Friday, January 13, 2017

Professional Left Podcast #370

"He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense."
-- Joseph Conrad, writer



Habitat Vic said...

Conservatives about to bulldoze the press? The majority of them won't do a God damn thing about it. Hell, they'll line up in front of the 'dozer blade and tie their shoelaces to each other.

Just in the span of 15 minutes this Saturday morning:

1) Panel talking about Repubs running wild & ignoring protocols (background checks, etc) on Cabinet nominees/hearings. Of course, the moderator has to bring up "didn't Democrats do the same when Obama came into office and the Dems controlled all three chambers?" All the 30-somethings agreed the Dems had done the same, and the moderator proudly piped up that "Dems changed the confirmation requirements from 2/3 of the Senate to only a simple majority." Then, for good measure, one of the panelists threw in that Obamacare was rammed through without allowing any input from Republicans. OK, every point is a lie. In 2009 Dems changed the cloture threshold from 67 down to 60 - the final vote was/remained at 50, as always. All of Obama's nominees met the vetting requirements - demanded by Mitch Fucking McTrurtle, no less. Repubs put in 161 amendments into the ACA. So much either incorrect, misleading or outright lying in 2 minutes, I feel gish galloped.

2) Discussing FBI's Comey: Bring in a former Deputy Attorney General, Stanley Pottinger, for his opinion on if Comey did anything wrong. Of course he didn't, though Pottinger allowed that "the optics may make Comey seem hypocritical," but actually he's been very consistent and professional. Never once did they mention Pottinger was Deputy AG under Nixon/Ford, nor his conservative bona fides. Total rightwinger, except he's sorta OK with civil rights and LGBT (compared to modern day Repubs). So he gets to douse water on any burning issues with today's FBI without being challenged.

Yep, Both Sides, people. Dems rammed through unvetted/insane nominees back in 2009. Nothing to see on this FBI & Comey thing either. And this is on MSNBC, for chrissakes.

To paraphrase Charlie Pierce, I so despair of the main stream media's refocusing efforts.

proverbialleadballoon said...

“There have been various reports about Trump’s ties to Russia,” the officer said in reference to other unpublished reports. “The dossier is one of them, but there are others, they make other allegations. Some are more specific, and some are less. You can trust me that many intelligence agencies are trying to evaluate the extent to which Trump might have ties, or a weakness of some type, to Russia.”

"I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him," Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said as he left the meeting in the Capitol.

"Some of the things that were revealed in this classified briefing — my confidence has been shook."

This story needs to run through the weekend, through next week, during Trump's inauguration, and keep going after that, until Trump's ties to Russia are established out in the open, whatever they are. Does he owe money to Russian banks, and that's why he's so chummy with Putin? That's pretty likely. Is he a Russian asset? It's fucking outrageous to think about, yet it explains everything very nicely. We do know that he likes to get peed on, that turns him on, there's that. Salacious. Every news agency in America got scooped by Buzzfeed. That there are maybe other dossiers with maybe more allegations is promising. That stunt he pulled, refusing to answer CNN's question, good. Maybe the press will see that it's time to show some backbone, because it's personal, and if they don't have each other's backs, they are all sunk. And not only that, if the story is there, someone is going to tell it. Who wants to be Woodward and Bernstein?

dinthebeast said...

OK I just want to say something about multipliers. While I will believe you when you say that a healthcare job doesn't have the multiplier that a manufacturing job has, measured job vs. job, healthcare jobs under the ACA have a different multiplier that needs to be considered, and I am hobbling, typing, evidence of its reality.
The stroke I had in 2008 has so far cost the taxpayers right around $350,000. What it has cost the economy is a little murkier, but let's just say that I would have earned and spent a few dollars in the past nine years, and paid a few in taxes as well. I've worked my ass off to recover, but I'm still not employable yet, nor will I be in the foreseeable future.
I am one of the 795,000 US citizens who have strokes each year, and that number keeps piling onto itself as many of us don't return to the workforce/tax base by the next calendar year.
Had I any access to the most basic of checkups between 2005 and 2008, I would have known that my blood pressure had risen to 160/100 and been able to correct it with the medication I now take daily, thus avoiding the stroke altogether, along with all of the damage it did to the economy, my life, and the lives of those close to me.
As many of the healthcare jobs created by the ACA were of the preventative medicine/outreach variety, I feel that those dollars spent most likely had a return almost out of the realm of measurability. And that's for ONE preventable disease out of all of them.
There, I'll hobble down off of my short little soapbox now, but these days I try not to miss any chances to point out the deal we got with the ACA, even with all of its shortcomings.
Your podcast continues to be a light shining through an ever darkening landscape, so thank you for that.

-Doug in Oakland

VonWenk said...

When Helen Thomas was moved to the back of the briefing room for actually acting like a journalist, I don't recall the press corps making a fuss, and when David Gregory pressed White House Spokesman Tony Snow for an answer to his question, NBC trotted him out on Meet the Press like a trained puppy and had him apologize to Snow. The one time I remember the press circling the wagons was around Fox News when the Obama Administration said they weren't a news outlet and wasn't going to give them credentials to a press gathering.

Of course the press is more concerned with their careers than the integrity of their profession or the fate of the country, because if they did unify and refuse to ask Trump a question to protest his treatment of Jim Acosta, their outlets would fire and replace them.

If the Trump White House were to eject the White House Press Corps, I wouldn't have a problem with that if I thought their lack of access would motivate them into being the adversarial watchdog they're supposed to be, but, from past experience, I suspect they would just whimper a bit and soft-peddle their coverage the Trump White House even more.