Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hey, St. Petersburg, Before You Ring Your Bell


Just been down in Beltway town
Done my time in hell...

Best-selling Author David Brooks speaks at SPC Foundation Distinguished Speaker Event

Best-selling author and op-ed columnist David Brooks will be speaking at the Second Annual St. Petersburg College Foundation Distinguished Speaker Event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at The Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave. N. St. Petersburg.

As a widely acclaimed political and social analyst, David Brooks is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy commentator on present-day politics and foreign affairs. He has a gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and quiet passion.
...

Brooks holds several prestigious positions including op-ed columnist for The New York Times and analyst on the PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered. Additionally, he appears regularly on NBC’s Meet the Press. His latest best-seller, The Road to Character, tells the story of ten great lives that illustrate how character is developed. In a society that emphasizes success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book about inner worth.

Event tickets are $65 for orchestra seating and $55 for balcony seating...

Event sponsors are: Raymond James; Bright House Networks; Cisco; Duke Energy; Merrill Lynch; LEMA Construction; Carroll Family Foundation; Ken and Sandee Cherven...
 It's the Duke Energy sponsorship that makes it art.

Meanwhile and unrelatedly, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times has once again sublimated his many spectacular professional failures into another rambling, discursive contrail of words about how "American Leadership" has failed --
Why America’s Leadership Fails
-- through no fault of anyone.
When you spend time around government officials you are constantly struck by the fact that they are more impressive in private than in public. Somewhere at the base of their personal story you usually find an earnest desire to serve some vulnerable group.

The fact is, political lives are simply not that glamorous or powerful or fun. Most politicians wouldn’t put up with all the fund-raising, the stupid partisan games, unless they were driven at some level by the right reasons.

But over the years, many get swallowed by the system...
It's the system, man!  The system!

Then comes the obligatory Both Siderism:
For example, Hillary Clinton seems to have been first inspired by a desire to serve children...

Mitt Romney seems to be an exceptionally fine person...
Because in David Brook's Conservative Dream House and Opium Den, Hillary Clinton is running against Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell is a dedicated public servant, Paul Ryan is a reasonable Centrist, the Caucus Room Conspiracy never happened and Fox News/Hate Radio never existed.

See, it's not that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party is so chock full of out-and-proud bigots and imbeciles that it has finally gone as nutso in public as they have always been in private.  No, the real problem is a "careerist mentality" (and the aforementioned "system") to which politicians in both parties all apparently succumb in equal numbers to equally bad effect:
But a careerist mentality often replaces the vocation mentality. The careerist mentality frequently makes politicians timid, driven more by fear of failure than by any positive ideal.

Such people are besieged by the short-term calculations and often forget about their animating vision and long-term ideal. They rationalize that, since the opposition is so evil, anything that serves their career serves the country. This is not just bad for the people involved but for the system itself.
And then Mr. Brooks' already-barely sublimated denialism and self-loathing finally bobs close enough to the surface for anyone to see:
I do think there’s often an arc to vocation. People start with something outside themselves. Then, in the scramble to get established, the ambition of self takes over. But then at some point people realize the essential falseness of all that and they try to reconnect with their original animating ideals.

And so I think it possible to imagine a revival of vocation. If Clinton is elected, maybe even she can remind us that we’ve all developed these bad habits, that most of us secretly detest the game we’re in and the way we are playing it.
Hillary Clinton will never be my ideal Liberal candidate, but she is an intelligent and capable public servant and for-real policy wonk.  And if the Sanders/Warren wing of the Democratic Party can continue to shepherd her in the right direction, it is possible that a President Hillary Clinton will accomplish many good things.  

But however successful a Clinton Administration may prove to be, it will never be powerful enough to save David Brooks' soul.

Down the road a piece, Yastreblyansky. raises a welt:
What would [David Brooks] like to be thinking about? He has no idea, but he has a kind of emotion in the shape of an idea, which is a nostalgia for the time when it used to be fun...

Monday, August 22, 2016

If the State of the Fox News Republican Party Is a Civilization-Threatening, First Order Disaster...


...then what is your obligation as a journalist?

