Friday, September 30, 2016

David Brooks: Less Than Zero




These days, literally everything about life as a human in the world seems to pain Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times.

Well, maybe not the affections of young and stupefied admirers, but just about everything else on this planet of Earth keeps him in a constant state of low-grade simpering agony, as if he were perpetually trying to pass a kidney stone the size of Edmund Burke's snuff box.

Fortunately. as William Makepeace Thackeray once observed, "Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you" and, as it happily turns out, affecting a pose of constant, snippy disappointment with every social and political institution in American is perfectly comparable with Mr. David Brooks' Great Project: amassing great big piles of wealth and influence by radically rewriting the history of American Conservatism to remove all the icky bits.  

Like, for example, today.

With his Great Project (of pretending that the last 40 years of Conservatism never happened) gravely endangered by the clear and self-evident fact that a blathering, racist fire-demon is now in charge of his Republican Party,  Mr. Brooks has had to temporarily set aside his pastoral duties as Pope Bias the First, Bishop of the Acela Corridor (aka, Vicar of Both Sides, Successor of the Prince of the Kristols, Supreme Pontiff of the Washington Beltway, Primate of Fake Centrism, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Humility, Sovereign of True Conservatism's City State and Servant of the servants of the Church of Lyin'tology) and get back to the serious, secular sludge-work of Both Sidering the shit out of this election,

And what is a more perfectly Brooksian way to do that than peevishly bitching about how horribly each candidate has failed to live up to what Mr. Brooks contends were the twin apexes of American Hopefulness in the 20th Century:  the 1960's of the dirty hippies remembered for Kennedy, NASA, Civil Rights and the Great Society, and the 1980's, an era of  Iran-Contra, Gordon Gekko, the Saving-and-Loan Debacle and Mr. Brooks having all his hair, getting laid for the first time on a regular basis and discovering a tribe of fellow, pecksniffing Young Conservative Fogies to call home.

And so, in Mr. Brooks' ongoing fairy tale of the imaginary past which never was, invariably the fault for all bad thing that have happened in the last 30 years must be equally divided between the 1960s and the 1980s:
The twin revolutions of the 1960s and the 1980s liberated the individual — first socially and then economically — and weakened the community. More surprising, this boomer-versus-boomer campaign has decimated idealism...
The dogma of Mr, Brooks' Both Siderism simply will not allow the real problem with this election to be what it obviously is -- the terrifying manifestation of the longstanding Republican media/electoral strategy of stocking the Party to the rafters with bigots an imbeciles and keeping those bigots and imbeciles whipped into a perpetual state mindless rage and paranoia.  The dogma of Mr, Brooks' Both Siderism simply cannot tolerate a version of history in which his Republican Party has suffered a complete, collective psychotic break with reality due to 30 years of relentless wingnut pandering and propaganda in which he so enthusiastically participated.

And so, in Mr. Brooks' radically whitewashed version of history, the only acceptable explanation for what has gone so drastically wrong with this election is that the Two Last Defenders of our Two Camelots -- the 1960s and the 1980s -- must have both equally let us all down.

So terribly, terribly down.

Obviously the myriad personality disorders of the GOP's blathering, racist fire-demon are on public display every day and around the clock, so Mr. Brooks doesn't have to break much trail to jot down a few highlights:
As we saw on Monday night, Trump now represents capitalism degraded to pure selfishness. He treats other people like objects and lies with abandon. Proud to be paying no taxes while others foot the bill, proud to have profited off the housing bust that caused so much suffering, he lacks even the barest conception of civic life and his responsibilities to it.
But in order to complete the ritual Both Siderist incantation, Mr. Brooks must invent a reason to indict Hillary Clinton as roughly equally unfit -- either a monster-in-disguise or a tragically failed, spent force. Which is a helluva lift given that she really has devoted her entire life to public service, especially on behalf of women and children.

Which is why ultimately Mr, Brooks had to go with the Admiral Motti gambit:  Don't try to impress us with your hippie ways, Madam Secretary. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the Grand Bargain of my dreams, or given you clairvoyance enough to appeal to Imaginary Independents.


From Mr. Brooks:
...Clinton can be a devastatingly good counterpuncher, but she lacks the human touch when talking about the nation’s problems, and fails to make an emotional connection.

When asked why she wants to be president or for any positive vision, she devolves into a list of programs. And it is never enough just to list three programs in an answer; she has to pile in an arid hodgepodge of eight or nine. This is pure interest-group liberalism — buying votes with federal money — not an inspiring image of the common good.
So with that, the ritual incantation can be completed:
There is no uplift in this race. There is an entire absence, in both campaigns, of any effort to appeal to the higher angels of our nature. There is an assumption, in both campaigns, that we are self-seeking creatures, rather than also loving, serving, hoping, dreaming, cooperating creatures. There is a presumption in both candidates that the lowest motivations are the most real.
And Mr. Brooks can disappear up his own ass in cloud of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-metaphysical argle-bargle:
At some point there will have to be a new vocabulary and a restored anthropology, emphasizing love, friendship, faithfulness, solidarity and neighborliness that pushes people toward connection rather than distrust.
There is no more glib and successful fraud working the high end of the wingnut welfare scam that Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times.

And all it has cost him is his soul.

Professional Left Podcast #356


"Don't sell me America."
--   Harry Stoner, Save The Tiger


Links:

Today In Republican Detachment Disorder: George Will



As we have noted before, now that the base of the Republican Party has burrowed its way out of the basement and into the sunlight where the whole world can see it for the bigoted, toxic hellbeast that it has always been, the Conservatives who have profited handsomely by cultivating this monster in the dark for decades and are scuttling madly away from the crime scene all exhibit the same pattern of outraged and hysterical denial:
First, they make a giant, reeking mess.

Then they abandon it.

Then the immediately begin bitching about how the help isn't cleaning it up fast enough.
However when I wrote this about George Will back in June when he flamouantly quit the Republican Party. I neglected to mention the fourth component of the Conservative alibi -- that its all the Dirty Hippie's fault anyway!  From Mr. Will, buried way down deep in his dyspeptic Washington Post claptrap yesterday:
A demagogue’s success requires a receptive demos, and Trump’s ascendancy reflects progressivism’s success in changing America’s social norms and national character by de-stigmatizing dependency.
Pop the hood on a Conservative and beneath the sneers and pomposity you'll find a childish, tantrum-throwing twit who would rather saw his own arm off than take responsibility for disasters they helped top create.

