Monday, October 16, 2017

The Worst Man


In an open, public process that lasted over two years, the Republican Party consciously and deliberately nominated and then elected a perfect specimen of their tribe.  And since the day he was elected the the highest office in the land. President Stupid has returned the favor by acting as the perfect avatar of his Republican base.

Just like Trump, the base does not respond to reason or facts.  Just like Trump, they lie constantly, maliciously, shamelessly and incompetently.


Just like Trump, they have no memory of anything before breakfast.  Just like Trump, they are consistently unable to comprehend basic human morality.  And just like Trump, since they are completely convinced of their invincible infallibility on all matters,  they gleefully mock the idea of compassion and believe that compromise with anyone outside of their seditious little circle is tantamount to treason.  

Through their Dear Leader, they are working hard to finish the project at which they have labored for decades -- rolling back the Enlightenment and wrecking this country beyond repair.

And unless they and their allies and collaborators are aggressively named and shamed and driven back into the political sewers from which they came, thanks to this disaster of a president, they will succeed. 


* Graphic and quote are both from "The Best Man", 1964.

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"Now"?


Q: Where the fuck have these people been for the last few decades?

A: Running Republican political campaigns and hiring themselves out to major American teevee networks as political analysts.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today on Goooood Morning Oceania!


Without constant firmware updates like these the reprogrammable meatbags of the Right would never be sure who they were supposed to be hating on any given day.

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Sunday Morning Comin' Down



Since the Sunday Shows were the same fawning, repetitive puppet theater of trite, played-out nonsense they have consistently been year after year after year --


-- I going to jump back in time.

To Friday.

For this absolutely textbook example of how completely the biggest and most corrosive lie of all -- the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It -- has polluted out nation's political groundwater.

(And, as I confirm anecdotally every single day out here in the middle of Middle America, when talking to any Republican or Conservative about anything remotely related to the subject of "political accountability" the interval between the first words out of your mouth and a mindless, fully-automated riposte of "Yeah, but really, it's Both Sides.  Yadda yadda what mainstream Murricans really want... Yadda yadda Coastal Elites..." can be measured in nanoseconds.)

Behold how utterly the Beltway Republican Alibi Machine has destroyed our ability to have an honest, grownup political conversation about anything with anyone on the Right...



Rush transcript thanks to the lovely and brilliant Blue Gal, with highlights added to attract your eye:

​CHRIS HAYES:  Tom Reed is a Republican from New York who voted for the House bill to replace Obamacare. How does stopping the payments make anyone's lives better when we know it will make people's lives worse?

REP TOM REED:  Well, first of all, these are illegal payments. It has been ruled by the courts they are illegal. They are not in the law, they are unauthorized by the executive branch and what the president has done is put the pressure on Congress to deal with this problem and I'm part of 46 members on both sides of the aisle that put together a proposal that will address this issue of the destabilizing of the marketplace.

HAYES:  So just to go back for a second. A federal judge had ruled that the -- the payments were not appropriated by Congress. But he stayed that pending appeal. So just to acknowledge, this is an affirmative decision by the president he is under no obligation to do this and he is choosing to do this and explicitly, he is taking people's health care ransom.

REED:  And these payments are not authorized and we have to go through congressional process to get it paid and the president is following the law and we're elected to fix this problem.

HAYES:  This is the thing that drives people crazy. It is 266 days -- there is nothing in a has passed --

REED:  Because we have been playing shirts and skins, us versus them.  Enough -- enough of -- that's why I'm in the Problem Solvers Saucus...

HAYES:  I know from your the Problem Solvers Caucus but people in Oregon that said their premium is going up and across the country --

REED: And I've been seeing those notices for years and the lack of choice across the country.  This is a problem.

HAYES:  I know that. But this is gone up more over and above, it is not just the same thing. Yesterday the premiums were one thing and today they are 15 or 20% higher. So you have a complaint from those people getting the bills in the mail where you guys, Republicans, in Congress-- which controls all three branches of government-- can't solve the problem without making them pay more money out of -- pocket.

