Friday, December 09, 2016

In Late Breaking "We Told You So" News: Comrade Trump Still Sings Songs Of Love

I feel compelled to point out that back when Comrade Trump was declaring that his Party would be a Worker's Party, certain internet scoundrel hobos were trying in vain to call Meathead America's attention to the fact that, according to Comrade Trump's own words...

Comrade Trump Sings Songs Of Love
Comrade Trump promises that under his regime he will...
...tell American companies what they can produce and where they can produce it.

...tell American companies who they can hire and how much they will be paid.

...use the power of government to keep American workers working in dying industries despite what the market says.

...conquer inferior countries who have stuff we want.

...weed out the undesirables whoever they may be and wherever they may hide. an axis of strong alliances with other like-minded Strong Men around the world.

...not be held hostage by the counterrevolutionary forces of bourgeoisie science.

Comrade Trump does all this because he loves you all so very, very much:

But who want to listen to internet scoundrel hobos when The Most Famous Reporter In The World can put the full might of his internet-billionaire-backed enterprise behind an entirely different story, which was lovingly recounted here in the Russian-puppet-zine Sputnik:
Mainstream McCarthyism: Greenwald Blasts Media’s Anti-Russian Trump Attacks

In an interview with Slate Magazine, Glenn Greenwald let a rip on the mainstream media’s coverage of the rise of Donald Trump and feckless attempts to discredit the Republican standard-bearer by associating him with Moscow and flat out accusing him of being a Russian agent, Manchurian candidate, or a Putin puppet.

What concerns Greenwald is the rampant fabrications and false narratives spun against Trump solely in the name of impacting the presidential "horse race" which he views as akin to the death of journalism.
Since Mr. Greenwald moved way above my pay grade and blocked me I haven't paid much attention to his antics, and his Purity Horde has largely moved on to pester larger targets.  But I must say I still find it hilarious when Glenn "Anyone who disagrees with me is a drooling jackbooted Obot stooge and betrayer of all things Progressive" Greenwald suddenly decides to get all pissy and righteous about what he perceives to be the ad hominem attacks of others.  

Perl Harbor*

November 8th, 2016, a date which will live in infamy

To no one's surprise, Vladimir Putin's regime did indeed hack the United States election in order to hand the White House to Donald J. Trump.

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”
And it will surprise no one the Left that leading Republican senators -- including the Senate Majority Leader -- knew about it and chose to betray their country in order to serve their depraved political interests:
In a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information, administration officials broadly laid out the evidence U.S. spy agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions in at least two states and in hacking the emails of the Democratic organizations and individuals.

And they made a case for a united, bipartisan front in response to what one official described as “the threat posed by unprecedented meddling by a foreign power in our election process.”

The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.

According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.

Some of the Republicans in the briefing also seemed opposed to the idea of going public with such explosive allegations in the final stages of an election, a move that they argued would only rattle public confidence and play into Moscow’s hands.

McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment. After the election, Trump chose McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as his nominee for transportation secretary...
Our country has been hit by a massive sneak attack by a hostile foreign power: a sneak attack whose very existence was covered up by leaders of the Republican Party.

We're at war, kids.  A quiet, 21st century digital kind of war with massive and dire consequences here in the analog world, and in that war the Republican Party has taken the side of our enemies.

The word you are looking for is "treason".

*Not a spelling error:
Perl is a script programming language that is similar in syntax to the C language and that includes a number of popular UNIX facilities such as sed, awk, and tr. Perl is an interpreted language that can optionally be compiled just before execution into either C code or cross-platform bytecode. When compiled, a Perl program is almost (but not quite) as fast as a fully precompiled C language program.

Professional Left Podcast #366


Media Assisted Suicide Watch Continues

From the "We Fucking Told You So" file (it's a big file), it turns out that the lords and ladies of the American political media suck every bit as comprehensively as we always knew they did.

We on the Left have always known that the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism is the state religion of the Beltway and that, instead of actual "news", what we see on the teevee and hear on the radio and read in print almost every day are merely acts of compulsory tithing to the dogma of that depraved cult.  

Now, the Washington Post reports on just how far down that rat-hole the media has fallen:
Study: Clinton-Trump coverage was a feast of false equivalency

By Erik Wemple December 7

U.S. media organizations are locked into such a negative mind-set that they portrayed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as equally pernicious and scurrilous pretenders to the presidency. That, at least, is the conclusion of a study by Thomas E. Patterson in the fourth of his series of studies on media coverage of the presidential campaign for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

“False equivalencies abound in today’s reporting,” writes Patterson. “When journalists can’t, or won’t, distinguish between allegations directed at the Trump Foundation and those directed at the Clinton Foundation, there’s something seriously amiss. And false equivalencies are developing on a grand scale as a result of relentlessly negative news...
And who does the article spotlight as the poster-kids for this reeking, ruinous mendacity? 

