Thursday, May 23, 2024

Professional Left Podcast Episode 806: There Is No News Cycle, Only Zuul.

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." -- James Baldwin


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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Professional Left Podcast Episode #805: No Fair Remembering The Friedman Unit

“"On this issue of the Shia in Iraq, I think there's been a certain amount of, frankly, a kind of pop sociology in America that, you know, somehow the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."” -- Bill Kristol, April 1, 2003


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First They Mock You, Then They Block You...

...then they rip you off and pretend you never existed

Ol' Tom Nichols really, really hated it when I'd pop up on social media to remind him of the Republican Party's incredibly problematic past.  After all, you know the rule:

So he called me a few names and might have invoked Angela Davis or 1970 or some such and,  inevitably, he blocked me.  

Hey, here's a Fun Fact:  Tom Nichols was nine years old in 1970 and yet he seems to have an encyclopedic "memory" of the alleged horrors of the hippie years as they had been were masticated and spit into his mouth mama-bird style by Conservative media for decades.  But Tom was a grown-ass man in his early 30s when lying, racist, demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich became the powerbrokers of his beloved Republican Party, and yet he seems to have had no reaction to his party being taken over by proto-Trump monsters at the time, nor any memory of that at all since.

Man, these Elite Republican Experts on American Politics sure do live in a funny, lucrative little world.

However, as was bound to happen, the post-Trump memory hole itself eventually got to be such a yawning chasm of lost moments that the same Never Trumpers who excoriated us dirty hippies for having the temerity to remember their pasts are now opening up their own Little Shoppe o' Inconvenient Recollections.  

The difference being The Atlantic had no interest whatsoever in publishing us dirty hippies dredging up the long, depraved and very inconvenient trajectory the GOP has been on for decades that led, at last, to Trump.

On the other hand, in The Atlantic just yesterday...

The MAGA Memory Hole
Many Republicans continue their collective amnesia about Trump.

By Tom Nichols

For years, leading Republicans have chosen to let their memory lapse about things they once said about Donald Trump. It’s a disingenuous forgetting that has deepened since Trump went on trial in New York.

Ahh!  It's caveat like "about Trump" and "things they once said about Donald Trump" and "since Trump went on trial" that make it pure, Never Trumper art.

Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, works for the totalitarian Ministry of Truth, where his assignment is to produce lies. He rewrites history so that whatever the regime says today cannot be contradicted by something it might have said yesterday. (He ensures, for example, that Big Brother’s “Order for the Day” announcements about the regime’s achievements match up with everything the leader predicted in previous statements, and he excises any untidy references in the state media to people who have been arrested and disappeared.) Once history is fixed, Winston drops contradictory materials into “the memory hole,” a small opening near every desk that leads to a furnace, where the inconvenient past is quickly incinerated...

For me, the article cut off there because the rest is behind a paywall.  And I will be goddamned if I'm going to dip into my very shallow tip jar to pay money to read a poor cover-band version of what I've been writing at this blog for 20 years by a guy who shit on me and my readers and then blocked me for daring to vivisect the Republican Memory Hole before he was through using it.  

 This is why I said we needed to...

Burn The Lifeboats!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The Road To Dumb-Ass-Kiss (tm) Edition


Despite the staggering amount of evidence that's now piled up high enough to blot out the Sun, way too many people continue to use words like "embarrassing" and "humiliating" when describing the actions of Republican sociopaths.

But, of course, Republican sociopaths like lil' Marco, who appeared on Meet the Press today, aren't wired to feel normal human emotions.  He's wired to Gish Gallop false equivalences as fast as possible right over anyone asking any questions that might trigger embarrassment in a normal human.  

We're now fast approaching the 20th anniversary of a little joke I first told back when I was but a mere (long-winded) commenter at the late Steve Gilliard's News Blog.  You know the one:

Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.

What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?

“But the Democrats!”

Decades ago, once they figured out that this was a nearly-foolproof hack of the mainstream media, every Republican politician became this joke in human form. 

