Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday Morning Comin' Down



I've already said all I had to say about Mr. David Brooks' garment-rending-hand-wringing column on Friday and his appearance on the Intelligence Squared debate stage and his dizzyingly non-linear understanding of recent American political history, so I will just note that this Sunday morning was something like the 3,785th time he was invited to appear on Meet the Press to reprise portions of his most recent column for the reading-impaired.
CHUCK TODD:  David, I want to get to a point you made in your column on Friday, which is a victory by Roy Moore for the Republican Party is, I guess, the ultimate in empiric victory, isn't it?

DAVID BROOKS:  Right.
Also featured on Meet the Press was noted tosspot, torture-whisperer and Respected NBC Employee, Peggy Noonan.  Because I suppose given the state of swooning fidgets which have temporarily afflicted Mr. David Brooks this week, NBC brass thought he might need some help bearing the Both Sides banner on his own.

Peggers was more than up to the task.

After pausing briefly to kick Al Franken on his way out of the Senate --

-- she hied herself over to NBC as fast as possible without risking spillage --


-- in order to deliver her lines:
PEGGY NOONAN:  I understand. Can I say, part of this pushback you see on Fox and other stations and outlets, part of it is I very much remember “Let's kill Ken Starr”--

CHUCK TODD:  Right.

PEGGY NOONAN:  -- in the late 1990s, it was the Democratic party and Democratic media trying to kill the Republican special prosecutor. That said, it is so important, so much depends on the Mueller investigation that it's not bad, I think, if people look at it in a strict way and just say, "Make sure everything's on the up and up and fully credible and not partisan and not partisan political creepiness."
Watching the Sunday Shows really is like watched state-media broadcasts from Camazotz.  Part ahistoric blathering, part hastily thrown-together Both Siderist fairy tales, all in the service of  awkwardly and self-consciously avoiding any discussion that has anything to do with what is actually going on in this country right now, or the lived experiences and memories of the tens of millions of us who exist outside of the Beltway bubble.  

And I am oddly comforted by the fact that the perpetrators of this weekly sham are so keenly aware of how weak and ridiculous they are that they absolutely will not let anyone within a 1000 yards of the party who might show up with a little actual, inconvenient history in-hand.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

David Brooks Got a Song That Ain't Got No Melody


He's gonna sing it to his friends.
Will it go round in circles?
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

David Brooks pooped out a long, sad column on Friday entitled "The G.O.P. Is Rotting".  It caught many people's attention -- so much so that many people who are not America's leading Brooksologist had many things to say about it --
-- which I'm sure I will get to in greater depth sooner or later, unless this post veers into the tall grass, as happens every now and then.*

But the long and short of Mr. Brooks' particular genre of New York Times'-underwritten fiction (and as I have pointed out countless times already, it is fiction) is that, like Camleot, once there was a Republican party which, for, one brief shining moment was fucking awesome.
The Republican Party I grew up with admired excellence.
And that unbeknownst to anyone, somewhere along the way something went wrong.
A lot of good, honorable Republicans used to believe there was a safe middle ground. You didn’t have to tie yourself hip to hip with Donald Trump, but you didn’t have to go all the way to the other extreme and commit political suicide like the dissident Jeff Flake, either. You could sort of float along in the middle, and keep your head down until this whole Trump thing passed.


Now it’s clear that middle ground doesn’t exist. That’s because Donald Trump never stops asking...
Something which slipped right by men like Mr. David Brooks, whose only fucking job for the past 20 years has been to be paid exorbitant sums of American money to speak with sweeping, insider authority about what was going on inside the Conservative movement and the Republican party.  Something which men like Mr. David Brooks have confidently asserted for decades was just a figment to the fevered imagination of stupid, deranged, Bush-hating Liberals who, I'm sure, were on stilts the whole time.

This whole being-completely-fucking-wrong-about-everything-having-to-do-with-his-own-party has left Mr. David  Brooks groping for an explanation, which he delivers in a manner best appreciated if you imagine it coming out of his bland moon face in same baby-talk tone as President Merkin Muffley explaining to Soviet Premier Dimitri Kissoff that one of his base commanders has gone "a little funny in the head":


This is the moment when the enforcement of the Beltway Iron Rule of David Brooks --



-- becomes most important, because this is the moment where the time-line of Mr. Brooks' political theology -- that his Republican party was humming along great until, completely without warning, it was suddenly taken over by hobgoblins and madmen -- goes into the ditch.