The .22 Caliber Mind In a .357 Magnum World



The late Steve Gilliard used to say, "When your enemy is drowning, throw them an anvil"

I wonder what he would say about a candidate so unhinged that he comes self-anvilizing?  Or about a Republican Party so deeply fucked-in-the-head that is could look at this raving, racist con man and say "Yeah!  That's my guy!"

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Truest Thing So Far



What with the Beltway media reduced to curling into a collective, catatonic fetal position and shouting random poll numbers, and the Republican Party overrun by the zombies and hobgoblins it used to keep stashed in the basement, as a Liberal you usually have to really strain to see any signs of the truth of our current condition flickering in the background of the wasteland of our political media.

But every now and then a small platter of exquisite Truth with a capital "T" gets served up during the shank of the evening by one of Comcast's more disobedient stepchildren.

Don't get me wrong: where our broken and complicit media is concerned, we are deep into the weeds of Kremlinology these days --
During the Cold War, lack of reliable information about the country forced Western analysts to "read between the lines" and to use the tiniest tidbits, such as the removal of portraits, the rearranging of chairs, positions at the reviewing stand for parades in Red Square, the choice of capital or small initial letters in phrases such as "First Secretary", the arrangement of articles on the pages of the party newspaper Pravda and other indirect signs to try to understand what was happening in internal Soviet politics...
-- and any outfit that give Joe Scarborough his own show and routinely hands its cameras over to the liars and hacks of Mark Halperin, Ann Coulter, Dana Loesch, Michael Steele and Hugh Hewitt is clearly not involved in the telling-you-the-truth business in any way.

However, respect must be paid to Mr. Chris Hayes for putting former Obama speechwriter, Mr. Jon Lovett, on teevee to say some of the truest things you will hear anywhere (outside of the vituperative Liberal blogosphere where we have been saying such things every day for years) during this election cycle:







Wednesday, September 28, 2016

After Letting Liars Take a Dump in Their Skulls Every Day For 25 Years...



...how can anyone continue to act surprised that the average Trump voter is a proudly and irredeemably ignorant shit-for-brains?



And where do the paid masterminds of this disaster get the fucking nerve to congratulate each other on finally growing a conscience because the fires they deliberately set on my side of town so they could take over my country have now spread to their back yard?

To use a phrase Brad DeLong coined at least 13 years ago to frame his incredulity that any "grownup Republican" could possibly be thinking about voting for George W. Bush given the...
...sheer effrontery of Team Bush's effort to cover up the astounding incompetence that leads to its pattern of miserable failure.
...I too will stop describing the GOP as "Orwellian" when they stop using 1984 as an Operations Manual.

Trump In Four Seconds



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Handjobs For Everyone! Update




You know what never gets old?

Aging True Conservatives -- who spent the last quarter of a century mocking and deriding the filthy Liberals who were begging them to stop playing with matches -- high-fiving each other for finally "looking with alarm" at a disaster they worked so very hard to create.

You know what else never gets old?

Conservative charlatans throwing around words like "respected" and "journalist" when they obviously haven't got the faintest idea what either of those words mean.



Which is why at this point the only meaningful response to these meat puppets jabbering nonsense is...
Meanwhile, in case you missed it, Mr. David Brooks has spun another fabulous tale of those Awesome True Conservatives Of Tomorrow who will definitely be arriving to rescue us from those horrid not-at-all-Conservative reactionaries any day now.


David Brooks: The Great Project Continues


While everyone else was busy gaping at the sight of Hillary and The Great Orange Clusterfuck, David Brooks snuck out behind the bushes to poop out another deplorable chapter of his Great Project:
...it is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.
Today's Exciting Episode:  Fake Conservatism, now.  Fake Conservatism, tomorrow.  Fake Conservatism, forever.

First, the Bad Guys, who are miraculously distributed evenly across both sides of the American political spectrum, but are completely absent from the Acela Corridor Quiet Car which whisks Mr. Brooks from one end of the bubble in which he lives to the other, and back again, in silent, sleek, 21st Century climate-controlled comfort:
Reactionaries, whether angry white Trumpians, European nationalists, radical Islamists or left-wing anti-globalists, are loud, self-confident and on the march...

Soon, they believe, a false and decadent consciousness descended upon the land...
"Decadent" is one of Mr, Brooks' cuddle-words, like "on stilts" and "luxuriate" -- apparently the meanest things anyone at The Weekly Standard cool kid's table could ever think up.  In Mr. Brooks' world, bad people are bad people, but really bad people are always decadently so.  For example, some of you might remember way back when Mr. Brooks thought that merely standing athwart the Bush Administration's mad rush to send our kids off to die in the wrong war and saying "No"  was the lowest kind of decadence (from The Weekly Standard, 2002 emphasis added):
For example, on September 19, a group of peaceniks took out a full-page ad in the New York Times opposing the campaign in Afghanistan and a possible campaign in Iraq. Signatories included all the usual suspects: Jane Fonda, Edward Said, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Hayden, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, and on and on. ... The entire exercise is a picture perfect example of moral exhibitionism, by a group of people decadently refusing even to acknowledge the difficulties and tradeoffs that confront those who actually have to make decisions about policy.
"Peaceniks"?

Wow.  I can definitely see why the New York Times snapped him up and handed him a job-for-life.

And speaking of the NYT, lets get back to the Bad Guys in Mr. Brooks' little fable...
“Reactionaries are not conservatives,” [Mark] Lilla continues. “They are, in their way, just as radical as revolutionaries...

Reactionaries are marked by a militant, apocalyptic mind-set, a crisis mentality. They are willing to take extreme, violent action to turn back the clock. In their narcissism, they think they alone understand the crisis and are in a position to reverse the trends.

The paranoid style of conspiracy-mongering has become the lingua franca of the internet...
God damn you, internet!!!