As a voter?

As a citizen?

As a human being?


Kellyanne Conway: Twenty Dollars, Same As In Town



Senior Trump Bullshit Dispenser, Kellyanne Conway, before Donald Trump started paying her (from the Washington Post):
In April, Conway appeared on CNN and defended a short-lived alliance between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) to stop Trump, a strategy that she considered "fair game."
"Of course it's fair game," Conway said. "Oh, absolutely. It's completely transparent. Donald Trump's tax returns aren't, and I would like to see those be transparent."
Kellyanne Conway after Donald Trump started paying her:
"I've learned since being on the inside that this audit is a serious matter and that he has said that when the audit is complete, he will release his tax returns," Conway said during an interview on ABC's "This Week" that aired Sunday morning. "I also know as a pollster that what concerns people most about quote 'taxes' is their own tax liability, and so we appreciate people being able to see Hillary Clinton's plan and Donald Trump's plan and figure out who will really get the middle-class tax relief."
According to Trump's attorneys, his tax returns filed since 2009 are under audit but those from 2002 to 2008 are no longer under audit. Conway said Sunday in an interview on CNN that she does not want Trump to release those returns, either.

To quote (possibly apocryphally) Winston Churchill, "Madam, we've already established what you are. Now we are haggling about the price”.

Petulant Lunatic Provides Local Blogger With Free Content


Somebody got his phone back...



*** Tweet deleted. Was from a parody account and incorrectly attributed by me to Donald Trump. Thanks to Alert Reader JM for catching it ***

Oops. I meant petulant lunatics, plural:


And all of this is taking place on one of those "blue-leaning" networks which has poor Matt Taibbi all twitchy because they are obviously completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

This the intersection of your Free Press and your Representative Democracy, America.

Cherish it! (h/t Mr. Pierce)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Today In Both Sides Do It: Matt Taibbi


Sigh.

So here we go...

I admire Matt's writing very much.  However, in his new article in Rolling Stone , Mr. Taibbi tells his readers that while Fox News is definitely a black hole of runamok authoritarian goons and professional hysterics that has pulverized and swallowed the Right ...
Just look at the history of Fox and its satellite organizations.
Yes, the Murdoch empire has succeeded in accruing enormous power across the globe. In the United States, its impact on political affairs has been incalculable. It's led us into war, paralyzed Democratic presidencies, helped launch movements like the Tea Party and effectively spread so much disinformation that huge majorities ofRepublicans still doubt things like the birthplace of Barack Obama.
But Fox's coverage has been so overwhelmingly one-sided that it has lost forever the ability to convince non-conservatives of anything. Rupert Murdoch has turned into the Slime Who Cried Wolf. Even when Murdoch gets hold of a real story, he usually can't reach more than an inch outside his own dumbed-down audience.
Worse still, when you shill as constantly as his outlets have, even your most enthusiastic audience members very quickly learn to see through you...
..it is also true that if you stand athwart the tsumani of raw right-wing sewage that has buried this country under a thick sludge of rage and dumb and shout "Stop", no matter how out-gunned and out-spent you may be, well then aren't you really just as bad?
In the same way that Fox used to (and probably still does) save on reporting and research costs by simply regurgitating talking points from the RNC, blue-leaning cable channels are running segments and online reports that are increasingly indistinguishable from Democratic Party messaging.
I know we're at the ass-end of bikini season, but apparently Mr. Taibbi is on that special diet, where you slim down to fighting trim by both having your cake...
It's not that stations were wrong to denounce Trump's comments. He deserves it all. 
...and eating it too.
But he's not the only stupid, lying, corrupt politician in the world, which is the impression one could easily get watching certain stations these days.
Yes, certain stations sure do suck at things these days.  Certain things.
Certainly that won't change if the "MSM" devolves completely into a McDonald's/Burger King situation where the major media splits into Trump Sucks or Hillary Sucks outlets. Forget about the fact that it's boring. From now on, how will we know if a real scandal hits?
Because a major political party degenerating to the point where they nominated an unhinged, racist con man isn't a "real scandal"?

