Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't Panic, America!

Far, far away from the tribulations and precariousness of ordinary humans, I'm sure America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual will remain indestructible.

From MoJo:
New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent
An email sent to staff Thursday also details the end of certain perks.

—By James West | Thu Nov. 20, 2014 2:40 PM EST

The New York Times indicated today that it's getting close to a round of forced layoffs of its journalists.

The newsroom-wide email sent Thursday morning, obtained by Mother Jones, details responses to employee questions about a scheduled buyout program from Janet Elder, a deputy executive editor at the company. The email states that, "the most frequently asked question is about scale and whether or not there will be enough buyouts to avoid layoffs. Given that the buyout window is still open, it's hard to have an absolute answer to that question just yet. Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs."

The email says the buyout window for newsroom employees closes on December 1, 2014. Danielle Rhoades Ha, a director of communications at the New York Times Company, confirmed the email from Elder and said there would be no further information made public at present about the buyout program or layoffs.

The Times announced a plan in October to cut 100 newsroom jobs starting with a buyout program. Dean Baquet, the executive editor, wrote to staff then that layoffs were possible if not enough volunteers stepped forward: "We hope to meet this number through voluntary buyouts. But if we don’t get there we will be forced to do layoffs.​" At the end of October, the New York Times Company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, and projected a further slowdown in ad sales, according to Reuters.

Fail-Gunner Ted Promises To Keep Benghaaaazing

Only until the GOP needs glasses.

But of course --

-- they already do, don't they?

From The Hill:

Senators push to join Benghazi probe

By Alexander Bolton - 11/25/14 06:00 AM EST
Senate Republican leaders are under pressure from GOP lawmakers with presidential ambitions to join the House in investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), three young rising conservative stars who are weighing 2016 bids, say the Senate should participate in a joint investigation with the House.

“The House is doing its job and engaged in oversight. For six years under [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.], the Senate has refused to do its job. I am hopeful and optimistic the Senate will finally begin meaningful oversight. That is its constitutional responsibility,” Cruz told The Hill.
For those keeping score at home, this would be the eighth consecutive Benghaaazi witchhunt for the GOP, which I am willing to wager is going to look in retrospect like a wafer thin mint compared to the Great Impeachment Pie Eating Contest they have waiting in the wings.

So thanks again to all the heroes who stayed home on election day.  Your sacrifice was not in vain!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Stupefying Dishonesty of David Brooks

From the New York Times (emphasis added):
The Unifying Leader
NOV. 24, 2014
David Brooks

Over the past two weeks, President Obama and Republicans in Congress have taken their conflicts to another level. I’m not here to apportion blame, but it would be nice if, in the future, we evaluated presidential candidates on the basis of whether they are skilled at the art of collaboration...

The collaborative leader is willing to be vulnerable. Trust is built when one person is vulnerable to another and the other person doesn’t take advantage of it. Then that person is vulnerable back and the favor is returned. The collaborative leader understands the paradox; you have to take off the armor to build strong bonds.

Dear Mr. Brooks,
The characteristics of the "collaborative president" you describe are eerily similar to those of  a gentleman named Barack Obama, who came to Washington six years ago and -- in the wake of the unmitigated failure of the Bush Administration (which you backed to the hilt) -- did, in fact, try with superhuman patience to govern in exactly the manner you pretend to pine for until the relentless, raving lunacy, nihilism, paranoia, bigotry and lockstep strategic obstruction of your Republican Party made that impossible. 
So Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. 
How about you take off your armor, "collaborative president" style.

And I'll wait for you in the alley, Republican Party style.

And we'll see how that works out.
Yours in Christ,


Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...

...well, I have others.
 -- Groucho Marx

From The Twitter. Make of it what you wish:

Jefferson Davis' Curse


As his Confederacy was a being pounded to rubble, Jefferson David laid this curse upon the land:
“...It is for us, my countrymen, to show by our bearing under reverses how wretched has been the self-deception of those who have believed us less able to endure misfortune with fortitude than to encounter danger with courage. We have now entered upon a new phase of a struggle the memory of which is to endure for all ages and to shed an increasing luster upon our country. ...

...If by stress of numbers we should ever be compelled to a temporary withdrawal from her limits, or those of any other border State, again and again will we return, until the baffled and exhausted enemy shall abandon in despair his endless and impossible task of making slaves of a people resolved to be free.”
And what has the last half-century of Conservatism been if not the unclean, undead, voracious vampire spirit of the Confederacy rising up again and again to tirelessly lie, cheat, scam, shriek, suborn and otherwise "baffle and exhaust" those among the living who do not understand the nature of the enemy they face.