REED:  This is not about Republicans, this is about Congress. Democrats and Republicans solving this problem. For the people we represent. --

HAYES:  Congressman, you control --

REED:  --appreciate the people in the Problem Solvers leading on this issue.

HAYES:  But you are not leading!

REED:  Yes, we are.

HAYES:  But I hate to tell you

REED:  -- it is 80% victory on both sides of the aisle to come forward to solve the health care problem...

HAYES:  If you were leading and "solving the problems" was happening we wouldn't be in a position where people are getting notices from insurance companies saying your premiums are going up.

REED:  And that is why the extremes on both sides and right and left putting us in this gridlock positions have to be broken. We are part of the effort to do this.

HAYES:  Congressman, the President of the United States took this action today. I feel like we're -- we're not acknowledging that. The president took an action today. It was an action he had not taken before and an action that he didn't have to take as evidenced by the fact that it took him 266 days to take it. So why is it the case that people should have worse health care or pay more money for it, because Congress, and the Republican Party in particular, which controls Congress, cannot fix their health care?

REED:  I think you nailed it right there. Congress needs to act to fix this problem. And that is where it rests and I fully take that -- that path in order to solve this -- it will take legislation working together to get things done.

HAYES:  So here is a proposal, a lot of people in your party do not like long legislation, one of the knocks on the ACA. You could find a three or four lines appropriation bill to appropriate the bill to the floor tomorrow. Can do you that?

REED:  That will not fix the whole problem. We could start with the marketplace --

HAYES:  But it is a problem!

REED:  Repeal the employer mandate up to 500 employees and pay for it in reimbursement that will drive health care costs down and you have a solution to build off of and find a foundation to grow.

HAYES:  I hope you have success in Congress forestalling the disaster and we have you back on the program. But..

REED:  -- I'm working for it.

HAYES:  But forgive me for sharing the skepticism of a lot of Americans.
Godspeed.

REED:  I appreciate that. There are many that want to get this done for the American people.

HAYES:  We'll see. ...
It's as if they made a word cloud of every single shitty column David Brooks has written since 2005.

Creamed off the top five percent.

Liquefied it.

Added the extract of Matthew Dowd's pineal gland. Ron Founier's toe-jam and the ashes of David Broder.

And then passed it around the Beltway like a bottle of Boone's Farm at a drive-in movie.

And lest you think this is some recent Republican Trump-deflecting innovation, allow me to direct your attention to this amazing performance by Little Marco Rubio back in 2012 when he got locked into a recursive dumbass coding loop and literally could not stop replying to every fucking question with the same stupid answer (despite a million angry emails, the embed code Comedy Central uses still auto-starts all videos, which I hate, so here is a link to the video if you want to see it, and here is some of what I wrote about it back in 2012):
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...

To repeat the same point I have made thousands of times already, Both Siderism is the crutch that holds up the Right.

Knock it down, and the Right begins to collapse.  Let it stand and nothing will ever change except for the worse.

It's that simple.

#BothSidesDont


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

David Brooks Says Trump's "Sabotage and Fuck You" EO Might Turn Out Great For Everybody



Every now and then a nondescript little man from Wingnut Central Command shows up at Mr. David Brooks' door to remind him that it is time once again to renew his Conservative credentials.  It is a brief but critical ritual upon which Mr. Brooks' entire professional life literally depends.  After all,  it isn't the word "American" or "author" or "political and cultural commentator" in his CV that The New York Times shells out crazy money to slap on it's op-ed page every week:
David Brooks is a conservative American author as well as political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times.
It's the word "conservative" they're renting.  It is the word "conservative" which has given Mr. Brooks entree to the  corridors of power, gigs on NPR, PBS and NBC, book contracts and a job-for-life at the NYT which pays for Mr. Brooks' various hearths and homes and travels and book tours.