Look, I know I'm just a 3rd rate nobody out here on the edge of nowhere, but when I go looking for "blue-leaning" anything these days, you know what I find?  I find a few hours week on MSNBC that Phil Griffin hasn't larded up with Republican Squint and his Meat Puppet --


-- or former RNC chair Michael Steele, or Republican mole Mark Halperin, or Mrs. Alan Greenspan, or Shuck Todd and Mini Shuck Todd machine-gunning meaningless poll numbers at me.  I find a handful of radio stations that carry a the same four or five Liberal programs, most of them constantly fundraising on the edge of oblivion.

Elsewhere it's wall-to-wall wingnuts on the radio from sea to shining sea, and teevee programming that mostly seems to feature dead-eyed Pro Trump Conservative zombies battling with rage-spittle-flecked Anti Trump Conservative zombies over who gets to carve this country into what sort of bite-sized portions to feed which constituency.

And until this immediate and mortal threat to my country's basic ability to govern itself is addressed, any article built on the predicate that "Well sure the Confederacy seceding and firing on Fort Sumter is bad, but on the other hand..."  loses me.

Because the problem is not Trump.  The problem is that one of our two major political parties -- representing around 40 percent of the voting public -- is so irredeemably fucked-in-the-head that it nominated Donald Trump, will vote in its millions for Donald Trump and, if Donald Trump is elected, would stand by him if he promised mass crucifixions along his inauguration parade route and a nuclear first strike on Mecca in the spring.

The problem not that biased, Both Siderist reporting on this story is swamping everything else.  The problem is that the state of the Fox News Republican Party itself is a planet-wide, First Order Disaster and our broken, biased media is doing everything in its considerable power to avoid speaking this terrifying truth out loud.

Sunday Morning Comin' Down


Crazy/busy week and thin gruel on the Sunday Showz, so I wasn't sure if I would have the get-up-and-go to write anything, or have anything worth writing about.

Other than Trump's brand new campaign manager lying her ass off.

And the head of the RNC lying his ass off.

And another Trump surrogate lying his ass off.

And yet another Trump surrogate lying his ass off.

And still another Trump surrogate lying his ass off.

And, what is this?  Another Trump surrogate lying her ass off?  Sadly, yes.

(Big, collective h/t to Crooks & Liars)

So, like I said, not much going on.

And then...like a stream of bat's piss...that shines out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark...





Note to Matt: I have been closely following politics and the slow devolution of American political media for +25 years, blogging daily for going on 12 years and podcasting with my wife every week for six years.



And so I did ask questions.

Which Mr. Dowd did not deign to answer.




OK, I have to admit that bit about Matthews Dowd and Marck Halperin being the only unbiased analysts on teevee completely cracked me up.






Like many, many other prominent, life-long Republicans, Mr. Dowd spontaneously became a born-again-Both-Siderist-Independents at exactly same moment the Bush Administration went tits-up, joining a cult whose creation myth is laughable on its face, but whose dogma just so happens to profit him personally while at the same time protecting him from the toxic fallout created by the last cult he joined.

You know, on a pure, mammalian level I can respect the survival instinct of someone getting the hell out of a burning building even if they're the one that started the fire.  But even rats escaping a sinking ship have the decency not to get all righteous after-the-fact about how they were motivated to scurry down the gangplank and away from an unfolding catastrophe by sudden pangs of conscience.

Update: And Monday morning, bright and early, we find Mr. Dowd back working hard at his one and only job...



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Croatoan Conservatives


In 1587, the English tried to settle in Roanoke Island again. John White, father of the colonist Eleanor Dare and grandfather to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World, left the colony to return to England for supplies. He expected to return to Roanoke Island within three months. Instead, with England at war with Spain, all ships were confiscated for use of the war efforts. White's return to Roanoke Island was delayed until 1590, by which time all the colonists had disappeared. The settlement was left abandoned. The only clue White found was the word "CROATOAN" carved into a tree...

-- Wikipedia
The greatest missing persons mystery in American history is not D.B. Cooper or Joseph Force Crater or even the Roanoke Island colony.

No, the greatest missing persons mystery in American history happened sometime between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when somewhere between 15 and 30 million Republicans all quietly vanished without a trace.

