as indentured servants at worst. They are professors who are trying to cobble together a living from benefit-free teaching gigs, often at more than one college in the area. They are paid shitty wages, and, generally, they teach most of the classes at many colleges since they cover the basic ones every student must take. Except in rare cases where they have some union representation, they have no power and must hope that there are classes available on a semester-by-semester basis. Surely, there are crack whores in an alley, blowing their tenth scabby cock of the night, thinking, "Well, this is better than being an adjunct."

But, apparently, Prof. Terry was good at his job. His comments and ratings at Rate My Professor were pretty damn positive prior to this week. "Before his class I hated poetry and I now have a respect for it," wrote one student. "Terry is a little out there but overall he's a really nice guy, who really loves his poetry!" said another. It's that "little out there" that ended up pissing off one brave Republican student.

In an Introduction to Creative Writing course, Terry went on a calm, reasonable, and absolutely biased tangent on how "racist, misogynists, money-grubbing people have so much power over the rest of us. And want things to go back not to 1955 but to 1855. There are a lot of people out there that do not want black people to vote, do not want Latinos to vote, do not want old people to vote or young people to vote. Because generally people like you are liberals." This was recorded by conservative student Jayson Veley, who obviously turned it over to Campus Reform, the clearing house for pathetic whiners who can't stand to have any ideas but their own informing the opinions of the precious, delicate angels who are in college. This led to a Fox "news" hategasm, of course, of course.
As a former adjunct professor, I can confirm that it is one step above living under a bridge and selling your blood for soup-and-paperback-copies-of-Cat's-Cradle money.  As to the poor Jason's deep, emotional trauma, well he brought it in himself.  Everybody know that if you're a wingnut podling barely out of puberty and looking to spend four years in a place where no one will ever challenge your idiotic opinions, well, that's why White Jebus made Bob Jones University.  But nooo, our boy Jason had to fuck up and go to state school where I'm sure they inflict all kindsa heresy on his beautiful mind.

Still, its not like he's some public-access cable teevee junior wingnut troll looking to make the jump to Fox!News! lightspeed by gutting some professor for saying something that made him uncomfortable.

Oh wait.  Turns out, its exactly like that:
Update: As rude reader RJD points out, Veley can safely go fuck some scum. Yeah, it seems that this innocent, young student who was ear-raped by his commie professor is an aspiring right-wing talk radio host, a Hannity wannabe, who had appeared on Glenn Beck's hate vomit show in 2010. He calls his online show "The Junior Factor." Extra points: He wrote a column calling liberals "racists." So he was trying to destroy Terry in order to advance his career. And, thus, he can go fuck himself with his microphone.
Whine's World.
Party Time.

The Grand Dragon of the Tribe That Rubs Shit In Their Hair -- UPDATE Of Course There's Video

Longtime readers know that "The Tribe That Rubs Shit In Their Hair" is my shorthand for inbred Conservative meatsticks who have wallowed in wingnut Hate Radio racist dung and Fox News Liberal Conspiracy claptrap for so long that is has become the quotidian argot of their wretched lives.  It is their tavern-talk -- their worst, paranoid delusions, externalized, validated, tarted up as The Unvarnished Truth and then regurgitated back to them by ghouls and treason-mongers like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly... which are, in turn, passed around again like so many fish stories, getting bigger and wilder and truthier with iteration.   

It is the shit they eagerly rub in their hair -- the shit which, year after year, they sculpt into ever more elaborate pompadours because everyone else in their dingy, lightless corner of Universe is doing it and they lost their sense of smell 40 years ago.

They preen over each other.  They are happy in each other's company.  They praise each other on the little, individual touches with which they have customized their Shitheap Toupees -- an extra layer of Benghaaaazi, perhaps, appliqued over something something the New Black Panther Party because ACORN!.

And all is right with the world...right up until they leave the cocoon of their Wingnut Pig Sty and step into the normal world, where they are Shocked!Shocked! that ordinary people flee from them in horror.
Republican politicians began backtracking on their support of Nevada anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy after the New York Times caught Bundy making racially-inflammatory remarks blaming African-Americans for willingly submiting to dependency on federal assistance.

“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton,” Bundy was quoted as saying to a group of supporters last Saturday. “And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Bundy’s statements about “the Negro,” published on Wednesday, were made during his daily speech to supporters outside Bunkerville, Nevada, where a crowd gathered to support him in defiance of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during an attempted round up of his cattle. The confrontation was the result of Bundy’s refusal to pay grazing fees on federally-owned land for more than 20 years, in spite of multiple court rulings against him. Bundy has stated on several occasions that he does not recognize the existence of the federal government.
And this is the great conflict at the heart of being a Conservative in the world.  Conservatism's Media Brain Caste has taught you to embrace your Inner Klansman and be Out and Proud as a pig-ignorant wingnut chum-bucket...while the gutless, weak-ass fuckers of Conservatism's Political Brain Caste would pretty please like you to shut the fuck up about it when you're talking to anyone with press credentials.