"Conspiracy" is another Brooks cuddle-word.  Of course, conspiracy-mongering does exist and these days is the major export of Conservative America, but in this context, Mr. Brooks is trying to draw a sharp contrast between those who are in Mr. Brooks' Very Serious Beltway Persons club and those who are not.  For example, thoughtful, well-reasoned opinions such as "The Iraqi War is over and we kicked ass!" and "Ignore that idiot Trump, because Marco Rubio will definitely be the Republican presidential nominee" are the province of Very Serious Beltway Persons such as Mr. David Brooks.

"Peaceniks" and other Liberal degenerates, on the other hand, know only from conspiracies.  Dark and dire delusions, based on nothing but their own, oh, let's say "decadent" impulses. Like for example back when "peaceniks" and other Liberal degenerates were standing athwart the Bush Administration's various derangements and saying "No",  Mr. Brooks was describing us like this:
Finally, there is the dream palace of the American Bush haters. In this dream palace, there is so much contempt for Bush that none is left over for Saddam or for tyranny. Whatever the question, the answer is that Bush and his cronies are evil. What to do about Iraq? Bush is evil. What to do about the economy? Bush is venal. What to do about North Korea? Bush is a hypocrite.

In this dream palace, Bush, Cheney, and a junta of corporate oligarchs stole the presidential election, then declared war on Iraq to seize its oil and hand out the spoils to Halliburton and Bechtel. In this dream palace, the warmongering Likudniks in the administration sit around dreaming of conquests in Syria, Iran, and beyond. In this dream palace, the boy genius Karl Rove hatches schemes to use the Confederate flag issue to win more elections, John Ashcroft wages holy war on American liberties, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and his cabal of neoconservatives long for global empire. In this dream palace, every story of Republican villainy is believed, and all the windows are shuttered with hate...
Except, as it turned out, Rove really was a monster.  

And Conservatives bigots rallying to the Stars-n-Bars really is a thing.  

And Haliburton really did loot the treasury. 

 And Dick Cheney really did get glut himself decadently on Iraq War blood money,  

And Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and that whole "cabal of neoconservatives" scumbags really did long for global hegemony.

Also opposition to Bush Administration policies was not "brainless and self-destructive" because -- surprise! -- those policies really did wipe out the Clinton surplus, run up a gargantuan deficit and put Social Security under the gun.

And so forth.  And so on.  And so forth.

But enough about the inconvenient past, because here comes the glorious future!  And wouldn't you know it, all the Good Guys are Conservative!
The best weapon against the reactionary is not bubbly, blind optimism. It is, frankly, temperamental conservatism.

The conservative looks fondly to the past not as a paradise to return to but as a treasure trove of experience to borrow from...

The conservative seeks to revive, restore and reconstruct — to use the gifts of the dead to make the present a little sweeter and deeper...
Actually, Mr. Brooks, the "best weapon against the reactionary"  is not one more dose of the toxic Imaginary Conservative patent medicine you have been peddling for decades.  

The best weapon against the reactionary would be an honest accounting of our actual history. 

The best weapon against the reactionary would be an honest reckoning of who was right, who was wrong, who was faithful to the nation, and who was a fraud who sold that nation out to advance his career.  

In other words, the best weapon against the reactionary would be just the sort of blunt and honest performance evaluation which you could not possibly survive.  

Jesus Is Not His Co-Pilot


Last night, somewhere beneath the unsanctified ground, curled into a fetal position in his True Conservative crypt and weeping scalding loser tears, the next-to-least qualified lying lunatic to run for the Republican nomination in 2016 rethought his last-minute Come-to-Wormwood decision to lash his political fortunes to the Trump Hindenburg.

The "soul's midnight" must be weird for someone who has no soul. 

However this morning, Lyin' Ted dried those tears and got right back to work as most nakedly depraved hobgoblin in American politics. From Politico:
Cruz: Trump had 'the strongest debate performance' yet

By POLITICO STAFF 09/27/16 10:39 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton “did not have a good performance,” according to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump had “the strongest debate performance he’s had in this election cycle.”

Cruz, who recently endorsed the man who beat him in the Republican primary after months of refusing to do so, embraced his new role as a Trump surrogate in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, dinging Clinton as “tired” and “formulaic” while praising Trump for drawing “strong contrast.”
...


#DebateNight -- Back To Zero



Spin, Beltway monkeys!

Spin, spin, spin!

#DebateNight: The Toreador



Some of my tweets from debate night, which I delivered to you the consumer until it became such a comprehensive beat-down that I had to just sit back and marvel:
Check, check.  Mike check.  "Forget it Jake, it's...Chinatown". Check, check.

Too many "H"-sounds in your first sentence, Holt.  Watch it!

Hillary sneezing into her hand before shaking was a nice touch

Hillary Clinton talks Sensible Policy.  OMG, this is the most boringest debate ever!

Donald Trump:  China.  Mexico.  Winning fight.  So many of them.  I have a friend.  He has a plant and is taking Ford with him.

 Donald Trump:  They're stealing our jobzes!  I'm going to cut taxes like mad.

Hillary Clinton:  I believe in helping the middle class.

Donald Trump has the sniffles.  Bad. Like glue-sniffing bad. Uh oh.

Hillary busts out The Maths.  No fair!

Donald Trump: Solar power is a disaster.  The Sun is a lie!  Coal, bitches!  Coal and whale oil!

Hillary drops the "F"-bomb.  "Facts".  How dare she.

Donald Trump: Hillary's tax program gives ISIS all our secret plans!  She has been supporting ISIS her whole life.

Trump:  Nobody ever learned nuttin' from tax returns.  Many friends of mine say so.  Many.  Tremendous.  Friends.

Tax returns, schmax returns!  You tell 'em Donald!  -- Al Capone

Trump: We need law and order.  I love Charlotte.  I have a lot of money there. Also that other city where that other thing happened.

Trump: Gangs of roving bands of armed immigrants.  Cops are refusing to enforce the law.  Cats and dogs living together!

Trump: In Chicago, Barack Obama is stalking the streets.  With Hispanics.  And I have a lot of money there!

That thing on Donald Trump's head looks unhappy.  Very unhappy.  Wants out of there.  Now.  Big time.

 Donald Trump rode this racist birther pony all the way to this stage tonight & now he wants to shoot it & move on.  Hey, fuck you, scumbag

How big a racist meathead do you have to be to looking at this lying lunatic and say "Yeah!  This guy!"

Trump: Curtis LeMay loves me.  Loves.  Me.