This was Lil' Marco back 2016 (h/t  Crooks & Liars:)

Rubio Reflexively Blames 'Both Sides' For Violence At Trump Rallies

And this was my write-up of Lil' Marco's appearance on The Daily Show in 2012.  I believe he still holds the land-speed record for most Both Siderisms in the shortest time for this performance.

Centrism Triumphant

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

"Both sides..."

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

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."

"That's just politics..."

"The Democrats left us no choice..."

"Both sides..."

"Democrats and Republicans..."

"Both sides..."

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."

And so forth, to the point of being comical.

Like every other Republican culture war criminal, Senator Rubio has been conditioned within an inch of his life to always answer any question about the unique perfidy and hypocrisy of his political Party with the Big Lie of Centrism and to refuse to stop repeating the Big Lie of Centrism until the questions stop regardless of circumstances....

Nothing has changed, except for the worse, which is why continuing to give these lying scum any platform anywhere is folly.  As I said, Republicans not wired to feel normal human emotions.  They respond only to a voracious hunger for power which normal humans will never understand, and the kind of abject terror which no teevee program host has the power to muster.   

Which is why, in their political heliotropism (look it up) they will always turn away from decency and democracy and towards Trump.  Because only Trump and his mob genuinely terrify them, and conversely, they believe that only Trump and his mob can grant them the kind of power that they crave above everything else.

So when filthy like Rubio or Lindsey Graham or J.D. Vance are invited on the Sunday Shows, don't imagine for a second that they're gonna get got. 

The old Tim Russert The "Gotcha Question" schtick of playing some politician's old tapes from when they held a different position ack to them, then cocking an eyebrow and saying, "Well, senator...?" is as dead as Dillinger because the Republicans no longer feel any shame at what they are doing.  

There is no hope that some last tiny shred of conscience or dignity they have retained will, at the 11th hour, suddenly upwell in their chests.  Then, like Senator Paine in last reel of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, out will pour confessions of complicity and criminality and guilt.

Sorry, kids.  Never gonna happen.  Because their appearance on the Sunday Shows has nothing to do with you or me or the facts or the past.  Instead, those appearances are all about showing the meathead base that they're willing to march into the belly of the Liberal Media Beast and tell those lying Biden puppets to fuck off.  

And even more importantly, those appearances are all about making a public showing to Donald Trump that they have had a genuine Road To Dumb-Ass-Kiss conversion.  That they renounce everything they ever pretended to believe in and now wholeheartedly accept Donald Trump as their personal lord and savior, and will do literally anything to secure for him the seat of power which was stolen (or "stollen") from him by the Cheating Democrats and their Fake Media.

I Am The Liberal Media

Friday, May 17, 2024

Chris Cillizza is the Mark Halperin of Howard Kurtzes

I don't need to tell you about Chris Cillizza. Everybody knows about Chris Cillizza. Chris Cillizza is a well-studied and understood phenomenon within the Elite Pundit media universe.

Hack of the first water.

Pillar of Both Siderism

Possibly single greatest promulgator of Hillary Clinton email garbage.  From Media Matters

50 Headlines That Reveal Wash. Post Reporter Chris Cillizza's Obsession With The Clinton Email Story

Chris Cillizza has written more than 50 posts mentioning Hillary Clinton's emails since March on his Washington Post politics blog The Fix, nearly all of them issuing dire warnings about the supposedly “massive political problem.”

The New York Times first wrote about Clinton's email during her tenure at the State Department on March 2, when they falsely reported she had violated federal requirements by using a private email account. Since then, mainstream media outlets have attempted to find some scandal in the email story, often pushing various falsehoods and being forced to issue corrections after the fact. To date, there has been no evidence of any lawbreaking.

Cillizza has been a major contributor to this effort, repeatedly claiming the email story “just keeps getting worse” and that it's “not going away,” while claiming Clinton has an “honesty problem” and should “start panicking.”

Just this week, Cillizza wrote a post headlined “Just when you thought the e-mail story couldn't get worse for Hillary Clinton ...” The post misleadingly tried to repackage old email stories as new developments in the “scandal.” 

And then one day CNN had had enough and fired him.  


But as we know, there is a Club.  And members of the Club are not expected to be sidelined for long (unless they've been credibly outed as a sex pest) because keeping Club members in the Club is, y'know, the reason the Club exists.  