For example, on Friday, December 8, 2017, Mr. Brooks would like you to believe that the downfall of his party began with the arrival of Sarah Palin and Fox News:
The reason, I guess, is that the rot that has brought us to the brink of Senator Roy Moore began long ago. Starting with Sarah Palin and the spread of Fox News, the G.O.P. traded an ethos of excellence for an ethos of hucksterism.
But immediately there's a problem.

Fox News began its reign of bullshit in 1996.  That is a definite point on a verifiable timeline.

But here is Mr. David Brooks in 1999 telling his readers that his Republican party is being rebuilt into something awesome:
ONE NATION CONSERVATISM
How George W. Bush and John McCain -- without quite realizing it -- are creating a new Republican philosophy
SEP 13, 1999

...together, Bush's Compassionate Conservatism and McCain's New Patriotic Challenge are steps toward a fresh vision for the Republican party. Indeed, if you meld the core messages of the two campaigns, you get a coherent governing philosophy for the post-Clinton age.
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2000 telling his readers that his Republican party is on the mend!
Pabulum with a Purpose
Beneath the much-mocked superficiality of the Philadelphia convention is a serious effort to transform the GOP
AUG 14, 2000

The GOP is not intolerant...
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2001 telling his readers that his Republican party is hale and hearty and doing just fine and it's the Libtards like me who are wacky and foolish:
Competent Conservatives, Reactionary Liberals
JAN 15, 2001

...We seem to be entering a period of competent conservatism and reactionary liberalism. George W. Bush has put together a cabinet long on management experience and practical skills. But liberal commentators and activists, their imaginations aflame, seem to be caught in a time warp, back in the days when Norman Lear still had hair. 
Here is Mr. David Brooks in 2002 telling his readers that there is no such thing as Corporate America -- that it's all a dirty, pinko Libtard myth invented to win elections:
Why Republicans Should Be Afraid 
A lot can go wrong for them this fall.
JUL 29, 2002

...the Democrats seem to think that there is this organized entity called Corporate America, made up of senior executives, Republicans, white country clubbers, and people who were cheerleaders and prom kings in high school. If they can get the rest of the country to hate these people as much as they do, then they will win elections. Because they have this category in their heads, Democrats see the corporate scandals as tainting the whole Republican party.

But Americans who have not been suckled on the "Marx-Engels Reader" do not carry these categories around in their heads. They perceive no one organized entity, Corporate America, that ruthlessly exploits another, Ordinary Americans.
At this point along the time-line of Mr. Brooks' political theology we enter the period of the Great Iraqi Clusterfuck during which he unlimbers his most venomous prose to praise George W. Bush and the Republican party unstintingly and flog dirty, Libtard traitors like me unsparingly.

So yadda yadda, yadda...We Won!

Something something...Libtards are dolts and liars who will never admit they were wrong, wrong about Dubya.

And then oopsie! It all falls apart, and Mr. David Brooks (and the rest of the Beltway media) suddenly and aggressively shift away from praising George W. Bush without ceasing...

...and begin a Brand New Era of blaming every problem under the Sun on Both Sides.

Now being a clever reader you see that I have palmed a card.  OK, the "Fox News" part of David Brooks' time-line might be fucked, but what about Sarah Palin?
 Starting with Sarah Palin and the spread of Fox News, the G.O.P. traded an ethos of excellence for an ethos of hucksterism
Huh?  What about that?

Fair point.

Sarah Palin showed up on the American political scene when John McCain named her as his running mate in late September of 2008.

Here is Mr. David Brooks six years later in November of 2014, just seven months before Donald J. Trump rode his Escalator of Doom into history.
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
You see, for University of Chicago history baccalaureate David Brooks, modern Republican political history cannot be allowed to exist as it does for little nobodies like you and me -- as a series of events and decisions which lead one to the next, to the next, until we arrive at the Administration of President Stupid.  A history in which nature and trajectory of the modern Republican party were so the fundamental and directly observable that the accelerating devolution of the Right from depravity to depravity to where we are now was clearly and easily predictable (and predicted) even by stupid Libtard traitors like me.

Because if history does exist in the way you and I perceive it -- a linear progression through time occasionally spiced up with Giant Screaming Neon Signs that tell us what will probably come next if we continue  down a particular road -- then it would appear that Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times must either be a complete idiot or a pathological liar, neither one of which looks good on the Times' masthead.