Trump: My son loves his computers.  What with the internet and the cybers and such.

Trump: ISIS uses the internet.  Damn you, Obama!!!!!!!

"Take the oil."  This shit again?  Really?

Finally someone mentions the Bush Admin SOFA that set the rules for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Trump: For fuck's sake why won't anyone call Trusted Newsman Sean Hannity.  He was there.  He helped me bury that hooker!!!

Donald Trump just said that blowing an Iranian ship out of the water in a fit of pique wouldn't start a war.  Jesus.

Trump:  I was almost a giant asshole.  Almost.  But I decided not to.  Because I am a great man.  Possibly the greatest.

If you were taking a shot every time this lying POS bracketed his lies with "Believe me" you'd h/b dead an hour ago.

Trump kept showering himself in napalm.  Hillary kept handing him matches.

The media lowered the bar into the dirt for Trump and he still garroted himself on it and burst into flames.

Random typing chimp nearly generates single coherent sentence.  Media swoons.

Over in Fox, Howard Kurtz's verdict was that Trump went "90 minutes without any major gaffes".   Mistah Kurtz knows damn well who signs his checks.

Soon-to-be indicted human compost heap Chris Christie is spinning for Trump on MSNBC.  Because apparently there are no other humans left on Earth to talk to.

Trump won't lose any votes because Trump voters are infinitely reprogrammable meatheads.

Time to shift the discussion to the fundamental incompetence of the Trump voter to participate in our democracy.

Trump:  Lester, I'm gonna use one of my lifelines and call Sean Hannity.

It is long past time to shift the discussion to the fundamental incompetence of the Trump voter to participate in our democracy.

So with NATO, suddenly Don the Con gets fussy about people honoring their contracts.

Waiting for the Hugh Hewitt spin on the Trump sharting himself to death in from of 100 million people.

If you were taking a shot every time this lying POS bracketed his lies with "Believe me" you'd have been dead an hour ago.

Trump die-hard on MSNBC typical of the breed -- just repeating "Benghazi!" because that's how these racist morons live with themselves.

Has anyone ever completely immolated himself in front of more people than Donald Trump is doing right now?  #askingforafriend

A merciful referee would have stopped this after the third round.

Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Hugh Hewitt:


Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Chuck Todd:

Monday, September 26, 2016

#DebateNight: We're Are, By God, Gonna Have This Fucking Narrative People!




In other words, batshit glue-sniffing chimp nearly random-types a single coherent sentence.

Media swoons.

One more reason why Liberals are never, ever allowed within "Are you fucking kidding me!" distance of the lords and ladies of the Beltway.

#DebateNight -- The New Journalism


At The Presidential #DebateNight


I was wondering what graphic would be best suited for tonight's nadir of modern democracy.

And then Alert Reader "t.s." sent this along and I wondered no more.

Our National Conversation About Race Has Finally Arrived


Just not the way we wanted or hoped for.  Because instead of a high-minded exchange about history, economic, public policy and culture, out NCAR has arrived as a zombie horde of raving, "post truth" Trumpshirts who are openly bigoted, immune to reason and damn proud of it.  

The boundaries of our NCAR are a little ragged and, since this is the United States of Loud Opinions, any conversation about anything will inevitably be alloyed with a hundred other issues.  But for the first time since the 1860s and the 1960s, we are squared off into two, clearly defined, irreconcilable and diametrically-opposed camps: Conservative bigots, morons (and the exploiters of bigots and morons) marching under the banner of a florescent orange liar and con man...


...and everybody else.

There is no Sensible Center here anymore -- no "Both Sides".  

There is no longer any meaningful category of "American people" except geographically.  As I wrote ten long years ago:

No “We” in America – Part I


For a long time now, the casual invocation of the term “the American people” when explaining what we as a nation do or do not believe, or will or won’t stand for -- especially by the Right, but also by the Left -- has been pissing me right off.

Because at the moment, there is no more “We” in this country.

It breaks my heart but I believe the strategic and relentless poisoning of the public well by the likes of Republican Lee Atwater, Republican Newt Gingrich, Republican Rush Limbaugh and Republican Karl Rove has done its work. And other that geographical, there are no more categories in this country to which we can apply the term "Americans" any longer...
Once the rage-drunk bigots and imbeciles and their collaborators in the media are defeated yet again by the rest of us, maybe we'll get back to having intelligent debates over other important matters, but  I doubt it.  I doubt that anything short of a comprehensive rollback of anything that remotely smacks of "Republican" will give us back our national adulthood and equilibrium and get us back to having grown-up arguments over reasonable marginal tax rates, structural racism, expanding national health care, demilitarizing our cops, disentangling ourselves from ill-advised alliances an commitments around the world, global climate change, and so forth.

And I would love that.

I would love it if I could box this blog up and get back to meaningful public policy debates without being smothered under the dead weight of 30 million screeching Republican idiots being whipped into targetable mobs by domestic enemies like Fox News, Hate Radio and The Breitbart Collective.

But we're not there.  Not by a damn site.

Right now we're just barely holding Little Round Top by our nails.

Right now we're marching towards the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

And you cannot, cannot, cannot be on both sides of that conflict.

Sunday Morning Comin' Down


Norris: Are you attempting to tell me my duties, sir?

Philip Marlowe: No, just having fun trying to guess what they are.

-- The Big Sleep, 1946

I don't know what Hugh Hewitt's duties are, but I do know they don't come within a city block of any definition of "journalism" that would stand up in court.

Here is Comcast employee and Trump myrmidon, Hugh Hewitt expressing his horror at the thought of someone fact-checking Donald Trump because something something Hillary Clinton wouldn't like it very much if Lester Holt called her a liar too, now would she, hmm??

Because "facts" in the Hughniverse (yes, that's a real thing) are "subjective things" once again proving that the sentient roaches of the 28th Century who programmed Hugh Hewitt and sent him back to destroy America do not have a firm grasp of the meaning of English words.