Stupid Shit Andrew Sullivan Says, Ctd.

Alec Baldwin Edition

Mr. Sullivan's Trig Palinesque obsession with Alec Baldwin leads to further hilarity as he argues that the ideal strategy for dealing with an aggressive paparazzo who is stalking your infant right in front of you is to scuttle away and then, later, snark about his pee-pee on The Twitter.

Just like Taylor Swift!

I understand why Mr.Sullivan might think that.

I would imagine a lot of diminutive, clueless, childless, passive/aggressive, Liberal-loathing poltroons with small pee-pees might agree with him.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

The Todding Point:  That moment when the number of consequential issues a network refuses to discuss exceeds the trivial crap it obsesses over.

Squeezed between commercials for Exxon and boner pills, Shuck Todd put out the network's best throw pillows and beanbag chairs so as to "kick it" ( as the young people say) with a couple of those crazy kids from the industry that wants to pimp the filthiest fuel on the plant through the most fertile farmland on the continent so that it can be refined in the Horrible Science Shocking Slime Kit that was once the state of Louisiana and shipped to China because Jobs ya Commie!  (transcript pending)

Unfortunately, Mr. Todd forgot to invite any environmentalists to his "rap session" (as the young people call it.)

Police suspect commerce was involved.

Speaking of police, Shuck Todd thought it would also be great fun to interrupt Rudy Ghouliani's post-Republican Great White Hope career as undead infomercial pitchman (Noun + Verb + 9/11 + Buy My Crap) 

and invite him over to Luke Russert's Parent's Basement to talk about The Blacks.

Hilarity of a terrible kind ensued:
“Mayor Giuliani speaks about what's, you know, unconscionable and what should be indicted. What should be indicted is the criminal justice system that continues to impose undue burdens on African American, Latino, and other poor people,” Dyson explained.

Giuliani disagreed, saying people aren’t focused on the reason behind the heavy police presence seen in black communities. “We are talking about the significant exception, 93% of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani argued.

Dyson called that a false equivalency, saying police officers are agents of the state sworn to uphold the law. “Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail,” Dyson responded. “If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?”

Giuliani continued to argue that the problem is rooted in the black community. “What about the poor black child that is killed by another black child? Why aren't you protesting that,” Giuliani asked Dyson.

The tense exchange continued as Dyson argued that most criminals involved in black on black violence end up in jail. That’s when Giuliani interrupted to ask, “why don’t you cut it down so so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

“The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70-75% of the time,” Giuliani said a few seconds later.

“Look at this! This is the defensive mechanism of white supremacy in your mind sir!” Dyson concluded.

Giuliani also defended Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to preemptively enact a state of emergency, saying it’s hard to second guess a governor.
Down the dial at ABC, Matthew Dowd was on hand to remind us that for all the expensive Dental Office of Tomorrow sets and Giant Tablets and holograms, America's basic Beltway Media product remains forever the same: a bunch of hacks all competing to see who can say "Both Sides!" the fastest and loudest (h/t Heather at Crooks and Liars)
MATT DOWD: Well, he definitely grabbed the initiative in a way that would put his policies through. I think, one, we need to do something about immigration. That -- it's absolutely crucial that we do something about it. I think the manner with which the president did it doesn't do anything to help the political discourse in our country and doesn't do anything to fix the fundamental problem that exists in Washington, which is the means of government is broken, on both sides of the aisle. And as I said earlier this week, where -- when obstructionism meets arrogance, dysfunction is born. And that's what we have in Washington.
But for sheer, kneeling-in-one's-own-shit, back-alley paranoid-base-fluffing, no one could lay a glove on Senator Lindsay Graham's (R-Closeted Deeper Than The Mariana Trench) --

 -- very fine rendition of Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper...on an ether frolic...as interpreted by ghost of late, great Paul Lynde.

This.  Is.  CNN:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, has some harsh words for the recently released Benghazi report, led by his own party.

"I think the report is full of crap," Graham told Gloria Borger on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

"I don't believe that the report is accurate, given the role that Mike Morell (deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time) played in misleading the Congress on two different occasions. Why didn't the report say that?"

The investigative report Graham is referring to was released Friday by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland.

The report finds little to support the questions that have been raised about CIA actions on the ground in Benghazi the night of the deadly attack on September 11, 2012.