So every now and then he needs to get his "conservative" card punched again.  And of course, given the nature of Conservatism, this means he needs to say something horrible and blatantly untrue in some public forum somewhere.  This time around, the forum was The News Hour, and the horrible and blatantly untrue thing was this:
...
On health care, they are dismantling it. There will be a period of disruption. But what was interesting to me about the CBO analysis of what they’re doing, after this period of disruption, there will be more people insured, not less. So it won’t look like Obamacare, but as the markets respond, there is a possibility that more people will be insured.

And so it’s not a simple, oh, we’re just tearing everything apart
Mr. Brooks lives on another planet and no one on his world wants for necessities of life.  No one in his social circle will ever be affected personally by anything Donald Trump does (except for those yummy yummy tax cuts for the wealthy) and so there is no need for Mr. Brooks to trouble himself by learn anything about how, say, insurance works.  For those of you with longer memories, you might recall how remarkably similar this sounds to Mr. Brooks' equally blase approach to the policies of the last Ambulatory  Fuckup Generator that his party installed in the White House.

Behold the inerrant economic wisdom of Mr. David Fucking Brooks!

David Brooks from March 2001
Yes, There Is a New Economy

...
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?
David Brooks, September 2001
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...
I could go on at much greater length,  but since I already have, I see no reason to repeat the exercise.  It is sufficient to say that even the most cursory glance at Mr. Brooks actual record as a Conservative Public Intellectual shows three things.

First,  judging by any objective standard, Mr. Brooks is a colossal failure at Having Opinions about Things.

Second, given his long record of failure at Having Opinions about Things, by any objective standards, it is insane that he continues to reap lavish financial rewards and peer-group respect that are clearly unrelated in any way to his actual job performance.

Third, no one talks about it. Seriously.  Other than a few asshole Libtard bloggers in flyover country, no one talks about this.  And the conspicuous uniformity with which no one talks about this is what makes it so damn eerie [See "The Adventure of Silver Blaze"
Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."]

And the reason for this is, I think, really very simple.

The corporations who run our media don't give a shit about any of this stuff.  Truth?  Falsity? Depravity?  The casual, sadistic infliction of harm on millions of Americans?  It does not affect them at all.  Just grist for the media mill.  What they do care about, deeply, is controlling the narrative.  Specifically, the narrative that Both Sides are to blame for every problem.  And so, to keep selling that corrosive and patently ridiculous narrative, they need Reasonable Conservatives they can plug into any medium.  They need reliable deacons of the  High and Holy Church of Both Siderism who can hit their marks and deliver the doxology of their toxic faith on any platform.

In other words, the need people exactly like Mr. David Brooks.

And to be of value to them, they need for him to keep that magical, golden word in his CV -- "conservative" -- active and up-to-date. 

And to do that, every now and then Mr. Brooks has to sally forth into the world and assert something that blatantly awful and wrong and astonishingly ignorant. 

And this he has now done.

Mission Accomplished, Mr. Brooks.




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Friday, October 13, 2017

Professional Left Podcast #410


"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible."
-- George Burns
I'm going to go right on directing everyone to visit our new website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as a links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building us such a lovely home.


Links:

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I Wonder How President Obama Forced President Stupid To Shit On The Flag?


If your incoming email from Wingnut Central Command is anything like mine, first, you have sympathy and, second, it has been positively thick with hysteria over Those God Damn Overpaid NFL Negroes God Damn Disrespecting Our God Damn Flag.

You know the drill.

But what's more, my emails from Wingnut Central Command all trace the source of all this God Damn Disrespect to the leader of all nefarious and unAmerican negro activities, Barack Obama, who they are all still pretty sure once tried to ban the Pledge of Allegiance.

How then do you suppose they will explain this?  (From the Washington Examiner):
Trump sits, talks through song lowering the flag at military base amid NFL anthem controversy

President Trump sat and talked through the nightly playing of "Retreat" as the American flag was lowered on a Pennsylvania Air National Guard base during his interview with Sean Hannity.

Trump, who has been criticizing NFL players who kneel through the national anthem to protest racism, seemed caught off-guard by loudspeakers playing "Retreat." The song is played every night at military bases to signal the American flag being lowered and the end of the official duty day.