He then goes on to actually cite Cardinal Ross "Chunky Bobo" Douthat (stop laughing!) who spent his 800 contractually obligated New York Time's words this week inveighing against oppressive Leftism and Samantha Bee and whateverthefuck, once again proving that, Jesus Christ of Sunnybrook Farm, Conservatism literally cannot beg, borrow or buy a decent brain for all the money in the Fox News sexual harassment settlement war chest:



Later on the Hugh Hewitt channel, Hugh Hewitt stopped by (what are the odds!?!) to stink up Joy Ann Reid's little corner of human decency.  There was the name-checking of Benghazi (in his telling, Secretary Clinton "fled" the State Department because Benghazi), fretting about the "hard Left" Supreme Court that would last 1,000 years under a Clinton dictatorship, and a Dire Warning that Iran already has Hillary Clinton's number ... because they have copies of her emails ... because some caller on his radio show told him so.

In fact, the answer to every single question about Donald Trump's lying and belligerent idiocy was a robotic "But Hillary Clinton..." because as we have already established with expert testimony, Hugh Hewitt is an android sent from the future to destroy America:




Finally, on the Hugh Hewitt channel's Very Special Episode of "Meet the Android Sent From the Future to Destroy America", when Hugh Hewitt is asked the following, very straightforward question by Mr. Chuck Todd:
CHUCK TODD:  Yeah, his transparency issue though, Hugh, you can see the Charlotte police chief has been grappling with this. On one hand the investigation, but they didn't release the full video and so it didn't erase the skepticism.
What we get by way of a response is another long, rambling, discursive "But Hillary Clinton..." answer that -- Jesus Christ and the Velveteen Rabbit! -- once again trots out Ross Douthat's NYT droppings about the suffocating Leftism of Samantha Bee or whatever --
HUGH HEWITT: No and it won't be gone for a long time. I think it's unfortunate that we're not spending more time on the first lady embracing the former President yesterday and we are spending more time on transparency as we have to. I think that for many in the country that's all one event. Charlotte, Tulsa and the presidential race and the national anthem are all one event. But for a lot of the country the national anthem is a different event. And I would recommend Ross Douthat's column this week: Hillary Clinton's Samantha Bee problem. A lot of people are feeling suffocated by the cultural left and they don't associate it with race, they associate it with being overwhelmed by change. And I think it's the most important column that's been written this week.
-- as if it were the most insightful flare set off against the dark night of the human condition since William Faulkner's 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.
I have no idea what Hugh Hewitt's duties actually are.  Nor do I know the duties of the men who hire such reeking frauds as Hugh Hewitt and prop them up on teevee over and over again trying to pass them of as credible.  But I do know those duties don't come within a country mile of any definitions of "honorable", "decent" or "patriotic" that can stand up to the withering and righteous judgement of history.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Arise You Prisoners of PlayStation

DFB3

Why is this election so close?

I'm glad you asked!

Because it turns out that America's most recent, self-anointed Hero of the Work Man -- Mr. David Brooks, Sage of the Acela Corridor -- also just happens to be America's most recent, self-anointed Speaker For Millennials.

So how lucky are we!

I mean, imagine the astronomical odds against the New York Times managing to find someone who has worked his entire adult life to claw his way into a tiny, privileged, white, Republican bubble of senators and presidents and CEOs ... and then discovering at this late date that he is also somehow America's Greatest Expert on the innermost dreads of America's working class and the secret hopes and fears of America's youth.

And yet in the person of Mr. David Brooks -- who trails behind him a long and disastrous record of being spectacularly wrong about nearly everything about --  the New York Times would have us believe that Mr. David Brooks contains such legions and is willing to share the pungent, distilled wisdom of his many years squeegeeing the sweat off of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.'s balls tilling the soil, bringing larnin' to the unlettered and standing up for labor in its darkest hours:



And if you can't trust the New York Time when then, by-god, what have we become as a nation, especially when it comes so highly recommended!

Yes, by once again carefully averting his eyes from the true nature of his Republican Party as it actually exists in the real world, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times has found yet another way to recycle the same comforting, watery poo he has been selling to New York plutocrats for years:
Tyler Cowen recently gathered some of the more interesting theories on his blog Marginal Revolution: America is not ready for a woman president. The Democrats have a lot of policy proposals, but the Republicans are running on big ideas. A more diverse country is a more fractious and polarized country, and over the past few weeks white Republicans have been coming home to their candidate.

I see some truth in those theories, especially the last one. But my single explanation would be this: Clintonworld is a semi-closed system that operates according to its own calendar. Donald Trump is egregious, but at least he’s living in the 21st century, as was Bernie Sanders. Clintonworld operates according to its own time-space continuum that is slightly akilter from our own...
Yes, it's definitely not because the Republican Party is full of bigots, but rather...
In the 21st century, politics operates around a different axis. It’s not left/right, big government/small government. It’s openness and dynamism versus closedness and security...
Yes, because we would absolutely not want to look too closely at that whole "left/right" thingie and figure out if maybe one side of that political couplet might be horribly fucked up and full of awful people who believe crazy things.  So instead...
In the 21st century, the parties are amassing different coalitions. People are dividing along human capital lines...
And sadly, "Clintonworld" is outta touch and outta time...
Clintonworld is a decades-old interlocking network of donors and friends that hasn’t quite caught up to these fundamental shifts. That’s because Clintonworld, in the Hillary iteration, is often defensive, distrusting and oriented around avoiding errors...
Even her money people and supporters reek of mothballs and knee-braces and Carter's Little Liver Pills!
Her donor base and fund-raising style is out of another era. Obama and Sanders tapped into the energized populist base, but Clinton has Barbra Streisand, Cher and a cast of Wall Street plutocrats. 
Except, of course, none of that is exactly true.

Yes, Clinton does have a lot of the traditional party power-brokers behind her, because that's what political parties are for you idiot!  But apparently Mr. Brooks has not noticed that trend-setting populist heroes of his New Populist America -- President Obama and Senator Sanders -- are both energetically campaigning for Hillary Clinton.  Apparently Mr. Brooks has also not noticed how smartly and aggressively Secretary Clinton's team has been reaching out to young people -- to young women especially.   Apparently the imaginary hipster bar where Mr. Brooks has been rapping with Today's Youth about Hillary lacks both teevee and wifi so he could not see ads like which show the doddering Clintonworld geezers who are lining up to support Hillary Clinton:


Apparently Mr. David Brooks has also failed to notice that Donald Trump's "energizes" his bigot base by heaving great big slabs of rancid hate-meat to them -- telling them monstrous lies and making ludicrous promises about which they are too stupid or berserk to care either way.