One day they were there, braying about how they had won and we had lost so "Shaddap!" and yapping loudly and patriotically about how deficits don't matter anymore and besides, anyone who doesn't pay reverent deference to President Cuckoobananas during war-time was a traitor because Freedom and also 9/11 Changed Everything...

...and then they were gone.  Just gone.  Leaving nothing behind but the disasters they had championed, the failures they had authored, the institutions they had torched and moldering mountains of "Bush/Cheney 2000", "Bush/Cheney 2004" and "McCain/Palin 2008" buttons and tee-shirts and bumper stickers and yard signs stretching from one end of the country to the other.

This was the party which David Brooks had assured us was doing just fucking great in 2005 except for some Liberal whiners who were trying to bring President Drydrunk McStagger down with wild tales of conspiracy (excerpted from an actual David Brooks column in the New York Times for which he was paid money):
...
Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It's been four weeks since he launched his personal investigation into the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence to trick the American people into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Reid had heard of the secret G.O.P. cabal bent on global empire, but he had no idea that he would find a conspiracy so immense.

Reid now knows that as far back as 1998, Karl Rove was beaming microwaves into Bill Clinton's fillings to get him to exaggerate the intelligence on Iraq. In that year, Clinton argued, "Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions ... and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons."

These comments were part of the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence on Iraq. Reid now knows that in the late 1990's, Dick Cheney and other Republican officials used fluoridated water in the State Department and other government agencies to brainwash Clinton administration officials into exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It has been four weeks since he began investigating this conspiracy and three weeks since he sealed his windows with aluminum foil to ward off the Illuminati…

Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m. He knows now that seven centuries ago at a secret meeting of the Bilderberg Society-Trilateral Commission-American Enterprise Institute, the six High Lords of the Secret Order of the Neocons decided to implant alien life forms into potential Democratic officials that could be activated in case there was a need to manipulate intelligence on Iraq.
That party was just up and fucking gone by 2009.

And if that weren't a weird enough mystery, at exactly the same moment that these millions and millions of Republicans silently vanished in the political equivalent of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event,  there suddenly appeared -- out of nowhere and fully-formed -- millions and millions of a brand new independents.

Or independent conservatives.

Or independent Constitutional conservatives.

Or independent Originalist Constitutional conservatives.

Or Tea Parties.

Or...well (pun intended) they still haven't settled on a name, but whatever they're calling themselves this week, one thing is for damn sure.  Despite being physically and ideologically identical to the millions of Republicans who disappeared overnight, these millions of independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots are definitely not Republicans. They have definitely not been loyal Limbaugh listeners and Fox News viewers who had voted Republican in every election their entire adult lives. They definitely did not vote for Dubya twice, nor did they cheer on every fucked up thing he did.

No they were political virgins who emerged fully-formed from the head of Glenn Beck, just in time to go screaming into the streets, demanding to see the black President's birth certificate, insisting that his health care plan was a complex ruse to murder their white grannies, and generally screeching that their country had been stolen from them by an illegitimate Kenyan Usurper.

It was the damnedest, most amazing thing ever, this massive, overnight body swap.  The greatest missing persons case in history, followed immediately by the greatest case of mass virgin-births in history.

Weird that the press never covered it.

Or maybe -- as we have noted on this blog over and over and over again -- it was all just bullshit. Maybe, reporting the straight and easily observable fact that the GOP had finally weighed itself down with so many bigots, so many lies, so many lunatics and so many disasters that it had finally capsized and gone mad was too much for our incestuous and corrupt media to bear -- a story so disturbing in its implications that it would fuck up the Acela corridor gravy train for everyone,  And so, instead of telling the simple, terrifying truth, virtually everyone in the corporate media signed off on a massive scam, run by a passel of cowards and con men on the Right.

This was the moment when Trump or something like Trump became inevitable:  not in 2015 when he came gliding down the escalator, but in 2009, when the Right found out for the second time in a decade that the American corporate media would obediently refuse to call them out for lying, no matter how ridiculous, destructive and gargantuan those lies were. 