Yep...(emphasis added):
On the May evening when the general-election matchup became clear, NBC News’s Chuck Todd riffed that Clinton would follow Trump to the “low road.” Yet no one captured the mood of false equivalency more tightly than ABC News chief political analyst Matthew Dowd: “Either you care both about Trump being sexual predator & Clinton emails, or u care about neither. But don’t talk about one without the other,” he wrote in a Nov. 1 tweet.
This is where millions of Americans who don't know any better -- who ordinary pay no more attention to politics than they pay to the fate of the Hubble telescope -- stop by for a few minutes every so often to pick up a six-pack of Dowd/Todd-brand poison labeled as Very Serious Political Opinions.  

Ought to be crime to do what these people do.

And There They Go...

Now watch the Trumpshirts just...

Because, as one flyover-country wretch once wrote...
Once you start to notice that a depressingly large number of our fellow citizens have become reprogrammable Orwellian meat-puppets, the rise of Trump is not hard to understand at all.

The Ongoing Triumphant Return of Tom Waits Friday

This seems apt:
Pin your ear to the wisdom post
Pin your eye to the line
Never let the weeds get higher than the garden
Always keep a sapphire in your mind
Always keep a diamond in your mind

You got to get behind the mule in the morning and plow
Got to get behind the mule in the morning and plow...
Happy Friday, traitors, and welcome to the Cornfield Resistance.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Idiocracy Is Upon Us

Trump expected to tap Carl’s Jr. boss Puzder to be Labor Secretary

Mr. Puzder, an adviser and contributor to Mr. Trump’s campaign, has criticized the Affordable Care Act and has argued against raising the federal minimum wage higher than $9 an hour. Democrats have called for raising the federal minimum wage for as high as $15.
Surprisingly, the GOP's "Idiocracy: The Home Game" is turning out to be much less* swampy-drainy than they had originally promised.  But the meatheads won't notice or care because the dumpsters out of which the meatheads consume their "news" will never have this on the menu.

Important trivia:  The movie "Idiocracy" leans heavily on a short story entitled "The Marching Morons" written by C. M. Kornbluth in 1951.


Let that sink in.

*Thanks for the catch.  I'm pretty wiped out. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

On the Subject of Listening to the People of the Land

In a former life, my span of responsibility was so weirdly far-flung  that when people asked me what I did for a living, I would tell them that I was in charge of saving Illinois manufacturing.  And while that's a wee bit of an exaggeration, it is entirely fair to say that working on every aspect of saving Illinois manufacturing took up most of my time and energy and the time, energy and budget of my tiny staff.

So believe me when I tell that even though I was involuntarily retired from the field of battle, my antennae is still highly attuned to items in the news about the struggles of the Rust Belt economy: outsourcing, manufacturing, skills training, the need to retool high schools and community colleges and the various federal, state and local policies and initiatives designed to get at these large and complex problems.

(Also every time the subject pops up within earshot, my darling wife pipes up with "Honey, they're talking about your stuff again!")

This is why I can tell you that this idea that "better messaging" to the white working class is somehow the royal road back to political majorities for the Democratic party is nonsense.  Sure, Democrats always need to work on speaking like mortal human beings and progressives in general suffer from an inexplicable inability to kill the fucking bunny even with all the claws and fangs at their disposal:

But messaging itself is not the problem.  The media is the problem.  And since, as the man said, the medium is the message, until we start taking on the media as Public Enemy #1, we're going to go right on losing.

This is shaping up to be a long post because sometimes I feel the need to drive a point home using a great big hammer, so if you want to scroll on down, be my guest.  But before you move along, my premise is fairly easy to summarize:
  1. For a variety if reasons, white working class Americans have been taking a pounding since the late 1970s.  And for a different variety of reasons, a disturbingly high number number of white working class Americans keep voting for the people that fuck them over.

  2. Judging by policy statements made, resources allocated, attention paid and political capitol spent, it's quite likely that history will judge the Obama Administration to have been the most consistently pro-manufacturing administration since Eisenhower.  In fact, outside of health care (and turkey pardons), I would wager a penny and a fiddle of gold that in the last eight years the Obama administration put more effort into promoting American manufacturing than into any other domestic policy priority.