Business Insider was the first to notice Trump sitting during the song. Uniformed service members are required to stop what they're doing and salute the flag as its lowered during the song while civilians are required to place their hand over their heart.

Trump not only does not stand or place his hand over his heart, but instead talks through the song and assumes it's being played to honor him or Hannity.

People watching the rally can be seen standing for the song in the background of Trump's interview, but Trump seems to not know what the song means.

"Are they playing that for you or for me?" Trump joked to Hannity.

"They're playing that in honor of his ratings. He's beating everybody."...
Ha!  Trick question!  They'll never have to explain it because they will never hear about it in the first place because on Fox News and Hate Radio such things only rise to the level of high crimes and impeachable offenses when a Democrat does them, even when they don't actually do them.  

Instead it will sail right over their soft little heads, leaving tiny little minds untroubled by any whiff of cognitive dissonance...

...until some smartass Liberal slips it in between the turkey and the pumpkin pie over Thanksgiving dinner.  At which time it will be dismissed as Fake News and anyway Hillary Murdered Vince Foster and anyway Obummercare has killed more people than Hitler and anyway why do Libtards have to spoil everything!?



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David Brooks: After The Liar, The Liar Still Burns


In case you hadn't noticed (and really, why would you?) Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times spends precious little time in the here-and-now.

And, really, why would he?

After all, the here-and-now is an ongoing Republican-made, disaster-in-progress.  It's an out-of-control tire fire at a toxic chemical dump next to an orphanage.  It's a zombie plane flying on and on with a dead crew and terrified passengers until it slams into nuclear power plant adjacent to the Smithsonian.  And an orphanage.

In other words, for a life-long, wildly-overpaid professional Conservative Public Intellectual like Mr. Brooks, life in the present-tense is a life spent trying to slither between the Scylla of "Holy Shit, my Republican party really is just a mob of paranoid, racist, inbred meatbags" and the Charybdis of "Double Holy Shit, the Left really was right about the Right all along."  For Mr. David Brooks, the present comprehensively sucks, which is why Mr. Brooks spends virtually all of this time either spinning fairy-tales about a Glorious Imaginary Past in which the last 50 years of Republican depravity in the service of oligarchy does not exist...or a Grand Imaginary Future in which everything turns out just great!

And thus we arrive at today's column, in which Mr. Brooks seems to clearly signal his readers which well-thumbed volume of patented Brooksian flapdoodle -- Past or Future -- he will be reciting to them today:
We Used to Build Things

...
Today’s California fires remind me of the largest fire in U.S. history, the Big Burn of 1910, which destroyed three million acres in Idaho, Montana and Washington.
But don't be fooled.  Starting off at the dawn of the 20th century is actually just Mr. Brooks' way of giving himself enough running room within the Glorious Imaginary Past to get up to speed so he can...

...complete oer'leap the last inconvenient half century of Republican perfidy and land safely within the precincts of the Grand Imaginary Future:
...
The good news is that one could have said the same thing in 1890, when politics was steeped in corruption and the economy wracked by crisis. But by 1910 the landscape was transformed. There were new organizations, new movements, a new mentality and a new burst of optimism.


Even the worst fires clear the way for new growth.
So what are the crises that Mr. Brooks hopes a cleansing fire will sweep away?
...
We’ve got just as many problems as previous generations faced — as many as in the progressive era, I’d say. Why has there been this decline in civic institution building?


Political polarization has got to be a big culprit. The federal government can’t build anything new, even something as obvious as a national service program. The churches have let us down, too. The Christian churches have been behind most of the big social movements in American history, like abolition, poverty programs and civil rights. But for the past generation the church has been fighting a defensive war against the sexual revolution, not an offensive assault for opportunity and human dignity.
Political polarization?  Yep.  Brought to you every day and twice on Sunday's for the last quarter century courtesy of Mr. Brooks' Republican party.