Graham, who has maintained a critical voice in the Benghazi controversy over the past two years, says it's "garbage" that the report finds no members of the Obama administration lied to cover up what happened in Benghazi.

"That's a bunch of garbage," Graham said. "That's a complete bunch of garbage."...

Because Senator Lindsay Goddamned Graham is goddamned well gonna leave that sweet, wingnut-cred-embiggening Bengaaaahzi cucumber stuffed down his goddamned pantaloons no matter what the hell those goddamned bullshit detectors say.

Finally, and just for the record, this weekend Peggy Noonan did her drinking at home "Sarah T Portrait Of A Teenage Alcoholic"-style.

And quite the bender it was!

Once you wade through all the Reagan-slobber, what you find is the Wall Street Journal's senior editorial writer hitting that perfect hard-core wino bellicose/lachrymose sweet spot that falls just after "verbose" and just before "comatose" (site pay-walled):

The Nihilist in the White House
This administration doesn’t build, it divides and tears down. Vindication is assumed.
This White House seems driven—does it understand this?—by a kind of political nihilism. They agitate, aggravate, fray and separate.

Jonah Goldberg of National Review had a great point the other day...

...the White House is a wisdom-free zone.

The president’s executive action on immigration is an act of willful nihilism that he himself had argued against in the past. It is a sharp stick in the eye of the new congressional majority. It is at odds with—it defies—the meaning and message of the last election, and therefore is destructive to the reputation of democracy itself.
And then, of course and inevitably, Nooners demonstrates that she is unclear about the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline will not, in fact, be transporting Canadian Club.
And there is the Keystone XL pipeline and the administration’s apparent intent to veto a bill that allows it. There the issue is not only the jobs the pipeline would create, and not only the infrastructure element. It is something more. If it is done right, the people who build the pipeline could be pressed to take on young men—skill-less, aimless—and get them learning, as part of a crew, how things are built and what it is to be a man who builds them.

America’s got her hard-hat on again. America is dynamic. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Not just this endless talk of limits, restrictions, fears and “Oh, we’re all going to melt in the warm global future!”
You know, I'm so old I remember waaaay back thousands of years ago when Jesus made headlines riding a triceratops at the Kansas State Fair and a funny old sot from the Wall Street Journal named Peggy Noonan --

-- was very much against holding people -- specifically white Republican people -- in the White House accountable for anything up to and including lying us into the wrong war and torture.

The air waves were positively thick with stupid this weekend  -- (for example, the bullshit stylings of Michael Steele's on "No Labels" radio made for some choice listening for about 30 seconds -- [my own cruelly unfair transcript]
Steele:  The fucking President broke the fucking law, Absolutely. Positively. 100%.

Questioner:  So, how exactly did he break the law?

Steele:  Fuck you!  I ain't gonna take a test!)
-- but at some point I just had enough. 

The Mouse Circus remains as uniformly warped and awful as it has been since before I started the "Sunday Morning..," feature almost a decade ago

So mote it be.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

You Know That Thing Where You Put a Conservative Lunatic on Teevee

And then get all amazed and incredulous when they act like a Conservative Lunatic?

How about we stop doing that? 

Because for fuck's sake, how many more times are supposedly smart Liberals going to let themselves get head-faked by yet another Conservative troll into chasing them down yet another Conservative rat hole stuttering "but..but...but..." because they inexplicably refuse to grasp the Most Basic Conservative Tactic of All:

If You Give a Wingnut a Cookie...

...he's going to scream for Impeachment.

Even when it turns out there is no cookie.

House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel. The eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May...
There is no cookie because there is never any cookie.  

But as you may have noticed, the fact that every single OMFG!Liberal!Tyranny! fairy tale Conservatives rush to embrace turns out to be just one more lie from the same people who have been lying to them all along has no effect on Conservatives whatsoever.
How Fox News Dismissed Today’s Benghazi Report in Less Than 30 Seconds
Which means, tragically, that the basic Liberal concept of trying to reason with people who disagree with us and persuade them to look back across the long arc of all the Conservative lies they have been fed over the decades is worse than useless.  It is long past time to stop pretending that completely debunking one Conservative hoax after another is ever going to wean them off of Roger Ailes' toxic teat.  

They can't stop believing now.  

It would kill them to stop believing now, and so they've dug in like tics, shuttered themselves away from any facts that make them feel icky, and are never going to give up.

So what can we do?

Well, as every reader of this blog is keenly aware every single time a Conservative liar takes a massive hit to their claptrap, they scuttle immediately to the nearest "Both Sides Do It" charging station, and there they remain until the have replenished their Health Points and the threat of Talking Point Death from Massive Fact Damage is over.