But Mr. Brooks is neither a historian nor a journalist:  he is an amateur Conservative political theologian, who plies his trade at the intersection of both folly and fraud.

For him, the past and present are one big bag of unrelated, atemporal baubles to be ransacked in order to craft little political morality fables.  Or, rather, slight variations of exactly the same, extremely profitable self-exonerating political morality fable -- Both Sides Are To Blame And Men Like David Brooks Had Nothing To Do With Any Of It -- over and over again.

With the Rise of Trump, Mr. Brooks makes it very clear that he believed his Republican Party is faced with the unique threat of an unprincipled, unrepentant thug leading a legion of craven elected officials into dark and terrible places (from The New York Times on Friday):
“What shall it profit a man,” Jesus asked, “if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” The current Republican Party seems to not understand that question. Donald Trump seems to have made gaining the world at the cost of his soul his entire life’s motto.

It’s amazing that there haven’t been more Republicans like Mitt Romney who have said: “Enough is enough! I can go no further!”
And in his Intelligence Squared debate performance on same day he wrote this column**, Mr. Brooks also makes it clear that he believes the reason so many Republican voters have thrown in with such craven and reprehensible people is that we Libtards are smug, judgmental assholes (this my rush transcript which begins at around the 15:30 mark, so all typos are my own):
And the fourth thing..biggest thing I found as far as the resolution is that you could tell somebody based on a label.  ...  The claim of this resolution is that Liberals as people are superior to Robbie and me.  And the rest of those who go by the label "conservatism".  I fundamentally believe that is a bit of a pernicious way to think.  If you think you're superior to me and you come from a moral high ground it's pretty hard for us to have a conversation.  
If you think you come from a moral high ground superior to me I can't compromise with your because to do that would be to surrender my honor.  If you think you're morally superior to Conservatives well then Conservatives will act with angry resentment and a lot of people voted for Donald Trump  because they though a bunch of tenured radicals along the coasts thought they were morally superior to them.  And so if you want the kind of politics you have today, think you're morally superior to the other side.
During this "debate" Mr. Brooks and his partner goes all-in on his despicable Both Siderist dogma by dismissing the whole idea that anyone can be morally superior to anyone else as a "pernicious concept".  In fact, as Mr. Brooks elaborated, anyone who dares to think they are morally superior to anyone else is probably a sign that they are not.

Got that?  In Mr. Brooks' universe, John Lewis is not morally superior to Roy Moore and Barack Obama is not morally superior to Donald Trump.  Like some half-drunk sophomore philosophy major trying to bullshit their way out of a DUI, Mr. Brooks wants you to believe that the people who presume to judges his actions are the ones who are truly morally suspect. 

In doing so, Mr. Brooks not only takes his French leave from any responsibility for anything his party has ever done, and not only destroys the possibility of any public conversation on this subject by insisting as a precondition for participation that no one should be allowed to draw a distinction between apple juice and rat poison, but he also removes all agency from those who want to feed us the rat poison.  According to Mr. Brooks, the base voters of his Republican party who showed up last November in their tens of millions to elect an unhinged, openly racist, serial liar and sexual predator in order to take my family's health insurance away did not do so because they are racists or Dominionists or because letting Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity take a dump in their skulls for 20 years had turned them into reprogammable meatbags.  No, according to Mr. Brooks they queued up to proudly vote for a deranged monster because "a bunch of tenured radicals along the coasts thought they were morally superior to them."

Thanks a lot, Libtards!

But just for fun and to beat this dead horse just a bit more, let's go back in time a little ways.  Before Donald Trump.  Before Sarah Palin.  Before the Fake Tea Party and Death Panels and Birthers.

Back to an era which has been cordoned off  as "Danger: Do Not Enter!" by most of the mainstream media, the entire Republican party.

Back to 2005 when Mr. Brooks' Republican party was -- surprise! -- facing the unique threat of an unprincipled, unrepentant thug leading a legion of craven elected officials into dark and terrible places.  Note Mr. Brooks' completely hilarious read on who the "American people" are (spoiler: they're conservative!) and up with what kind of mischief these Conservative voters definitely will not put:
Then there is the Tom DeLay situation. Conversations with House Republicans in the past week leave me with one clear impression: If DeLay falls, it will not be because he took questionable trips or put family members on the payroll. It will be because he is anxiety-producing and may become a political liability.

