Great moments in liberal media

On Tuesday, after the terms of the Iran accord were announced, CBS News’ Major Garrett asked President Obama:

“Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content — with all the fanfare around this deal — to leave the conscience of this nation and the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”

…but friends, please don’t accuse Garrett of behaving un-professionally or asking un-answerable questions. He happens to be the rare reporter who keeps tabs on the conscience and the strength of this nation, and we’re very fortunate to have him.


Calling Southern whites a bunch of animals, alright

I am reminded of an essential truth about America.

In an ironic twist to the GOP’s war on the poor, it turns out that the people who are the most negatively affected by Republican cuts in food programs – are Republicans themselves.

Statistics reveal that the city holding the most beneficiaries of the SNAP program (a favorite target of the GOP) is 99.22% white and 95% Republican. Owsley County, Kentucky earns the lowest median household income in the country, but they are the most prolific government-takers in U.S. existence.

The people who need the most government assistance, and who use it most frequently – as well they should – are poor people in Republican states.

Take a look at who uses food stamps in America:

food stamp usage in america

You see the South is deep red. A solid block of food stamp reliance extends from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Already devastated by poverty, and a lack of state assistance – at the insistence of a deep-red Republicanism that runs rampant through local politics – you can imagine what would happen to white folks if federal assistance were to be cut off as well. If, say, the GOP of Oklahoma were to have its way:

OKGOP and food stamps

If the GOP could only stop the government from hand-feeding white people in the confederate states, the mongrels would learn to feed themselves. I’m sure Bubba will appreciate hearing this.


Donald Trump and Narcissism part two

Because I lived so many years with my scary nuthouse Dad I happen to know a lot about narcissism. And I don’t mean that I know anything about arrogance or braggadocio, I mean that I know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I know a lot about sad people who are seriously fucked in the head.

Which is why I wrote about Newt Gingrich four years ago. It was easy.

Newt had taken the lead in Republican presidential polling and was calmly assuring onlookers that the contest was pretty much over. But I knew his campaign wouldn’t last.

…I’m here to tell you he’s not likely to win the whole thing. He’ll have a very hard time just taking the Republican nomination. Narcissists do very poorly managing responsibility, and fewer things are more difficult than successfully carrying something as large as an entire campaign for a year. Great men regularly fail at this. Flawed men almost always fail at it.

Now, four years later, in the overture to the 2016 election campaign, we have our current specimen: Donald Trump. So I thought it was time to dust the old post off…

The interesting thing for us with regard to Newt the Great is that narcissists are utterly predictable sorts. While he’ll likely fail, we can make some pretty fair predictions about how he’ll do it. Starting with this:

1.) Newt will eclipse his own campaign. The need to impress upon you his greatness will kill the campaign’s messaging. Gingrich has surely been telling his staff that talking about himself is the same as talking about the campaign (it isn’t). And the ways Gingrich will hype himself will come twofold: bragging and gargantuan ideas.

…and appoint it with with some bitchin’ new Trump updates.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

“Mark my words.”

That of course was only the first part of my three-point takedown of Newt the Great. So here now are the other two points I forwarded as proof that Newt would fail, accompanied by more of Trump’s current words and deeds. You can see for yourself what a complete disaster the reality show candidate is.

2.) Newt will not be prepared. Narcissists are some of the spottiest workers you have ever seen. They are long on grand designs and short on carry through. They are great dictators and horrible managers. Don’t expect Newt to be any good at anything other than standing in front of people and talking.

Here was Trump today:

Donald Trump just gave one of the most bizarrely captivating speeches of his several-weeks-old campaign…

“They’re sending us their problems,” Trump said in Las Vegas, referring to Mexico.

To illustrate his point, Trump brought a man onstage named Jameil Shaw, whose son was killed in 2008 in the Los Angeles area. The killer, Pedro Espinoza, was a gang member and an undocumented immigrant. Espinoza was sentenced to death in 2012.

Trump said that as soon as authorities realized that Shaw’s son was shot by an undocumented immigrant, “nobody wanted to talk about it.”

Do you have any idea what Trump’s presidential campaign is really about? Other than his taking personally any criticism for his comments and doubling down on them? Neither does anybody else. Because he’s not waging a campaign of ideas, he’s waging a war of self-regard. By the way, don’t aim your cannon at The Donald if you can’t take return fire.

Trump proposed that protesters and critics were being sent by the government of Mexico to oppose him.

“They were so sophisticated. I guarantee you that the country of Mexico had those people [sent there]“…

In the speech on Saturday, Trump again singled out Univision for its decision to not to carry Trump’s Miss USA pageant, suggesting that Mexico itself pressured Univision to sever ties with Trump.