Access to these recharging stations -- more commonly as the entire Beltway Media including the now nearly-unwatchable "Up with Steve Kornacki"
I..I..I...don't want to put too much of an academic point on this or anything, I...I...when I think about where our politics is right now I..I..I...think there's a cynical motive to this lawsuit  that I just expressed a minute ago but I do think we're reached...this...this... this...we're always talking about how broken Washington is -- how much worse it's gotten the last few years -- and it's gotten worse because you have one party controlling the White House you have another party controlling the Congress right now and you can talk all you want about the motives of each side but the fact is they have not been able to work together and I can't see how that's going to change in the next couple of years and one thing  that a lawsuit like this count start to clarify...
-- is how the clown gets out of the box and how crazy gets mainstreamed.

With a steady supply of "Both Sides Do It", there is no limit of how far Conservatives can go or how much damage they can do.

Without a steady supply of "Both Sides Do It", they will start to wither and die.

Remember, It's Not a Lie if David Brooks Believes It

A peek inside the deeply dishonest mind of the Leader of the Imaginary Whig Party:
I think the ones who think it was an unprecedented grab of executive power are probably on the right side, but that’s me. Politically, we have had four years without a single law being passed in this country, a major piece of legislation. We’re now going to have two more.

This is going to end. This is going to — this period of gridlock is going to end some day, and people will actually cooperate, they will do things, they will build coalitions, they will pass things by a majority vote by the way the Constitution designed.

But what happened last night will make that harder and push that date further on. The sort of unilateral action the president took will make passing immigration reform harder and it will make other reform harder.

The number one issue in this country is restoring the legitimacy of government. And I don’t care whether he thinks he was — whether the president thinks he was justified or not. By the way, the Republicans did — and the somebody have certainly behaved as obstructionists at times. Somebody’s going to step out of this cycle, and he just embedded the cycle another few feet deeper.
This is actually the clearest summary of Mr. Brooks' internal operating environment that has seeped through his bland Wall of Both Siderism in awhile.

Of course the there is no "cycle"; there is just David Brooks' Republican Party smashing everything it touches and then -- through Very Serious Henchmen like Mr. Brooks -- simultaneously sabotaging the cleanup crew and blaming both sides for the rubble.

And, of course, there has been someone who has spent the last six years trying over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again to "step out of this cycle".  That person is President Barack Obama.  And as Mr. Brooks knows perfectly well, every single fucking time President Barack Obama has tried to reach out to David Brooks' Republican Party he has pulled back a stump, after which David Brooks' Republican Party salted the Earth behind him and ran off to Fox News screaming about birth certificates and death panels and Benghaaaazi.

But from the congenitally dishonest Mr. Brooks we will never hear a word of that.  Instead we 
get Mr. Brooks standard issue dispersal of any direct criticism of David Brooks' Republican Party by parsing the actual facts of the case equally between Both Sides -- an actual, fact-based Liberal side...and a Conservative side which Mr. Brooks just pulls out of his ass:

First, constitutionally, my paper did a good story on whether this was constitutional. And the White House did get 10 pretty serious legal scholars to say it was. There’s a vast number who think it wasn’t. And so I guess the legal scholars are divided.
The idea that the immigration plan just announced by President Obama is a lawless power grab is absurd. As the Justice Department legal analysis that was just released amply demonstrates, much of the advance criticism of the president’s action has been uninformed and unwarranted. The opinion is well-reasoned and at times even conservative. The president is not acting unilaterally, but pursuant to his statutory authority. Wide discretion over deportation priorities has long been conferred on the executive branch by Congress, and it is being exercised in this case consistent with policies such as family unification that have been endorsed by Congress.
Mr. Brooks just needs it to appear that way so he won't look like just another skeevy, wingnut hustlebuck liar.

Fortunately for him, he has pretty much the entire Beltway Media lined up to help him sell this bilge. And he can say this all with a perfectly straight face because inside Mr. Brooks' blighted skull, the Republican Party you and I see putting the torch to everything we hold dear every day somehow isn't the real Republican Party.

You see, the Real Republican Party (a division of True Conservatism) is run by calm, reasonable professionals.  And, as Mr. Brooks has been promising since the 1990s, that sane and sensible Republican Party is always juuuust around the corner,
And I think there’s the Michele Bachmanns of the world. I don’t know what they want to do, chop off New York and Illinois and send it off to another country or something.