Being conservative, the American people don't want leaders who perpetually play it close to the ethical edge. They don't want leaders who, under threat, lash out wildly at beloved institutions like the judiciary. They don't want leaders whose instinct is always to go out wildly on the attack. They don't want leaders so reckless that even when they know they are living under a microscope, they continue to act in ways that invite controversy.

House Republicans like what DeLay has done, and few have any personal animus toward him, but his aggressiveness makes them -- and his own constituents -- nervous. Only 39 percent of DeLay's Texas constituents said they would stick with him if he were up for re-election today, a Houston Chronicle survey found.
Twelve years ago, Libtard nobodies like me were warning that conservative voters were plunging down a long, dark road that would swiftly lead to the election of monsters and the ruin of the nation, while highly-paid Conservative brain wizards like David Brooks asserting with absolute confidence that Conservative voters could never in a million years nominate and elect someone who sabotaged the judiciary and other "beloved institutions", attacked chimp-with-a-machine-gun-fashion in all directions, lurched from controversy to controversy, and played it "close to the ethical edge".  

And twelve years ago, who did Mr. David Brooks blame for driving to poor, noble Conservative voters into the arms of such the Party of Tom DeLay?  Well if you guessed those same "tenured radicals along the coasts" who, twelve years later, are apparently still driving those poor, noble Conservative voters (who somehow have managed to avoid learning a single fucking thing in the intervening years except to turn Fox up louder) into the arms of monsters, you are correct!
This does not mean good news for Democrats. That party is at risk of going into a death spiral. The Democrats lost white working-class voters by 23 percentage points in the last election, and now the party is being led by people who are guaranteed to alienate those voters even more: the highly educated and secular university-town elites who follow Howard Dean and believe Bush hatred and stridency are the outward signs of righteousness.
Twelve years later, history has proven that the base voters of Mr. Brooks' Republican party absolutely adore literally everything that Mr. Brooks told his readers that they loath, and yet the fairy tale which The New York Times continues to pay him a princely sum to spin about what the Republican party really is why they do what they do has remained virtually unchanged.

After the debate, Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted this, which echoed her plea during the debate that those who sat by and let the Republican party (my words, not hers) devolve into a freakshow of lunatics and bigots and imbeciles must stop pretending that this all just happened out-of-the-blue 18 months ago when Trump showed up and take some god damn responsibility for the disaster they helped to author.
But sadly, that is never going to happen.

And it is never going to happen specifically because of men like Mr. David Brooks who, as I mentioned above, is neither historian nor journalist.  Mr. Brooks is an amateur Conservative political theologian -- a cardinal in the Beltway's one true religion, the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism. A cult built on cherry-picking random facts and observations from here and there and extrapolating wildly and wrongly from them in order to generate variations of exactly the same, Beltway-comforting and self-exonerating political morality fable over and over again:
Both Sides Are To Blame And Men Like David Brooks Had Nothing To Do With Any Of It
*Look like this post veered into the tall grass after all :-)




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**The Intelligence Squared debate I referenced was stupid for a lot of reasons, but mostly it was stupid because while the topic was "Liberals Hold the Moral High Ground", neither the moderator (John Donvan) nor Team Conservative (David Brooks and Robert George) were remotely interested in letting the debate stray into any discussion about what was happening in the here-and-now with real political parties and real issues.

Mr. Donvan appeared to realize almost immediately how stupidly the proposition for this debate had been framed, but nonetheless kept aggressively cutting off Team Good Guys (Melissa Harris-Perry and Howard Dean) when they introduced facts and figures and insisted that they stick to debating whether a completely abstract and theoretical concept of "Liberal" (whatever the fuck that means) is morally superior to a completely abstract and theoretical concept of "Conservative" across all time, space and dimensions.

Which suited Team Conservative just fine, because it let them off the hook for explaining the death-spiral depravity of the Republican Party and the Conservatives Movement as they have existed during their entire adult lifetime and instead permitted them to wander the aisles of an Imaginary GOP and Idealized Conservatism, picking and choosing whatever fairy tales suited their immediate need.

Thus armored and with the floor slanted mightily in their direction, all Team Conservative had to do was play defense.