Speaking as a Liberal, I must say I wholeheartedly support Conservatism's Media Brain Caste in this regard.

Keep talking, Cliven, and pay no heed to what those Commies say!  Your hair is lustrous, freedom-loving, a million-miles long and smells just like Jesus.


Because he's a Genuine Conservative Christian Murrican Patriot, now that Cliven Bundy has dialed into the fact that parading his giant, racist freak flag in front of the national press wasn't the brightest idea he's ever had, he is, of course, trying to walk some of the worst of it back:
During a Thursday appearance on conspiracy theory enthusiast Alex Jones’ radio show, Cliven Bundy tried to lessen the damage to his reputation wrought by a New York Times reportshowing him to be almost comically racist by claiming the Times misquoted him.
“No, I did not say picking cotton,” Bundy told Jones, according to an audio clip posted by journalist Adrian Chen. Bundy didn’t deny he said all the other stuff quoted in the New York Times — about African-Americans hanging out on porches, blithely aborting babies, being less free than when they were slaves, etc. — but insisted he never brought up cotton.
And because it is 2014 and not 1854, there exists something called a "video tape" which shows what a lying sack of shit this Conservative Christian Murrican Patriot really is:

Or, as future Republican presidential front runner Ted Cruz put it,

just another victim of this 'Tragic Culmination' Of Obama's 'Jackboot of Authoritarianism'

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hey Look!

Another documentary about how Hate Radio/Fox News has helped turned the Right into an army of bilious, ignorant, skull-fucked zombies.

I got half-way through writing this post before I realized I was wrong and reversed myself.

Here was my initial take --
I'm sure it is a fine film -- the trailer looks good and I'm sure once the Underground smuggles a copy into God's Country, I'll watch it with great satisfaction.  In someone's basement.  With the blackout shades pulled.  And Full Metal Jacket playing loudly on the teevee upstairs.  Just to be safe.

That being said, I have no idea who the target audience is for this sort of film.  I mean, sure, Liberals will watch it, but we're already members of the choir.  Already on the team.  And if that is the only group of people you want to reach, then way to go.  Nothing wrong with making a sorta Liberal political/art-house film for the discerning few.

But I would assume that, as a Liberal, the goal would be to make it as accessible as possible to a wider audience than just those people who already agree with you completely

Which is why I wonder what Chomsky is doing on the screen.  Now if for some ultra-complex reason I cannot pretend to understand, the filmmaker's strategy is to make sure that no one outside the already small circle of Liberals -- my circle -- pays any heed to this film whatsoever, except to ignore it and deride it, then I can think of no better person to put on-screen than Noam Chomsky (unless you have access to the reanimated corpse of Saul Alinsky.)

I'm sure I'll agree with almost everything Mr. Chomsky will say.  I'm sure I will nod my head.  I might even mutter a "Hell, yeah!" if the spirit moves me, but if the intended audience is anyone other than me, then I am baffled by the decision to include someone to whose presence -- unfairly or not -- signifies to anyone not in our club that they need not bother to pay any attention to anything they are about to see...
But you know what?

Screw it.

We live in an age where any documentary, essay, white paper or humble blog post that even hints that the Right has been bred into an army of bilious, ignorant, skull-fucked zombies is going to be ignored by the multitudes and dismissed and sneered at by the Beltway and the Right anyway, so have at it!

Congratulations Digby!

2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism

Heather “Digby” Parton grew up all over the world as the daughter of a peripatetic employee of the vast American Military Industrial complex. After a traditional 1970s-style misspent youth and fitful education, she landed in Hollywood and spent a couple of decades as an executive in the film industry, pushing the usual paper and making the usual deals. Out of a need to vent her frustration with the state of America's politics, she began writing daily political analysis, punditry, random musings and snark on her website “Hullabaloo” in 2002. It soon turned into a full-time vocation, obsession, and, surprisingly, a new career.

Digby became one of the leading innovators of the new form of writing called “political blogging,” most succinctly defined as an informal but in-depth rolling conversation about the issues of the day. In the process, she caught the attention of columnists such as James Wolcott, who declared “Digby’s blog is a Paul Revere gallop through the pitched night of the Bush years,” and Paul Krugman, who frequently linked to her posts, introducing her as "the blogger Digby — who is, by the way, one of the best writers you’ll ever encounter, on or off the Internet." She gained a devoted following among political junkies of all stripes that lasts until this day.

Her blog has influenced many of the next generation of liberal intellectuals and journalists ...
Great news and well-deserved.

Now I double-blog-dare ya to turn your comment section back on :-)