“Mexico put the clamps on Univision,” Trump said. “Mexico has a lot of power over them.”

Now there’s an issue that’s sure to fire up the base: The Miss USA pageant. He’s up to his neck in it now. Aside from shaking his fist at Univision and pulling the curtains back on various Mexican conspiracies, what exactly would the candidate like to tell people?

Trump mocked media outlets for doubting his self-proclaimed $9 billion fortune, proof of which the real-estate mogul claims that he will release next week.

“I’m much, much richer than what they say,” Trump said. “I’m a private person, nobody knows.”

He would like to tell people how great Donald Trump is. Of course. Don’t expect him to do anything different than this, what he’s doing right now, regardless of how badly his campaign plays out. Unlike the rest of us he doesn’t understand the sizable difference between winning over voters and patting himself on the back.

As for Gingrich, here was the last point:

3.) Newt will not carry the banner. Narcissists live to separate themselves from the crowd, so they’re horrible at being conventional leaders. You won’t see him being a Republican’s Republican. You can’t get him to play nice with others for more than a few difficult moments.

This was yesterday:

Donald Trump’s statements on immigrants are going to kill the Republican Party, fellow candidate Lindsey Graham says.

“Well, I think he said something that has brought people who are frustrated about our immigration system to light, but he also said it in a way that’s going to kill my party,” Graham said in an interview with CNN on Friday.

The New York Times:

In a brief telephone conversation with Mr. Trump, first reported by the Washington Post, [GOP chairman Reince Priebus] urged Mr. Trump to soften his tone on immigrants even as he offered praise of his candidacy, according to Mr. Trump and others told of the conversation.

In classic form, though, Mr. Trump quickly thanked the party chairman with acerbic broadsides that could discourage similar attempts to rein him in. Mr. Trump reached out to a New York Times reporter Thursday morning to say the call was “congratulatory,” not condemnatory, and posit that Mr. Priebus “knows better than to lecture me.”

He added, “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.”

And the Washington Post:

…the billionaire real estate mogul and reality-television star also said he has serious concerns about other GOP candidates and refused to commit to supporting the eventual nominee in the general election.

“So many people want me to run as an independent, so many people,” Trump said. “I have been asked by — you have no idea, everybody wants me to do it.”

Pressed about whether he would back the Republican ticket if he fails to win the nomination himself, Trump left the door open for a third-party bid of his own. “I would have to see who the nominee is,” he said.

Can you imagine? Trump the Independent would single-handedly destroy any chance the Republicans have of winning the presidency in 2016. The Donald could literally, as Lindsey Graham fretted, “kill my party.” He certainly isn’t above doing it.

For now, Trump said, he thinks that the “best chance of defeating the Democrats” is for him to “win as a Republican because I don’t want to be splitting up votes…”

Fortunately he’s kind enough to offer the Republicans an easy way out: Give him the nomination. Have the GOP skip the campaigning business, forget the big national convention and say “Donald Trump wins.” Well, that seems fair enough. Mighty big of him, don’t you think? It isn’t too much to ask that one of our political parties give Donald everything he wants, is it? Considering he’s so magnificent?

– part one here.


The Dukes of Chas R. Dundergob, esq.

This defense of our sacred cultural relics (from yet another of the Empire ponces at National Review) seems a bit…odd. Charles says here: “Repainting the General Lee Won’t Erase What It Symbolizes from History.” Like we would ever do that to the Scooby Wagon.

ESPN reports:

…Bubba Watson on Friday elaborated on the rationale behind his decision to paint an American flag over the Confederate battle flag on the General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger featured in “The Dukes of Hazzard.”…

It is time, Watson said with a note of panic in his voice, to “remove [the Confederate flag], hide it, whatever you want to call it. And make sure nobody is offended by it.”

Okay now everybody start with the making of British noises. Chuff! Gillypuds! Eelbacon!

Thus was an admirable attempt to rid Southern governments of insidious and inappropriate symbolism confirmed to have spun dangerously out of control.

Bubble and squeak! Okay, now somebody go warn the KITT car.

There is a clear and necessary answer to Watson’s rather naïve inquiry, “Why not the American flag?” That answer: Because the General Lee is a piece of America’s cultural history, and civilized people do not vandalize their antiques.

What we Americans do with a motorized prop from a 70s shitshow is hardly your business your eminence, Charles C.W. Cooke, MBE DIAF. And if obliterating the car’s Southern Swastika will make any of our neighbors a little less pained in its presence we should do it. Because our country isn’t like yours. We’re not a privy club whose members have for centuries spent their evenings sitting in coach chairs and marveling at the heads mounted on the walls.