Example (slightly fictionalized):
Team Good Guys say "Roy Moore".
Team Conservative responds: Well what about Bill Clinton?  What about Woodrow Wilson?  What about Maximilien fucking Robespierre?
Example (slightly fictionalized):
Team Good Guys say "Donald Trump".
Team Conservative responds: Trump is not a Republican.  He is a reactionary outlier that showed up 18 months ago and ensorcelled the GOP using some magical power we don't understand.  Before that everything was fucking awesome!  Trump is the enemy of both Republicans and Democrats, and both Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for his rise.


Saturday, December 09, 2017

Matthew Dowd is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person



"We"? Who the fuck is "we"?

Seriously, what is it about these network news muppets that, at every critical juncture, they are incapable of forming their mouths to say the word "Republican".

Exhibit B:
A "Republican" congressman you pisher.

Republican. 



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Friday, December 08, 2017

Professional Left Podcast #418


"Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"
-- Traditional English nursery rhyme
Don't forget 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 it all for us!


Links:


The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" -- 







-- and real listeners like you!




Who Reads Shit Like This And Thinks --



-- "I have got to find a way to get this sniveling racist man-pig to speak at my university because we deeply value lively, honest debate about important issues facing our country"?

Or better yet, how about a free platform on a major American news network to whine about how cruelly the freedom of speech for sniveling, racist man-pigs like him is being restricted?

From ABC News:
Outspoken conservative Ben Shapiro on whether free speech still has a place on college campuses
 Funny old world.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Specter at the Banquet That Didn't Bark in the Night: Update


Here's a funny thing.

Ms. Ana Marie Cox -- who has worn many media hats over the years -- now has a podcast called "With Friends Like These" which is built on the premise of having “uncomfortable conversations” with people who have a different point of view.

Ms. Cox's podcast is a Big Podcast in large measure because it exists under the umbrella of Crooked Media -- a Liberal podcast collective about which you may have heard.   It is big enough to be her chyron tag on the Morning Joe teevee show --


-- and big enough to be her one-line bio at the Washington Post:
Ana Marie Cox is the host of Crooked Media's "With Friends Like These."
It is clearly very good to have friends like these.

Anyhoo, it just so happens that, in addition to being Stephanie Miller's newest BFF and the co-host of his own teevee show on The MSNBC, Mr. Joe Scarborough is also enough of a Beltway media macher to rate his own Washington Post column.

So, y'know, very, very good to have friends like these.

And today, these two Washington Post columnists got together on Mr. Scarborough's teevee show to parse Ms. Cox's article in the Washington Post, which is entitled:
Al Franken isn’t being denied due process. None of these famous men are.
This is a performance that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

For his part, Mr. Scarborough' primary professional goal these days is to eradicate all memory of the fact that he has been a typically peevish Republican boor and whiny asshole for his entire career, and that before Donald Trump threatened to out Mr. Scarborough's affair with his co-host, Mr. Scarborough was only too happy let his longtime pal, Donald John Trump, use his teevee show as the launching pad for his political ambitions.  So on-air badinage with Ms. Cox helps him burnish his newly-minted Mr. Enlightened Independent Guy persona.

For her part, Ms. Cox has fallen from a high place in the media to about as low a place on the media food chain as possible.  Podcasting.  Which is barely one step above gleaning the fields of Moab for a living.  However, because she has friends like these and a Big podcast, she can swing a column in the Washington Post, which in-turn, translates into face-time on Mr. Scarborough's teevee show.

From the video you can see that Joey Joe Joe Junior very much does not like being interrupted and contradicted by mouthy ladies --


-- but he  and Ms. Cox nonetheless danced grimly and uncomfortably around each other like matter and anti-matter trying to tarantella without actually touching.

Because the Circle of Beltway Life, don'tcha know.

And they talked and they talked about Al Franken and Roy Moore and Al Franken and Roy Moore and Donald Trump and Al Franken and Roy Moore.

But here's a funny thing.

You see this picture?


That guy at the opposite side of the semicircle from Ms. Cox is named Mike Barnicle, about whom I have, in the past, written some unflattering-but-true things, strictly in the spirit of having “uncomfortable conversations” with people who have a different point of view.  