And so, for your reading pleasure, one more little gem of the Fake Independent genre from Joan Walsh at The Nation:
Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty Work

The Independent Women’s Forum has leveraged its “non-partisan” brand to become an aggressive player in Republican politics.

If you watch cable news, you’ve seen someone from an outfit called the “Independent Women’s Forum” promoting a conservative take on the women’s issue of the day. It’s no secret that the group leans right; it grew out of “Women for Judge Thomas,” which formed during Anita Hill’s testimony about Clarence Thomas at his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and was formally launched in 1992 by the late Barbara Olson and Rosalie “Ricky” Silberman, along with a cadre of powerful conservative women that included former second lady Lynne Cheney. Still, it’s always billed itself as “non-partisan” and “independent.” In its early years, it promoted IWF-affiliated author Christina Hoff Sommers’s brand of “equity feminism” and opposed the “radical feminism” of the ’90s women’s movement, which it argued was pushing myths about sexual harassment, pay inequities, and discrimination in the workplace and widespread abuse on college campuses. For years it played no formal role in electoral

But an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), provided exclusively to The Nation, reveals that since 2010, IWF and its political arm, Independent Women’s Voice, have become aggressive players in Republican politics, embedded in the network of organizations backed by Charles and David Koch, advocating for the Koch brothers’ myriad concerns, and playing on their “independent” label to elect GOP candidates. If this country is to elect its first woman president, Hillary Clinton will have to face down this powerful conservative women’s group to get there.

 Increasingly, IWF and IWV are playing a bigger and more open role in Republican politics—while boasting about the way their “independent” label gives them access to voters that groups “branded” as Republican can’t reach. As IWV president Heather Higgins told a convening at the David Horowitz Freedom Center late last year (captured in this video): “Our value here, and what is needed in the Republican conservative arsenal, is a group that can talk to those cohorts [non-Republican women] that would not otherwise listen, but can do it in a way that is taking a conservative message and packaging it in a way that will be acceptable and will get a hearing.”...
These days, the most provocative and politically incorrect thing you can call one of America's millions of newly-minted independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots is "Republican".

So have at it.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Professional Left Podcast #350



"Happy 5th anniversary to my amazing wife!"
--   driftglass 


Links:


The Illustrated Manafort



With great respect for the life and work of Ray Bradbury.

Prologue:
It was a warm afternoon in early September when I first met the Illustrated Manafort.

Walking along an asphalt road, I was on the final long of a two weeks' walking tour of Wisconsin. Late in the afternoon I stopped, ate some pork, beans, and a doughnut, and was preparing to stretch out and read when the Illustrated Manafort walked over the hill and stood for a moment against the sky.

I didn't know he was Illustrated then. I only know that he was tall, once well muscled, but now, for some reason, going to fat. I recall that his arms were long, and the hands thick, but that his face was like a child's, set upon a massive body.

He seemed only to sense my presence, for he didn't look directly at me when he spoke his first words.

"Do you know where I can find a job?"

"I'm afraid not," I said.

"I hadn't had a job that's lasted in forty years," he said.

Though it was a hot late afternoon, he wore his wool shirt buttoned tight about his neck. His sleeves were rolled and buttoned down over his thick wrists. Perspiration was streaming from his face, yet he made no move to open his shirt.

"Well," he said at last, "this is as good a place as any to spend the night. Do you mind
company?"

"I have some extra food you'd be welcome to," I said.

He sat down heavily, grunting. 'You'll be sorry you asked me to stay," he said. "Everyone always is. That's why I'm walking. Here it is, early. September, the cream of the Labor Day carnival season. I should be making money hand over fist at any small town side show celebration, but here I am with no prospects."

He took off an immense shoe and peered at it closely. "I usually keep a job about ten days. Then something happens and they fire me. By now every carnival in America won't touch me with a ten-foot pole."

"What seems to be the trouble?" I asked...