So anyway, Chris Cillizza is now floating around out there on SubStack and Twitter, issuing communiques and publishing mission statements of principles and generally scratching at the Clubhouse door like a dog that wants back in now!now!now!

So where does Chris Cillizza turn to maybe get the Club's Reputation Rehabilitation Laundromat working its magic for good ol' Chris?  

Where else but to show up once again as the honored guest of MSNBC's most famous subdivision (from today) --

-- and the home of our new "allies"! (from February, 2024):

So I shall make to you the same promise I made in February.  That no matter how precarious our finances become over here at this little blog. I can solemnly promise is that we will never, ever have Chris Fucking Cillizza on as an honored guest as we conduct the latest of twenty different thought experiments and gaming outs and bitch sessions and prattling claptrap roundtables about Joe Biden stepping aside.

Never, never, never, not ever.

And that, once again. is a driftglass promise from me to you.  

Now I'm not saying that Chris Cillizza should be unemployed forever.  Despite the massive harm he's done to this country and to the profession of journalism, wishing that on him would be cruel and wrong.  

But I am saying...

I Am The Liberal Media

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Professional Left Podcast Episode 804: Trump's Dress-Alike Ventriloquist Dummies

"Punish the monkey/ And let the organ grinder go" -- Mark Knopfler


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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Words Like "America" and "Americans" and "Voters" Really Need a Restraining Order

Because too many fucking pundits with meaningless make-work pundit jobs debase and abuse the shit out of those words because they're too fucking lazy... speak with precision about the nature of the threat to our democracy.  

I Am The Liberal Media

Who is Tom Homan?

He's the guy in this picture shaking Trump's hand.

This is from Americas Voice, which is a pro-immigration group.

Immigration 101: Who is Tom Homan?

Tom Homan was the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal immigration agency responsible for arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants, from 2017 to 2018. Since leaving the Trump Administration, Homan has associated with hate groups and has been a vocal messenger of white nationalist conspiracy theories. Homan recently told the New York Times he would “agree to come back” in a second Trump term and “run the largest deportation operation this country’s ever seen.” 

Under Trump, Tom Homan was notorious for wanting to prosecute elected officials and directed the department to mass-deport immigrants regardless of priorities. “You should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried,” Homan warned undocumented families in 2017. During a speech the following year, he bragged that he was “enjoying” then-President Trump’s deportation agenda.

In late 2023, Tom Homan went on Fox news to discuss historic levels of deportation under a possible Trump second term. He stated, “No one’s off the table [for deportation]. If you’re in the country illegally in violation of immigration law, you are a target.” He continued by saying, “I’m not fooling myself into thinking we can remove twenty million people. But, you know, we’re going to give it one hell of a shot and remove as many as we can.“

Since at least 2018, Tom Homan has been a readily-available anti-immigrant Fox News contributor, where he has profusely spread the dangerous and violence-inducing white nationalist narrative of a migrant “invasion” at the border. Homan blamed Biden for a rise in border apprehensions months before the 2020 election even took place, and continued to talk about an “invasion” as an “intentional” move by the Biden Administration.

This is from Newsweek, March 03, 2023:

Trump's ICE Director Doesn't Care About Families Separated at Border

During his time as acting director of ICE, Homan was in charge of the early version of
Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration enforcement policy that detained and criminally
charged adults who crossed the border into the U.S. without permission. Detained adults
who entered with children had those children taken from them, which generated much
controversy and criticism because families found diculty in reconnecting later since the
government didn't have a system in place for reunification.

"I'm sick and tired of hearing about the family separation," Homan said at CPAC. "I'm still
being sued over that.... I don't give a s***, right? Bottom line is, we enforced the law."

Homan, though, indicated during his remarks at CPAC that he did not have much
sympathy for parents who are separated from their children when they enter the U.S.
without permission.

"When I was a cop in New York and I arrested a father for domestic violence or someone
for DUI [driving under the inuence], I separated that family," he said. "When you violate
the law with a child, you're going to be separated."

"They chose to separate themselves," Homan added.