(Brief driftglass aside/ For the record, Mr. Barnicle has never reciprocated my invitation to have an “uncomfortable conversation” about, say, the ubiquity and toxicity of the Both Siderism that is the only thing propping up his career. Nor has Michael Gerson, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, David Brooks, Rick Wilson [a frequent guest of Ms. Cox], Matthew Dowd, Hugh Hewitt, Chris Hayes, Ezra Klein, Bret Stephens, Joe Scarborough  [a new BFF of Stephanie Miller], Michael Steele [another new BFF of Stephanie Miller], Tom Friedman, Harold Ford Junior, Kathleen Parker, Ron Fournier, Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, Andrew Sullivan, Rich Lowry, Ross Douthat, Peter Beinart, Jonathan Chait, John Podhoretz, Ben Shapiro, George Will, David French, Erick Erickson, Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd to name just a few.  In fact, on many, many occasions, my overtures to these media personages to have an “uncomfortable conversation” has gotten me blocked.   So either I'm doing this all wrong, or there is something really, really important about having Friends Like These./ End brief driftglass aside.)

Anyway, back to Mike Barnicle.  And next to him, tangibly present but invisible to the untrained eye, hovers the specter at this particular banquet:  Mr. Mark Halperin.

And here's the funny thing.  The hilarious thing.

Smack in the middle of the article by Ms. Cox which occasioned her invitation onto Mr. Scarborough's show and which the panel was so gingerly mining for any thin vein of ratings gold, we find this delightful paragraph (to which I have added some emphasis to guide your eye):
But those who decry what’s happening with Franken — and the #metoo reckoning writ large — as “moral flattening” are doing some serious steamrolling themselves, yoking together every corporate disavowal, every canceled contract and every defunct résumé line into the same tragic ending, such as Ziegler characterizing Franken’s likely return to civilian life as a “demise.” Or Gingrich equating the same move to dangling off the branch of a tree. (I am reminded of Mike Barnicle bemoaning the fate of his erstwhile MSNBC co-contributor Mark Halperin: “But does he deserve to die?”) Much as rape is not opportunistic groping and exposing oneself is not child molestation, there’s a whole scale of consequences available between death and “no longer having an extraordinarily prestigious and well-paying job.”
Well Jesus Christ and Philo Farnsworth, there sat Mr. Barnicle himself!  And with the spirit of Mr. Halperin hovering palpably nearby!  Separated from Crooked Media's very own, branded "Uncomfortable Conversation" podcaster by naught but ten feet of Lucite table-top and some hard-eyed professional cost/benefit calculations. 

And...

And...

And not a word was spoken on the subject.  Not one word.

And that silence spoke volumes.
Gregory [a Scotland Yard detective]: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?

Sherlock Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

Gregory: The dog did nothing in the night-time.

Sherlock Holmes: That was the curious incident.

"The Adventure of Silver Blaze", Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


UPDATE:

The crowd at the Morning Joe Sycophant Circle just keeps getting thinner and thinner. 
From Media-Ite:

Former Rep. and Morning Joe Analyst Harold Ford Jr. Fired From Morgan Stanley For Alleged Misconduct




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Sound Advice From President Hockstader



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Lop-Headed Man-Baby Doesn't Wanna Be Javert No More*


You might remember a couple of centuries ago there was this lop-headed Republican goober* (h/t Brother Charles Pierce) named Trey Gowdy straight out of a Hee Haw road show jug band who developed for himself quite the outsized reputation among the the plain-talkin' folk of Real Murrica places like Yoknapatawpha County and Sisterfuck, Arkansas for heroically investigating a long-settled tragedy called BenghaaaziBenghaaaziBenghaaazi over and over again until, by God and all His Merry Angels, ol' Trey's gonna find some god damn way to toss Hillary Clinton under the god damn Hoosegow.  Yee Fucking Haw!

And if you remember that, you might also remember it did not go well for Mr. Gowdy, as I extensively noted at the time ("At The Pillory Clinton Hearing"):


In point of fact, Hillary Clinton whipped the living daylights out of the entire GOP team so comprehensively, live, on national teevee, that the Republican Party had no choice but to go on "investigating" her for several more months, because, y'know, Freedumb isn't Free, people!


And if you've made it this far, you also might vaguely remember that when Mr. Gowdy was finally forced by that grim bitch Reality to deliver a big bag of farts and IOUs to the Pig People, after promising them the moon and the sun and Killary Clinton behind bars, the Pig People were not amused.

From the WaPo:
Benghazi conspiracy theorists turn on Trey Gowdy
A day after the House Benghazi committee released a final report that left Hillary Clinton relatively unscathed, conservative activists — the conspiracy-minded ones who pressured House leaders to appoint the committee in the first place — rounded on Chairman Trey Gowdy for failing to deliver the goods.