Chapter One:  The Other Foot  (from The New York Times, March 28, 2016)

Donald Trump Hires Paul Manafort to Lead Delegate Effort 
Donald J. Trump, girding for a long battle over presidential delegates and a potential floor fight at the Cleveland convention, has enlisted the veteran Republican strategist Paul J. Manafort to lead his delegate-corralling efforts, according to people briefed on Mr. Trump’s plans. 
Mr. Trump confirmed the hire in a brief telephone interview. “Yes,” he said, “it is true.”

Mr. Manafort, 66, is among the few political hands in either party with direct experience managing nomination fights: As a young Republican operative, he helped manage the 1976 convention floor for Gerald Ford in his showdown with Ronald Reagan, the last time Republicans entered a convention with no candidate having clinched the nomination.

He performed a similar function for Mr. Reagan in 1980, and played leading roles in the 1988 and 1996 conventions, for George Bush and Bob Dole.

Mr. Manafort has drawn attention in recent years chiefly for his work as an international political consultant, most notably as a senior adviser to former President Viktor F. Yanukovych of Ukraine, who was driven from power in 2014...

Chapter Two:  The Exiles (from Bloomberg Politics, May 19, 2016)

Trump Promotes Manafort to Campaign Chairman

The veteran campaign strategist will now be in charge of nearly every facet of the campaign.

Power over the management of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is shifting to Paul Manafort.

Manafort was hired for his experience with contested Republican conventions, but now that that threat has passed, Trump is naming the 67-year-old strategist as the campaign chairman, aides told Bloomberg Politics.

Corey Lewandowski, 42, will continue to be campaign manager, Hope Hicks, the campaign's spokesperson, said. But Manafort, whose title also currently includes chief strategist, is now in charge of every facet of the campaign...

Chapter Three:  The Long Rain  (from USA Today, June 20, 2016)

Trump fires Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fired Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager on Monday, seeking to re-calibrate his organization after a stream of criticism about the divisive political operative who directed his presidential bid since its launch a year ago.

After a number of advisers — including his children — had raised questions with Trump about Lewandowski's aggressive style, the campaign issued a short statement early Monday saying only that he "will no longer be working with the campaign."
...
"Firing your campaign manager in June is never a good sign," said Republican political consultant Kevin Madden after the announcement.

The former campaign manager clashed with many colleagues, according to two people briefed on the dismissal who were not authorized to speak publicly, including senior adviser Paul Manafort and the candidate's children, who supported the leadership change...
Chapter Four:  Marionettes, Inc.  (from the Washington Post, August 18, 2016)
These Trump surrogates are working as hard as they can to deny a campaign shake-up 

...
Trump's decline in polls in the wake of the two political conventions held last month began to cause panic among Republicans, and Trump himself reportedly began to tell friends privately that he blamed micromanagement by advisers and a change in strategy away from his shoot-from-the-hip style toward scripted, "teleprompter Trump" for his recent numbers.

It's not a huge stretch, then, to say that this week's shake-up of top Trump advisers was an attempt at a reset, at a minimum. But the campaign tried its hardest to smother that narrative, sending its small army of television surrogates to attempt to change the narrative. In the video above, several of Trump's top surrogates can be seen trying to deflect the argument that the campaign shake-up wasn't a … campaign shake-up.


Chapter Five: The Illustrated Manafort (from The New York Times, August 19, 2016):

Paul Manafort Quits Donald Trump’s Campaign After Tumultuous Run

Paul Manafort, installed to run Donald J. Trump’s campaign after the firing of his original campaign manager, handed in his resignation on Friday morning.

Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about tumult within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a leadership shake-up. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years. He had also become viewed with trepidation by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a major force within the campaign, amid a number of false starts since the Republican National Convention, according to three people briefed on the matter...
Epilogue:
It was  almost midnight. The moon was high in the sky now. The Illustrated Manafort lay motionless. I had seen what there was to see. The stories were told; they were over and done.

There remained only that empty space upon the Illustrated Manafort’s back, that area of jumbled colors and shapes.

Now, as I watched, the vague patch began to assemble itself, in slow dissolvings from one shape to another and still another. And at last a face formed itself there, a face that gazed out at me from the colored flesh, a face with a familiar nose and mouth, familiar eyes.