  3. If you are a member of the general public, unless you made an extra special effort to inform yourself, you are blissfully unaware of any of this.

  4. If you are blissfully unaware of any of this, it is not because the Obama Administration failed to talk it up at every single opportunity, but because over the last eight years the American political media collectively decided that instead of boring-ass stories about what the Democratic party has been trying to do to improve the lives and futures of the working class Americans, what you needed to hear were lively fairy tales about Birth Certificates and Death Panels.  Email servers and Benghaaaazi.  A Republican rebranding scam called the "Tea Party".  Instead of stories about the Caucus Room Conspiracy and Republican sabotage and sedition, you needed to hear endlessly, plaintive cries from all the usual Beltway hacks about how Barack Obama was refusing to lead!
So, as the late, great Al Smith used to say, let's take a look at the record...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Vultures, Vultures Everywhere

As part of a nascent and irregular feature* on this blog, let us once again travel back roughly eight years and check in with President-elect Barack Obama.

Is he busy tweeting insults on Twitter, appointing dangerous lunatics to powerful positions in the federal government, lying about vote fraud or upending American foreign policy to make himself a trifle wealthier?

Nope, nope, nope and...nope.

Historical Note:  The post below mentions something called "awards" which were a thing that existed in the ancient blogging world.  In this case, the "Weblog Award" for Individual Blogger was something I won back in 2008 thanks to the energetic support of readers like you.  The same year, Andrew Sullivan won the "Best Blog" award.  In 2009 they shut the whole shebang down, which just goes to show you.  Also of minor historical note, in the original comment section a reader asked me how my job search was going.  A question which, like The Exorcist, just keeps getting funnier every time I think about it. Post also contains a reference to "Norm Coleman", who was a scary Disney character made up mostly of teeth and bullshit which Disney discontinued because it was giving kids nightmares.

Me, from January 14, 2009:

Everybody Comes to Barack’s

“Round up the usual suspects” Edition

So this happened:
Obama Pulls Up a Chair at George Will's House

By Michael D. Shear
Where does one dine a week before becoming the leader of the free world?

At the Chevy Chase, Md., house of conservative columnist George Will.

President-elect Barack Obama left his temporary home at the Hay-Adams Hotel at just after 6:15 this evening, arriving about 20 minutes later at Will's house, valued at $1.9 million.

Aides said the visit was a dinner party; eagle-eyed reporters spotted two other conservative columnists among the guests: William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and David Brooks of the New York Times.

This from the pool report, issued minutes ago: "Thanks to an enterprising photographer, a shot through a window showed op-ed stalwarts William Kristol and David Brooks are also part of this unlikely gathering of tight, right suits."
And while there is no official word on what they discussed, but running a sophisticated poly-dimensional analysis of sound vibrations picked up off the window, lip reading, and flatulence all run through the Mass Speculatometer 3000, it probably sounded a little something like this...

Do you mind if I ask you a few
questions? Unofficially, of course.

Make it official, if you like.

What is your nationality?

I'm an Islamofascist.

(scribbles madly)
Pulitzer here I come!

That was a joke.
I was born in Hawaii if that'll
help you any.

I understand you lived overseas for awhile.

There seems to be no secret about

Are you one of those people who cannot
imagine the free market in your beloved
Socialist France?

It's not particularly my beloved

Can you imagine us in London?

Now that you have fucked up the
global economyfor the next 30 years,

in Monty Python sketches.

Ho, diplomatist!

How about Chicago?

Try making a living peddling rims and tee-shirts
on Maxwell Street and then come back and
talk to me about “capitalism”.

Aha. Who do you think will win the
culture war?

I haven't the slightest idea.

I read in my column in the NYT that Barack is
completely neutral about everything.

You weren't always so carefully
neutral. We have a complete dossier
on you.

"Barack Obama, allegedly American. Possibly
forty-seven. Used ACORN to cheat Caribou
Barbie and that old guy out of the White House ."

How you did it is a little vague. We
know you love tax increases, Mr.
Obama, and also we know that you used
to be cool with gay marriage.

Don't worry. We are not going to
broadcast it.

Barack looks up from the book.

Is my skin really brown?

You will forgive my curiosity, Mr.
Obama. The point is, the enemies of
corporate feudalism have come to the Village
and we wanna know which side you are on.

My interest in whether your fucked up
Mainstream Media stays or goes is purely
a pragmatic one.

In this case, you have no sympathy
for Fox News, huh?