But the John Boehners and the Mitch McConnells are not going to let that happen. There is not going to be a government shutdown. They’re probably not even — going to fund the immigration agencies that are involved in this. So, the extreme will not happen. The Republican Party has changed a lot in the last year. It’s a much more establishment party.

The leadership is back in control...
And on those rare occasions when President Barack Obama has stood up to the actual Republican Party and not Mr. Brooks pretend Republican Party, Mr. Brooks freaks completely out.  For example, back in 2011, you may recall that (as one outcast wretch once put it):
This week, the President was forced to very, very reluctantly admit that the Dirty Hippies might just have actually had a point all along, which according to the terms of Our Mr. Brooks' gold-plated servitude meant he needed to be barked at.
And bark bark bark went Our Mr. Brooks:
This wasn’t a speech to get something done. This was the sort of speech that sounded better when Ted Kennedy was delivering it. The result is that we will get neither short-term stimulus nor long-term debt reduction anytime soon, and I’m a sap for thinking it was possible.

Yes, I’m a sap. I believed Obama when he said he wanted to move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country. I always believe that Obama is on the verge of breaking out of the conventional categories and embracing one of the many bipartisan reform packages that are floating around.

But remember, I’m a sap. The White House has clearly decided that in a town of intransigent Republicans and mean ideologues, it has to be mean and intransigent too. The president was stung by the liberal charge that he was outmaneuvered during the debt-ceiling fight. So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach...
The Right -- the same Right which the charter of Our Mr. Brooks' Centrist Neverland says must be endlessly appeased and compromised with...right up until they shit all over you...after which their psychotic intransigence should be met with ever greater acts of appeasement and compromise...forever (or "pre-compromise, followed by acquiescence to right-wing priorities") -- predictably ate Our Mr. Brooks alive.
This is why Mr. Brooks is consistently paired with weak Beltway Centrist flutterbunnies like Ruth Marcus.  Because any actual Liberal in command of the basic facts could tear Mr. Brooks transparently fraudulently claptrap to confetti in under a minute, and the entire Beltway Media machine is set up for the expressed purpose of preventing that from happening.

But you already knew that.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How Your Crazy Uncle Liberty Learns About Immigration Reform


Fresh from the open, running sore that is David Horowitz, here is what your Crazy Uncle Liberty thinks "news" looks like:
Obama Doesn't Bother to Solicit English-Speaking Networks for Coverage President's amnesty announcement for Latino ears only
As of this writing, this bilge has:

  • Nearly 700 comments, 
  • + 1,600 "likes"
  • 446 "shares"
And your Crazy Uncle Liberty believes every fucking word of it.

Professional Left Podcast #259

Once again, thanks to Kevin for this terrific video!
"Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch."

--  James Baldwin

Da' money goes here:

Today in All Sides Do It

Over at his blind tiger, Brother Charles Pierce laments the fact that one more professional Conservative liar is being given one more chance to lie to the Great Wad of mentally underclocking headcheese. who watch the ongoing externalization of Roger Ailes' Id on Fox and think they are seeing News.
Media Matters is upset because [Lucienne Goldberg's demon whelping Jonah] Goldberg didn't disclose that AEI is lousy with oil money. I don't much care about that and, if you're counting on Neil Cavuto to adhere to traditional journalistic ethics, you are barking up the wrong network there. I do care that someone who knows so transparently little about an important issue is brought on to make through comic-opera erudition an argument that you can hear from any barstool, and for free.
But what does that have to do with the Both Sides thingy?

Well hold on a minute, pard, and I tell you.

See, for reasons that completely escape me, yesterday was Doughy Pantload Day on the Internet. And to celebrate, Andrew Sullivan joined Jonah Goldberg in having a good cry into a giant beer over how rude and uncivil everyone is:
We really are back to the 1990s when I find myself agreeing with Jonah Goldberg:
We live in an age of diversity, defined not merely by gender and race, but by lifestyles and values. That’s mostly a good thing — mostly. Like all other good things in life, diversity comes at a cost. And a big part of the tab is a lost consensus about what constitutes good manners and propriety. So instead of knowing how to behave, we spend vast amounts of our time worrying and arguing about it, with combatants on every side insisting it’s “Live and let live” for me but “Shut up! How dare you!” for thee.
Translation:  I am getting creamed for waddling into the middle of a controversy I did not remotely understand, and made matters worse by lashing back with every hoary Conservative cliche about political correctness that I still keep in my 1980s "Memories of Reagan" go-bag.