It was very hazy. I saw only enough of the Illustration to make me leap up. I stood therein the moonlight, afraid that the wind or the stars might move and wake the monstrous gallery at my feet. But he slept on, quietly.

The picture on his back showed the Illustrated Manafort himself, with his fingers about my neck, choking me to death. I didn’t wait for it to become clear and sharp and a definite picture.

I ran down the road in the moonlight. I didn’t look back. A small town lay ahead, dark and asleep. I knew that, long before morning, I would reach the town...
Run all you want, Donald.

Run all day and all night.

You'll never make it.

There is nothing waiting for you at the end of the line but the brutal judgement of history which will mark you down forever in as the biggest liar, fraud, buffoon and loser ever nominated for President by a major American political party.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Yesterday They Were Just Two German Clerks 


 Today they're the "Honored Dead".

-- Rick Blaine, Casablanca

This morning on the Comcastrati Network, respected Conservative thinker and Wrongest Man in America, Bill Kristol, rhapsodized with respected Conservative broadcaster and Very Big Liar, Joe Scarborough, about the Good Old Days when the Breitbart's Mausoleum For The Chronically Unemployable (h/t Charlie Pierce) was a trusted and legitimate news outlet.

Y'know, before they were overrun with haters and morons like this shitbag:


From Politico:
Kristol wryly suggests new name for Breitbart News

By NICK GASS 08/17/16 08:15 AM EDT

"Right Wing Intolerant Mean-Spirited News" does not quite roll off the tongue like Breitbart News. But that's what Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol would have the conservative organization, whose top executive temporarily stepped down Wednesday to lead Donald Trump's campaign, renamed.
During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Kristol lamented that the conservative news organization has become something other than what its late founder Andrew Breitbart intended.

"I knew Andrew well, and he was a troublemaker. But he was a good-hearted person who would not have—I mean, I hate the fact that that it’s called Breitbart News," Kristol remarked...

"It's unfortunate that we're all sitting around talking about Breitbart. It's a disservice to Andrew's memory," Kristol said, while remarking that the website, under Bannon, has been "pretty successful" from "a business point of view."

But, Kristol added, "someone should go look at all the things they've said."...
Here's the video (h/t Crooks & Liars):


I'm going to have to sit with this remark by Bill Kristol -- "someone should go look at all the things they've said" -- for a long time.  

At least until my uncontrollable crazylaugh stops.

Because if the Dirty Liberal blogosphere could be said to have served one, overarching mission since the beginning of recorded blogger history, it has been to jump up and down, waving our arms, saying "Fuck!", and trying mightily and ineffectually to get members of the Beltway media to just please for fuck's sake "go look at all the things" -- the terrible, horrible, no-good, lying things -- their colleagues get away with saying every single fucking day.  (See also: Every damn thing I have ever written.)

Corollarily, if the entire Beltway media establishment could be said to obey one, all-encompassing commandment with Borg-like single-mindedness, it is to make absolutely god damn sure that no one within the Beltway media ever, ever, ever starts tugging on the "someone should go look at all the things they've said" thread.

Because the Beltway media is a confederacy of con men -- a sodality of hacks -- each dependent on all the others not to bring up the fact that this is all a puppet show being run for the profit of corporate interests at the expense of our democracy.  And if anyone with any real clout and access to a really substantial audience ever started to actually "look at all the things they've said" (See, "The Beltway Iron Rule of David Brooks") the unstoppable cataract of recriminations and mass firings that would soon follow -- starting with parasites like Bill Kristol and Joe Scarborough -- would wipe them all out.

Which is why there is safeguard after safeguard in place to make sure that never happens.

On the video you can see every single person on this panel working in frantic unison to separate themselves and their party and the Fake Tea Party the invented to get their off their party off the hook for the being hateful morons who spent eight years cheering for Bush...

...from "Trumpism", which they all swear on the lives of their children was invented out of whole cloth at the Breitbart website in 2010.

No Joe.  It's not "Trumpism".  It's good, old-fashioned, filthy, hateful, fact-averse "Republicanism" from crotch to crown.  And you damn well know it, because you and all of your depraved pals have damn well prospered by it for 20 years.