Not particularly. I understand the
point of view of the Rachel Maddow, too.

Anonymous bloggers publish the foulest
lies on Teh Internets every day, and even after
David Broder called them potty-mouthed
poo-heads they continued to post their
Liberal trash.

Of course, one must admit, some of them are
pretty fucking funny.


I admit they can be clever.
From l'affaire Jeff Gannon to the US Attorney
unpleasantness they have vexed us.

With our beloved Mooselini

they continue their slander,
We intend not to let it happen again.

Obama gets up.

You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your
business is bitching about trivia and pimping
your failed ideology. Mine is running
the world.

Later, to escape the sounds of Angry Neocon Love coming out of George Will’s sex dungeon wine cellar, Brooks slipped out on the porch with the President-Elect. Then, after a long, uncomfortable pause punctuated only by the sounds of traffic, the muffled, far-away shrieks of Billy Kristol in the transports of welt-raising deregulatory ecstasy, and the eye-rolling of the President-elect…

What in heaven's name brought
you to the Center?

My political health. I came to Center for the waters.

The waters? What waters?
The Center is a fucking desert!

I was misinformed.

In the months and years to come will see waves of dispossessed Conservatives -- Ideologically Displaced Persons -- washing up on our shores and looking for a home. And once they've wiped their filthy little feet on the Rug of Contrition and gone through decontam they will be surprised at what a relatively hospitable joint we run here over here on the Left side of the Earth.

Because the Liberal phantasms that have kept them angrily mesmerized their entire lives have been products of their own viciously partisan propaganda.

Over here in the Real World, we value hard work. Self-sustaining communities. Good schools.

Healthy, well-informed citizens.

Choice, for everybody.

Marriage, for everybody.

A government based on transparency and rigorous, well-considered performance standards.

Taxes that balance the need to pay for the infrastructure and the maintenance of the commons without need to promote creativity and the entrepreneurial drive that makes the wheels go ‘round.

And whatever their history, people who share these values and are willing to work on the means of realizing them are our allies and should be greeted as such.

So in that light, I understand Obama’s gesture. I don't agree with it, but I get the idea that, as Lincoln said, we destroy our enemies when we make friends of them.

But while that idea might contain some truth, this is also undoubtedly true:

My dear Barack, you overestimate the influence
of the Wingtards. I don't interfere with them and
they don't interfere with me. I am a Reasonable
Conservative and master of my fate! I am...

Ronald Reagan’s zombified corpse is here, sir!

You were saying?

Excuse me.

That as long as the livelihoods of men like Brooks, Kristol and Will depend on defending an obscene doctrine and ripping the guts out of anyone who opposes their loathsome agenda -- no matter deeply they bury the blade under layers of silk batting -- they remain democracy’s enemies.

And until a Conservative of any age, race, gender or class can cheerfully make a bonfire out of their dog-eared copies of --
“Atlas Shrugged”
“Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America”
“The World According to Ann Coulter”
“Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution”
“Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild”
“The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values”
“The O'Reilly Factor for Kids”
“Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism
“Setting the Woods on Fire”,
“Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down”
“Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America”
“The Case Against Barack Obama”
“Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning...

-- and a thousand others and pee on the ashes and walk away feeling the better for it, they simply cannot be trusted inside our perimeter.

ps. Thanks to the astonishing labors of many, kind peers, friends and complete strangers, I have apparently won the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Individual Blogger. Which stuns me. However until the Secretary of State completes the correct paperwork or Norm Coleman concedes, nothing is certified or official, so I’ll wait for The Word before posting a proper “Thank You”.

Until then, many, many thanks.

* Ironically, "nascent and irregular" is also my shirt size.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Today In Both Sides Do It: Van Jones

From Mediaite:
Elitism Makes Democrats ‘Disrespectful’: Van Jones Talks Post-Election Unity

“A lot of liberals think that all of Trump voters are part of the alt-right, neo-Nazi camp, which is not true,” Jones said. He explained that while many Trump voters were “not delighted” by some of Trump’s rhetoric, they had “other hurts” that compelled them to vote for the mogul over the former Secretary of State.

Jones moved on to say that both major political parties have blind spots. Democrats, he said, can be elitist and ignore middle-American “red state voters.” He stated that many liberals think conservatives are dumb, which “makes that party disrespectful.”

The Republicans’ blind spot is racial, said Jones. He explained that the party ignores the issues of people of color by promoting the idea of “color-blind meritocracy.”
The Beltway appeasement dollar remains the most reliable Beltway dollar of all.