A federal government that has been crippled, slandered and bankrupted?  Yep.  Brought to you by the zombie spawn of this guy --


-- every fucking day of the year, even days when the zombie spawn of that guy have shut the government down in a fit of pique.

The Christopath churches whose Levitican, bigoted, anti-science, antediluvian goons have drive decent people the hell away from that nonsense?  Golly, David, who the hell do you think pulled the chair out for them in the first place?


Every decent, humane advancement made by this country has been fought tooth and nail by the movement to which Mr. Brooks has sold his time and talents for the last 30 years.  And now that the Republican party's long, wretched sojourn has finally given us President Stupid, Mr. Brooks is left with nothing to say but a tepid, G-rated little version of Travis Bickel's Taxi Driver mutterings:


Someday (Mr. Brooks confides to his readers) a real social conflagration may come and wash all this scum out of their places of power.

But of course, the Big Burn of 1910 was a natural disaster:  a catastrophe which men and women rose to meet.  But the Trump Administration -- and the Republican party which spawned it -- is the result of decades of deliberate and massive planning and investment by powerful Conservative interests.  Powerful Conservative interests who have made it perfectly clear that their goal is the destruction of the federal government of this country, and that their means to that end has been to shape the Republican base into a mob of infinitely reprogrammable meatbags who will keep handing the monsters who run their party more and more power, regardless of how much destruction they wreak on us.

You see, your party likes to see things burn, Mr. Brooks.  It is led by arsonists, and supported by a base which has been taught by those arsonists that firemen who are trying to put the fire out are actually dirty America-hating Libtards and the cause of all their problems.

And so far the only thing Republicans have ever learned from any of the conflagrations they have touched off was how to make the next one much bigger, much hotter and much more lethal.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

On The Owning Of Things

I don't know Dr. Gu, but he seems like a thoughtful, decent man.  In fact, imma go out on a limb and say that all of the people I have seen across social media today declaring that the Republicans now "own" this fiasco are probably thoughtful. 

And decent. 

And wrong.

Because if there is one thing at which the Republican Party (and their enablers in the media) excel at above everything else it is blowing shit up and then not owning it.  In fact, the last 40 year of American politics has been one, long, escalating cycle of Republican lying, cheating, plundering the government and killing everything they touch, and then being promptly and completely excused from taking any responsibility for any of it by their stooges, PR flacks and eager enablers in the press.

It is the foundation on which the entire High and Holy Church of Both Siderism was built, and I see no sign that any of the fundamentals of this toxic codependency have changed.  Believe me, I wish I could report little green shoots of Independence growing up between the cracks on the old media institutions, but I see no such thing.  For example. the corporations who own our media are now aggressively using the Rise of Trump not as an object lesson in the dangers of letting Republicans anywhere near the levers of power, but as an opportunity to give every unreconstructed Bush Regime Dead-Ender who is willing to say mean things about Il Douche a quick tuck-and-roll credibility rehab.

Even in the face of President Stupid's daily, public molestation of the basic norms of democracy and civilization our corporate media has used brute economic for to refused to permit our national public political dialogue to expand to create a genuine debate between the creators of the GOP Pretty Hate Machine that manifested Donald Trump, and those who have been warning about the trajectory the Republican Party has been taking for decades.   Instead, our corporate media has constricted the spectrum to A) Republicans Who Get Paid To Defend Trump and, B) Republicans Who Get Paid To Say Mean Things About Trump But Would Be Defending Marco Rubio If He Were Enacting The Same Depraved Policies But Without The Tweets.

As was true during the Age of Clinton, the Age of Bush and the Age of Obama, our corporate media has no place for those who were right all along, but always has plenty of room for, say, the latest tome by the author of such searing works of political truth as The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush and An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror (with Richard Perle)
I understand the opening is quite riveting
Call me Pishmael. Some years ago - let's all agree to forget how long precisely or what I was doing - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me in Canada, I thought I would come to the United States and work very hard to get the worst people in the world elected to high political office...



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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sigh






























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