And this is the most deeply troubling part of all, because Mr David Brooks -- who studied history as a young man -- must recognize the ancient and terrible forces which his Republican Party has been cultivating for decades.  But apparently the everyday, horrid realities of his Republican Party are not in his department -- as they rumble past his Quiet Car on the Acela Corridor packed tight with the groaning remains of our democracy, they're just another long string of cattle cars off to somewhere unspeakable, and Mr. Brooks is simply not at all interested in questions about who laid those tracks, who is driving that train and what awaits its passengers at the end of the line,

Mr. David Brooks works very, very hard every day not to think about such things, preferring instead to bring his beautiful mind to bear on thoughts like these:
Her campaign proposals sidestep the cutting issues that have driven Trump, Sanders, Brexit and the other key movements of modern politics. Her ideas for reducing poverty are fine, but they are circa Ed Muskie: more public works jobs, housing tax credits, more money for Head Start...
And best of all. this:
Don’t get me wrong. I still think she’ll eke out a win. I just hope her administration is less fogyish than her campaign.
Yes citizens, this was the day when Mr. David Brooks -- America's Most Respected Concatenation of Ear Wax, Cobwebs and Moldering Clippings of David Broder Columns from the Bloomington, Illinois Pantagraph -- called someone else "fogyish".  Mark this day down; you'll want to tell your grand-kids where you were when it happened.

Meanwhile, the usually reticent Sam Stein had finally had enough and busted out on Morning Joe with the Big, Scary Truth that Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times has devoted his life to not mentioning (from Blue Gal at Crooks & Liars):

...
And Sam Stein makes a distinction then between a real estate agent from Ohio and a US Congressman. But then he says this:
"This all goes into a bigger conversation about ...you know, we were talking about deplorables a couple of weeks ago, right? And clearly Clinton erred in saying the fifty percent and the irredeemable part. But there is racism in this country, that people are not exactly confronting, that has been brought up a bit more to the surface by this campaign, and the candidacy in specific. And you know, we're not really talking about it in a confrontational way, in a direct way, that we should, because we're too nervous to tip-toe around the term 'deplorable,' but that's there."
And then Elise Jordan flips it to a completely unrelated, though important, issue.
"Well, just the empowerment of the alt-right in the Republican Party this election season. The lunatics are running the asylum. This is unacceptable, everyone in the Republican Party needs to say this is unacceptable, This is not my party, I cannot be a part of this party, if this is the party we have become. It is absolutely reprehensible and against everything the Republican Party can and should stand for."
Someone should warn Sam Stein that he is never gonna score that Big Job at the New York Times
squeegeeing the sweat off of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.'s balls tilling the soil, bringing larnin' to the unlettered and standing up for labor in its darkest hours with an attitude like that.

Professional Left Podcast #355



"It's a sin in politics to land a soft punch."
--   Alf Landon


Links:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Remember, Remember


The 2nd of November
The Iraq War treason and plot.
I know of no reason 
Why Bush Era treason
Should ever be forgot...*

The subject of today's post is Drew Magary's very fine column in GQ entitled "If You Vote For Trump, Then Screw You", but before we get there I want to fire up the Kodak Carousel and take you on a little trip in time with me. back through the pages of our recent past.

Twelve years ago, you might remember, Senator John Kerry was busy whipping the shit out of the Worst President in Modern American History during a series of televised presidential debates.  The late Hunter S. Thompson was still alive and writing at the time and here were his impressions (emphasis added):
...
Armageddon came early for George Bush this year, and he was not ready for it. His long-awaited showdowns with John Kerry turned into a series of embarrassments that broke his nerve and demoralized his closest campaign advisers. They knew he would never recover, no matter how many votes they could steal for him in Florida, where the presidential debates were closely watched and widely celebrated by millions of Kerry supporters who suddenly had reason to feel like winners.

Kerry came into October as a five-point underdog with almost no chance of winning three out of three rigged confrontations with a treacherous little freak like George Bush. But the debates are over now, and the victor was John Kerry every time. He steamrollered Bush and left him for roadkill.

Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful... I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him "Mister President", and then I felt ashamed.

Karl Rove, the President's political wizard, felt even worse. There is angst in the heart of Texas today, and panic in the bowels of the White House. Rove has a nasty little problem, and its name is George Bush. The president failed miserably from the instant he got onstage with John Kerry. He looked weak and dumb. Kerry beat him like a gong in Coral Gables, then again in St Louis and Tempe. That is Rove's problem. His candidate is a weak-minded frat boy who cracks under pressure in front of 60 million voters.

Bush signed his own death warrant in the opening round, when he finally had to speak without his teleprompter. It was a Cinderella story brought up to date in Florida that night - except this time, the false prince turned back into a frog.

Immediately after the first debate ended, I called Muhammad Ali at his home in Michigan, but whoever answered said the champ was laughing so hard that he couldn't come to the phone. "The debate really cracked him up," he chuckled. "The champ loves a good ass-whuppin'. He says Bush looked so scared to fight, he finally just quit and laid down."...
It turned out Dr. Thompson wildly overestimated the sound judgement of the majority of American voters after being hammered for three years by continuous Republican fear-mongering screaming out of every radio, every teevee and every newspaper headline.  In their fear-stupor, enough "independents" and "undecideds" stampeded to join forces with the scum of the Right to do something so stratospherically stupid that we haven't even begun to make a dent in the ruin it left behind.

Of course there has been an ocean of Republican ratfucking, sedition and raw, racist sewage under the bridge since then (which has been documented virtually every agonizing day in excruciating detail on Liberal blogs such as this one) but in the immediate aftermath of the re-election of the Worst President in Modern American History, this post showed up first on Daily Kos, and then on TPM and the late Steve Gilliard's News Blog.  It's long (this was in the days before "tldr" was the internet reader's default setting), powerful and I have referenced it before on several occasions, but today I want to dial in on one very specific theme that recurred over and over again on the Left in the aftermath of the re-election of the Worst President in Modern American History.

A theme of  "Fuck These People."
...
You're good people.  You're educated.  You don't watch Fox News.   You don't listen to talk radio.  You, simply put, haven't the faintest idea what we're up against.