So why bring you the bio of this thug?

Because just days ago, right here in Sangamon County, just a couple of miles from where Lincoln is buried,  for the low-low price of just $50, you could've heard this fascist goon expound on the glories of Donald Trump and how much he looks forward to getting back into the mass deportation business if Trump slimes his way back to power in November.

Yes, in keeping with it's long and shameful tradition of paying the worst people to come to town to fire up the local Republican meatheads, last week Homan was the keynote speaker at the annual Sangamon County Lincoln Day fundraising dinner.

Here were your donation options:

$125 per person Reservation for Dinner & Program

$50 per person VIP Reception (must include dinner purchase) Meet & Greet the Speaker

$1000 per couple – Secure Border Roundtable with Speaker Tom Homan and Other Officials

Here were your Sponsorship options:

$2000 Lincoln Great Table seating closest to the stage. Dinner for ten (10). Complimentary Wine, Gift Basket. Name listed in program and on video display.

$1500 Presidential Choice Table and Dinner for ten (10). Name listed in program and on video display.

$750 Legislative Five (5) dinner reservations. Name listed in program and on video display.

$150 Railsplitter Sponsorship only – no dinner reservation. Name listed in program.

Because I wrote about it last year and because we mentioned it on our podcast last year, some of you may remember that last year the Sangamon County's GOP Lincoln Day dinner headline was serial liar and David Plouffe's new bestest podcast buddy, Kelleyanne Conway.

From our local paper:

Kellyanne Conway, an advisor of former President Donald Trump, will be the keynote speaker of the Sangamon County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner.

Sangamon County GOP chair Dianne Barghouti Hartwick said the dinner, scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 3, has been a fundraiser for the party dating back more than 100 years. Tickets begin at $125 per person for the dinner with photo opportunities available for $50 each.

The year before that, it was Charlie Kirk, which I wrote about at the time.

And before Chuckles Kirk it was Candace Owens, which I also wrote about at the time

And before that it was Jason Chaffetz, one-time congressperson and current Fox News troll who now lives in Donald Trump's underwear drawer, which, yep, wrote about that one too.

The year before that it was Fox News in-house train-wreck/barfly,  Jeanine Pirro.  Wrote about that.

The year before that wingnut-network-job-hopper and H.R. Haldeman stunt-double, Corey Lewandowski.

The year before that, in 2016, it was none other than Fox News prime-time Gorgon and Keith Olbermann's former girlfriend, Laura Ingraham.
And on and on and on.

If you were ever curious about how we out here in the cornfields have been so consistently, dead-on accurate for decades with our predictions about the trajectory of the Republican Party, while our elite professional political media has been so repeatedly and catastrophically wrong about the GOP, it's really pretty simple.  Unlike our our elite professional political media, we actually live out here in the real world, chock-a-block with real Republicans who have never been shy about what they really believe.   

In fact, as I write this, the Hugh Hewitt Show is playing on one of the two big radio station in the area.  He's on 9AM-12PM, Monday through Friday.  And if I don't want to listen to Hewitt, I can always tune in to the other big radio station in the area where, at this moment, the Brian Kilmeade Show is playing.  He's on 9AM-11AM, Monday through Friday.  

Later in the day, on the first station, you get Sean Hannity followed by Mark Levin.  

Later in the day on the other station you get Dana Loesch followed by Erick Erickson 

The first station pads out it's weekend offerings with America First with Sebastian Gorka, The Larry Kudlow Show, Newsmax's own Chris Plante on the Chris Plante Show and, hilariously. The Weekend with Michael [Heckuva Job, Brownie] Brown.

The second station takes it's foot off the wingnut gas over the weeked with shows like American Family Farmer,  Let’s Talk Cosmetic Dentistry and The Jesus Christ Show, but it does find room late on Sunday night for Judge Jeanine Pirro.

This is the ambient radio environment out here in much of the real world -- the poison that Republicans out here in the real world are steeping in every day --  and it's been this way for going on 40 years now. 

And there is absolutely no fucking way to fail to notice it, unless your job as an elite political media professional is to deliberately fail to notice it.  

I Am The Liberal Media