“To say I was disappointed would be an understatement,” retired Adm. James “Ace” Lyons complained at a meeting Wednesday afternoon of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, a coalition of far-right ­foreign- policy types. “Chairman Gowdy is not a stenographer. . . . He was there to make findings and conclusions. He had the information. He copped out, which is consistent that we’ve seen with all our congressional leadership.”

Retired Gen. Thomas McInerney agreed that “the American people want to know from a group that spent almost two years on it what the conclusions are. That’s what we pay you for, Mr. Gowdy.”...
And now, just a year later, when Mr. Wildly Overzealous Oversight is faced with actual high crimes being perpetrated right in front of him but an unhinged madman with an (R) after his name?

Because Freedumb still isn't Free, people!
But is it priced to move


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The History Of The World


1994:

Liberals:  Republicans are breeding monsters. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
1995:
Liberals:  Seriously, Republicans are breeding monsters. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
1996:
Liberals:  No kidding, this is getting bad.  Republicans are breeding monsters.  You should really be taking this a whole lot more seriously than you are. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
1997:
Liberals:  Republicans.  Monsters. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
1998:
Liberals:  Hey look!  A bunch of monsters all wearing "Property of the GOP" tee shirts. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
1999:
Liberals:  Really? Nothing? 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
2000:

Liberals:  Really?  Still nothing? 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up.
2001:
Liberals:   Yes, 9/11 was very bad.  And Republicans are still breeding monsters. 
Beltway Media:  Sit down and shut up, ya filthy Fifth Columnists.
2002:
Liberals: The monsters are lying us into the wrong war. 
Beltway Media:  Look surrender-monkey, Dubya is Murrica, so sit down and shut up.
2003:
Liberals: The monsters have teeth now.  They're looting the treasury and getting Americans killed. 
Beltway Media:  Iraq is going great!  We're all Fox now!  Sit down and shut up.
2004:
Liberals: The monsters are not even hiding anymore. 
Beltway Media:  John Kerry is a pussy.  Swiftboaters are credible. Sit down and shut up.
2005:
Liberals: The monsters are out in broad daylight now. Iraq is going to shit.  Also Katrina.  
Beltway Media:  Bush may have made some mistakes, but Liberals are bad too, so sit down and shut up.
2006:
Liberals: The monsters are on the run.  Maybe if we work together we can finally start undoing... 
Beltway Media:  Sure, but Both Sides, so sit down and shut up.
2007:
Liberals: Are you really going to sit there and pretend that... 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2008:
Liberals: Reality has finally repudiated Republican monsters.  At last we can begin to repair... 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2009:
Liberals: Don't you think it's time to start demanding that Republicans take some responsibility for... 
Beltway Media:  There are no Republicans.  There are only millions and millions of newly-minted "Independents."  Also shut up.
2010:
Liberals: Birtherism?  Death Panels?  Your're  not really going to let them... 
Beltway Media:  Oh look!  A Tea Party!  And they're mad at Both Sides!  Yay!
2011:
Liberals: The monsters are wearing tri-corn hats now, but they're still monsters. 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2012:
Liberals: The monsters the Republicans have bred are now openly nuts. 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2013:
Liberals: And openly racist. 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2014:
Liberals: The monster the Republicans were breeding monsters are now completely fucking out in the open about it.  Really.  They're out and proud.  
Beltway Media:  Facts are scary.   Facts get you fired.  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2015:
Liberals: Since it is physically impossible to not see the monsters at this point, clearly this game you are playing is serving someone else's agenda. 
Beltway Media:  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2016:
Liberals: Fuck me.  You really are going to let Il Douche get away with murder, aren't you?
Beltway Media:  Corrupt duopoly!  Disruption is awesome!  Both Sides.  Shut up.
2017:
2018:
Beltway Media: Panel after panel of wildly overpaid current and former Republicans discuss how no one saw any of this coming...


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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Today in Republican Detachment Disorder: Let Our Skeevy Past Be Stricken from Every Book and Tablet


Stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every mainstream media outlet in America.

Let the horrific shit we said and did for decades that led inexorably to the Rise of Trump be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.

So, how are we all doing today?

I know how I'm doing.  I'm sitting up late into the night with my lovely wife wondering how we're going to function as a going concern now that Amazon has decided to shut off the rewards program that was generating half of the revenue from our podcast.

Half.