These are not Conservatives--this is not the Republican party we knew.  This is the Movement funded by Richard Mellon Scaife , the Koch Brothers,  and Joseph Coors, among others.

This is Ann "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building" Coulter , whose books are huge best-sellers.  Read a few of her columns and then come back and tell me I'm over reacting.

This is Rush "Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream" Limbaugh , who has an adoring audience of many many millions...

How about Sean Hannity , on whose show a young woman caller, to much acclaim, pronounced that she was voting for Bush "because President Bush likes war.  Kerry doesn't like war.  So I'm voting for Bush."...

Michael "Savage" Weiner , who, while voicing his contempt for San Francisco's homeless and the efforts to help them, Savage, a long time Bay Area radio personality, said that female students who come from a Marin County private school to feed and provide services to the homeless "can go in and get raped by them because they seem to like the excitement of it..." These and other comments suggesting sexual activity between homeless people and minor students were peppered throughout the three-hour broadcast....

Check 'em out!  They want you dead.  Don't you think you should be aware?  Browse their sites and comment boards and then come back and tell me you can reach them, educate them, live in peace with them.  Or that you want to.

And don't forget this guy, who wrote , after the election:

"If anyone needs to work to 'bring the country together' it’s those on the left who have divided it so badly. Those who sought to destroy this great man should get down upon their knees and beg the victors for mercy. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll let a few of them linger on for the simple reason that they amuse us. My life’s goal is to see the Democratic Party virtually obliterated and left as a rump of people like Stephanie Herseth who both mostly agree with us anyways and are easy on the eyes.

"That’s the future of the Democratic Party: providing Republicans with a number of cute (but not that bright) comfort women.

"Let’s face a hard truth: this was the bitterest Presidential campaign in living memory. The Democrats and their allies staked everything on the defeat of this President. All of the resources they had accumulated over a generation of struggle were thrown into this battle: and they have failed. Despite all of their tricks, despite all of their lies, the people have rejected them. They mean nothing. They are worth nothing. There’s no point in trying to reach out to them because they won’t be reached out to. We’ve got their teeth clutching the sidewalk and our boot above their head. Now’s the time to curb-stomp the bastards."

All of whom are wildly popular, hugely influential, make tons of money, and who want us dead.
...

Fuck them.

And I know you, my fellow lefties... Your kindness, your warm welcome, your generosity, your concern, your love and passion--it will never work.  These people hate you.  Understand?  They HATE you.  They want you dead.  All your work, your energy, your wisdom, your experience--it means nothing to them and it reads as weakness.  They see your open, extended hand, and they feel oppressed by it-- it reads as scolding, as hectoring, as judgment, as oppression.  They think you're going to take away their children and their guns and their Bible that they never read and teach them evolution and force them to get gay married.  They really, really believe that, even as they take you for all you're worth.  In fact, this belief of theirs is what gives meaning to their sordid, hateful, fearful, resentful lives.   
They will never change.  Your kindness and generosity only enables them.  They'll take what we've got--our money, our art, our science, our technology, our wisdom, our humor, our compassion--and they'll spit on us and calls us communist traitor faggots.  Time to let go.  They hate us.  It's time we realize that...

They're bullies.  They hate weakness, vulnerability, anything smaller than they are, anything at a disadvantage to them.  They hate it.

Michael Moore thinks that if he just educates them--if he shows the beautiful young soldier with his limbs blown off, in the inescapable horror of morphine addiction; if he shows endless lists of the names of the young working-class people who died so horribly for a lie; if he shows Iraqi children flying kites; if he makes them watch an Iraqi elder get sexually molested and then mocked for it--if they just see it, they'll understand.

He's wrong.  Michael Moore's the one that doesn't understand.  They do see it.  They do know it.  They are fully aware.  They understand just fine.  They like it.  And god help anyone that gets in their way.

If they can make someone else suffer--suffer more than they do, even a little bit more (a lot more, that's a bonus) even if they have to increase their own suffering to make sure someone else suffers--they will do it--they'll do whatever it takes...

Fuck them.  Walk away.  Just say no.
...

Right-wingers are cowards.  They want a monarchy, a theocracy.  They hate Liberalism. They worship hierarchical power.  The only thing they respect is a boot in the face.  That gets them rolling over and peeing in exciting submission.  Fuck them.  Let's give them some of that Shock and Awe they love so much.  Let's withdraw.  They will not change.  They are just plain bad.  Spend your time and money on yourself, your family, your community, your values.  Let them drown in their own filth.

As Joe Conason writes ,
"Liberal policies made America the freest, wealthiest, most successful and most powerful nation in human history. Conservatism in power always threatens to undo that national progress, and is almost always frustrated by the innate decency and democratic instincts of the American people...

"If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights -- you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable -- you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family -- you can thank liberals. If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green -- you can thank liberals. If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society -- you can thank liberals. Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long, difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their opposition to every one of those advances…"
It's ours--we fought and died for it.  They don't want it; they never did.  So fuck them.  Walk away.

...when you keep reaching out your hand in loving kindness to someone who hates your fucking guts and wants you dead, you're an idiot.

So stop it.

Stop enabling them.  Stop fighting for them.  Stop trying to give them something they don't want.  Just stop.  Stop not telling the truth because it'll hurt their feelings and cause unpleasantness.  They're bigots...


That was twelve years ago, and a person can learn a lot in twelve years.

Twelve years is longer than my first marriage lasted.  That experience taught me a bunch.

You can complete an entire American primary and secondary education in twelve years.

You can, on average, complete a bachelor's degree and a PhD in twelve years.

And if the history of the last twelve years should have taught us anything, it's that the judgement we rendered on the Right twelve years ago were, if anything, too merciful.   

After twelve years of the Bush administration's failures and lies spilling out  in front of the whole world, bloody and awful like the intestines of a gut-shot mobster?  After the massive, hysterical Republican denial that any of it was happening...followed by an equally massive, hysterical Republican denial that they had ever even heard of George W. Bush?  After the rise of Trump and his John Birther Society?  After a million desperate lies deployed for the sole purpose of stopping Barack Obama from trying to give millions of uninsured Americans a little help and peace of mind?  After a million more lies deployed to try to sabotage the Obama Administration as it worked to save the world from a global depression?  After the GOP all signed on to the Caucus Room Conspiracy to obstruct the Obama Administration to death? After the shutdowns and a dozen dozen bullshit partisan witch-hunts in lieu of actual governing?  