Mr. Sullivan continues
I wonder also if our digital life hasn’t made all this far worse. When you sit in a room with a laptop and write about other people and their flaws, and you don’t have to look them in the eyes, you lose all incentive for manners.
Mr. Sullivan is self-aware enough to realize that he is, in fact, one of the people who makes the world into the mannerless Thunderdome he deplores, but, see, he can't really help it what with hysterically overreacting to every internet twitch and tic being so busy blogging how he feels about stuff and keepin' it real, yo!
I’m as guilty of this as many. There have been times – far too many – when my passion for an idea or revulsion at a news story can, in its broadness of aim, impugn the integrity or good faith of other individuals. If I had to speak my words to the faces of those I am painting with too broad and crude a brush, my language would be far more temperate (and probably more persuasive). And so restoring manners to online discourse is a hard task – especially in an era of instant mass communication and anonymity. It’s hard for a blogger or writer not least because you don’t want to sink into torpor or dullness or vapidity. You want to keep the debate fresh and real.
Uh, OK, but what was the point again?

Oh yeah.  Here's the point (with emphasis added):
But all this means, of course, is that we actually need a set of manners for this age more urgently than in many others. Our web silos – from the Jihadists to the left-blogosphere to the right-media complex – make it easy to thrive and succeed without manners, and even easier to fail in the marketplace by upholding them.
Tell you what -- when Conservatives stop destroying my country behind an zombie army of brainwashed dolts and bigots, I'll stop being rude about it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Even David Brooks...


Our Mr. Brooks finally comes home:

If this was 1864 instead of 2014 and David Brooks was reporting on the capture of Fort Pillow by the Confederate cavalry under Nathan Bedford Forrest instead of the results of the lowest-turnout midterm in modern American history, Mr. Brooks would be insisting that the tide had turned definitively against the President and his Party, and that it was high time for the high-handed Mr. Lincoln to recognize the will of the people and end the all the partisan dysfunction by capitulate to the Confederate demands for his unconditional surrender.

What Mr. Brooks will never bother to mention is that the direct cause our current state of complete governmental dysfunction has been the focused ignorance, congealed bigotry and agglutenated lunacy of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party. What Mr. Brooks will never bother to mention  (even as he insists that only proper response when the GOP tells the President of the United Stated to "Jump, boy!" should be "How high?") that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party paid no more attention or respect to the clear mandate Barack Obama was given in after his election 2008 and re-election in 2012 than the Confederates paid to Mr. Lincoln's election in 1860 or his re-election in 1864.

The Confederacy had their common foot soldiers, their generals and their politicians.

They also had their spies, their sympathizers and their fifth columnists.

The Republicans have their Teabaggers, their Fox News and their Congress.

They also have their David Brooks.

Because Purity

The latest in my award-ready series, Rand Paul Running Away From Things.

From The Daily Beast:
Rand Paul Beats Ted Cruz, Saves NSA From ‘Reform’

One wants to fix the spy agency from the inside. The other wanted to block watered-down reforms of the secret state. The winner just might get to be president.

The fight to rein in NSA surveillance stalled in the Senate Tuesday evening—meaning the lasting impact of the months-long reform effort will be less about the agency and more about the presidential aspirations of Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Ironically, it was Paul, the libertarian icon, who helped sink the bill to curb America’s most notorious intelligence agency—all in the name of deep-sixing the surveillance state. And he did it with arguments that many civil libertarians found disingenuous, at best. Meanwhile, Cruz, the senator with the reputation as a political arsonist, was suddenly thrust into the role of the insider, looking to fix the NSA from within the system. It didn’t work.

The NSA reforms, known as the USA Freedom Act, are championed by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. On Tuesday evening, it failed to reach the 60 votes required to advance the bill procedurally.

The bill would have ended the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata, first brought to public knowledge by Edward Snowden; created a special advocate position to argue against the government in the FISA courts; and allowed tech companies to release statistics about government demands for information. Cruz is a co-sponsor of the bill, along with libertarian-minded Sen. Mike Lee.
Even if the law represents naught but a teeny, tiny baby step or two, the news that Brogressive Hero Rand Paul helped kill this particular bill is news which you might reasonably expect to ignite a patented ballistic HaterCon freakout from the Purity Caucus, complete with the wailing and the rending of garments and hordes of The Usual Suspects flinging words like "tyrannical" and "jackbooted" and perhaps even the dreaded "Obot" around like so much Twitter monkey poo.

Clearly you don't know the Purity Caucus...

Dude, governance is sooo 1977.

Because Purity.