We were meticulous about following their guidelines, but in the end, they shut it down anyway, and so whatever we had in the pot in September is now the last dime we will ever see from them, because whatever was in there for October and November from purchases you all made through our link has been taken back.  It was fun while it lasted and thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who bought stuff this way knowing that you were kicking in a little do-re-mi to literally keep the lights on and the health insurance paid at our little podcast in the Middle of Middle America.

So that's how I'm doing.

You want to know who isn't worried one little bit about suddenly and arbitrarily losing half their income?

The New York Times' newest resident Very Serious Conservative, Bret Stephens.  Because despite generally being an assembly-line-created Modern Conservative douchbag and climate change denialist, Mr. Stephens excels at providing the hot commodity which is most in demand in professional media circles today.  See if you can spot it!



BRET STEPHENS: You know, I find myself and I think a lot of my friends in the same position, which is, we're in a kind of "I can't believe what I'm saying" moment.  Because for so much of my political life, I have just been sort of consistently and instinctively on the side of the Republican Party.  That's when it was a matter of the sort of policies they were espousing, especially a version of the Republican Party that was about free trade, enterprise, openness, democracy, human rights and so on.  That party, incredibly, in the space of just a year and a half...no longer...simply no longer exists...
Yeah, you're clever.  You spotted it.
That party, incredibly, in the space of just a year and a half, simply no longer exists... 
Although I will give Mr. Stephens for accidentally using the word "incredibly" correctly:
incredibly:  adverb -- Used to introduce a statement that is hard to believe.
And the reason that Mr. Stephen's assertion that the GOP went from a party of "free trade, enterprise, openness, democracy, human rights" to a party of degenerates, imbeciles, racists and demagogues in 
"in the space of just a year and a half" is incredible is because...it is not credible.

Or, in plainer language, it is a lie.  A Big Lie.  A Big Lie in which every single person on that panel actively participates, along with virtually the entire profession of American political journalism and punditry.


A Big Lie that that is so terribly fragile and so easily debunked that it cannot bear the slightest push-back or scrutiny, which is exactly why dirty hippie push-backers and scrutinizers are not allowed within thousand yards of panels like these.  

Because even the most casual observer cannot fail to notice that the ranks of profession of American political journalism and punditry are now wildly overstocked with wildly overpaid hacks like Mr. Bret Stephens who are employed at heavy expense to make sure that the Big Lie behind which they all cower remains intact no matter what.  One sustained attack on their big, glass jaw and the whole edifice of their artifice would shatter, which is why the men who own the cameras and who fill Mr. Stephens' pockets with ducats do not allow that to happen.

Hey, you want to know who else isn't worried one little bit about missing any meals anytime soon?

This guy.


This guy: "Clarence Thomas's wife presents award to James O'Keefe at Trump hotel".

From The Atlantic:
It’s been eight years since O’Keefe’s debut on the national scene. The videos in which he and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute to record ACORN employees appearing to advise them on how to break the law made the kind of impact mainstream news organizations dream of. They lead to ACORN shutting down, and made O’Keefe a key figure in the conservative media of the time. While others in the blogosphere or on cable news complained about the left, O’Keefe was out there doing something about it, infiltrating liberal institutions and exposing their corruption.

According to tax filings for Project Veritas, O’Keefe is raising more money than ever; he drew a salary of over $300,000 last year. But Project Veritas feels like a relic from an earlier era in conservative media, like a Glenn Beck chalkboard or a Fox News segment on “Obamaphones.”...
In case Mr. Stephens reads this, allow me to explain.  You see, Bret, "eight years" is longer than "a year and a half".  In fact, Bret, your side of the political spectrum has been an extraordinarily fertile and profitable breeding ground for all manner of ratfuckers and scum-peddlers for decades now.   And for all of those decades that the Republican Party has spent shambling quite deliberately and purposefully down the long, wide, and clearly-marked road from Nixon's Southern Strategy and Lee Atwater, through Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, and now, at last, to Brietbart, Hannity, O'Keefe and all the rest of the flesh-eaters and hobgoblins who own the Party of Lincoln...

...none of Conservatism's overpaid child-men like you, Bret, gave one little damn about the truth.

And now that the Beast that we dirty hippies have warned you about all this time has finally come, you wring their hands, look to the Heavens and ask "How did this happen?"

Fuck.  You.   All.

"Where Yesterday is Exiled, Memory is Rebellion" -- driftglass, January, 2010.


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