And after every fucking jot and tittle of it was eagerly aided and abetted by the Both Siderist Quislings of the American media, we finally arrive, twelve long years later, at...

If You Vote For Trump, Then Screw You

... And so I’d just like to say to that portion of the electorate: Fuck you. No, seriously. Go fuck yourselves. I’m not gonna waste any more time trying to convince you that you’re about to do something you’ll regret forever. I’m not gonna show you old clips of Trump saying rotten things. I’m not gonna try to ANNIHILATE Trump by showing you records of his hypocrisy and greed. I’m not gonna link to a John Oliver clip and be like, “THIS. So much this.” Nothing’s gonna take down Trump at this point, so I’m not gonna bother. No no, this post is for ME. I am preaching to the sad little choir in my soul here.

Because while Trump is a miserable bastard, YOU are the people who have handed him the bullhorn. YOU are the people willing to embarrass this nation and put it on the brink of economic ruin all because you wanna throw an electoral hissy fit. YOU are the people who want to revolutionize the way America does business by voting for its worst businessman, a disgusting neon pig who only makes money when he causes problems for other people instead of solving them. YOU are the thin-skinned yokels who clutch your bandoliers whenever someone hurls the mildest of slurs at you (“deplorables”), while cheering Trump on as he leaves a bonfire of truly hateful invective everywhere he goes. YOU are the people willing to overlook the fact that Trump is an unqualified, ignorant sociopath because DURRRR HILLARY IS BAD TOO DURRRR.

You know what? No, she’s not. She’s fine. I lived through one Clinton, and I can live through another. My reasons for hating Trump are better than your reasons for hating Hillary. Show me all the arguments against her you like. You guys don’t give a shit about facts and research when it comes to Trump, so I’m not gonna give a shit about whatever clumsy meme you cook up to explain why she did Benghazi. Nope. Sorry. Fuck your arguments, and fuck you. Trump has shown no respect for anyone, so I don’t see why you deserve any either. Whatever mildly frustrating centrist liberal bureaucracy that Hillary presides over will be fine compared to the spray tan mushroom cloud that would arise all because YOU thought Trump was such a brave, un-PC dickhead to everyone within shouting distance...

Twelve years later, and Dr. Hunter Thompson is long gone, Steve Gilliard is long gone, while Sean Hannity is doing better than ever, Rush Limbaugh has consolidated his grip on the Republican Party, and Ann Coulter is now a welcome guest on MSNBC where Chris Matthews help promote her horrible books.   

Which is why, twelve years later, we who have been right about the Right all along have no need to apologize or explain ourselves to anyone.  We have earned our Bachelor's and PhD's in "Dead Wrong All Along" Wingnut studies the hard way, grinding it out, doing our homework, reading and writing day after day, year after year. And we know from bitter experience that it is not enough for the Republican candidate to be profoundly unqualified, or for him to shit himself in public over and over again.  We know that the Right really are a basket of deplorables who are beyond the power to reason or civic redemption.  We know from bitter experience that the media -- who should have been reporting the Right's descent into madness with escalating alarm every day over the last twelve years -- have abandoned their posts and sold us out for money and ratings.  

Once again we find the only thing we can count on is each other.  Getting the unregistered to get registered.  Getting the souls to the polls.  

Once again, it falls to the dirty hippies to help protect America from its worst impulses and ugliest demagogues.

And once again, as we bitch and gripe and roll our eyes, we will roll up our sleeves and do our bit to save the day.



* From here

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Hard Out Here For Pimp: Special CNN Corey Lewandowski Edition


From the New York Times:
Corey Lewandowski Continues to Be Paid by Donald Trump’s Campaign

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
SEPT. 21, 2016

Donald J. Trump paid his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski $20,000 in August for “strategy consulting,” two months after Mr. Lewandowski left the team and was hired by CNN as a commentator.

The payment, revealed in Federal Election Commission filings on Tuesday, was the second monthly consulting fee paid to Mr. Lewandowski through his consulting company since he left the Trump campaign and joined CNN, raising questions about whether the network in effect has a Trump campaign strategist on its payroll.

Mr. Lewandowski still speaks with Mr. Trump regularly. Reached by phone, Mr. Lewandowski said he could not comment owing to his contractual obligations with CNN.

But Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, said that payments were actually severance payments owed to Mr. Lewandowski under his old contract with Mr. Trump’s campaign...

But on F.E.C. paperwork, the campaign listed both the August and July payments as “strategy consulting.” Mr. Cheung did not respond to a follow-up email inquiring about why the payments were not described as severance to the F.E.C.
...
A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

You know, it must be damn confusing to be a Trump surrogate.

To begin with, the revolving whore-door between paid political button-man and trusted teevee analyst now spins so fast as to be invisible to the unaided human eye.

And then, due to the special nature of the Trump outfit, just to get a foot in the door in the first place you have be a demonstrably soulless, amoral, dead-eyed balrog who can move from camera to camera lying baldly and continuously all day long without changing expression.

And then, once you get the job, you start getting big bags of money essentially just for being you -- a soulless, amoral, dead-eyed balrog -- right in the faces of various people on teevee.  

So wow, how awesome is that.

Then, suddenly. two different outfits offer you two big bags of money to go right on being the biggest dick in Christendom and do your soulless, amoral, dead-eyed balrog thing, but with a slightly different title.  And you get sit right across from the very same people at whom you have been vomiting lies from the beginning, so no awkward introductions are necessary.  

So winner, winner, chicken dinner for you!

But then, out of the sky blue, some people wanna start making something out of some bullshit contract language that hangs some ridiculous, microscopic delineation between the two outfits that each hired you specifically for your mad skillz as the biggest, amoral dick in Christendom. Something to do with "ethics" -- a concept which neither you nor the outfits that hired you to be the biggest, amoral dick in Christendom have been within a thousand yards of since Christ was a corporal.

I mean, WTF people?  We know what you are.  You have already haggled over the price.  But now you want to get all blushy and virginal because the whore you both hired wants to charge double for a three-way?

Obviously it is well past time for a blogger ethics panel.