Breezy holiday thoughts about slavery

Today’s as good a day as any to mull over our bumpy collective past. I suppose that “3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake” is the sort of Hot Take that was put on Earth for.

We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.

And if it isn’t exactly thoughtful or faithful to American history, at least it’s a timely post. Happy Fourth of July.

But I’m reasonably confident a world where the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now for three main reasons: slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.

Let’s just take that first issue. I see no reason to think the Brits would have been able to abolish slavery in America any more easily than we did. Southern slaveholders had become so wealthy and powerful by 1834 that any suggestion they might give up the practice absent outbreaks of widespread violence is whimsical. South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter while slavery was still perfectly legal. It was only the inauguration of the first American president to openly criticize the institution that precipitated a war. But don’t mistake his critique for abolitionism, because it wasn’t:

Abraham Lincoln immortalized himself in American history by the role that he played in abolishing the institution of slavery, but he arrived at this distinction only after a long career of opposition to abolitionism…

In fact, Lincoln was always keenly aware that slavery, though morally wrong in his eyes, was sanctioned by law, and he frequently acknowledged that the rights of slave owners, both to retain their slaves and to have fugitive slaves returned, were clearly guaranteed in the Constitution.

Accommodating as he was, the mere presence of a chief executive who didn’t fancy slavery drove the South to war. And the slavers had enough money and political power to wage this annihilation across a vast stretch of a huge continent for four years. Why or how the Brits would have done any better dealing with these bastards, I don’t know.

klan capitol steps 1925


Flag burning much like a racist’s bullets through your brain

What you have just seen, you haven’t really seen. What you have just heard, you haven’t really heard. What you have just learned, you don’t really know.

“Ronald Reagan’s soul is flipping in heaven,” Fox’s Johnson opined. “This group Disarm NYPD is the essence of the anarchist values that seek to destroy this country.”

Disarm NYPD is a tiny activist group that just burned an American and a Confederate flag in protest of Dylann Roof’s casual killing spree. So everybody, look out. They say a coupla Negroes getting their heads blown off in church sucks, but I’m thinking this is too much for any nation to bear.

“These folks in my view are the cultural cousins, the cultural brothers and sisters of that maniac racist murderer in Charleston who decided that he was going to burn the flag,” the analyst ranted.

dylann roof

“There’s little difference between what they do and what he did.”

Get your pencils out, write this down. Anyone who would protest a “maniac racist murderer” is a maniac racist murderer. That’s sensible. There is “little difference” between a person who’d shoot someone and a person who’d stop him from shooting someone. Classic. Fox News is genius.


17 Rules of Journalism That Look Just Like Justin Bieber

There’s plenty of religious butthurt to go around in the wake of the Supreme Court’s big ‘Duh’ in support of gay marriage. Given the cold-eyed seriousness with which the believers have been warning us about the wrath of God and the end of civilization, don’t blame me for doing a little head scratching over this bow-shot from The Federalist:

BuzzFeed’s Journalistic Struggles On Same-Sex Marriage…

With a standards guide in one hand and a Bible in the other, famous queer obsessive Mollie Hemingway takes it to Buzzfeed, in the style. That is…In GIFs. OMG, it’s about time somebody told those guys about Ethics in Journalism.

After the ruling, any pretense of objectivity that remained largely washed away as media elites joined progressive politicians…Among many other media outlets, BuzzFeed changed its social media avatars and literally marched in gay pride parades…

So while progressives celebrated, tens of millions of Americans outside of newsrooms reacted with quite different emotions. The contrast was pronounced and profoundly alienating.

What was it that drove Mollie to profound alienation? This:

A rainbow avatar. Why did you think you were allowed to do that, Ben?

On Friday, he told the On Media blog that BuzzFeed’s Twitter avatar was in keeping with its standards guide: “We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.”

Wait a minute – you’re telling me that Lot isn’t allowed a side? I suppose Abel doesn’t deserve one either, huh? This is what you call ‘journalism’?

Does it consider the right to end an unborn life a “women’s rights” issue on which there are not two sides? Or what, exactly? What would be an example of a story on which there are not two sides? […the Holocaust? –ed.] What does LGBT equality mean, even? It’s unclear, beyond the cheering for Obergefell that Smith justified by referring to the standards guide.

What would it even mean to say that there are not two sides on an issue that was literally just decided on a 5-4 vote? How does BuzzFeed explain to its readers what that number four represents?

Not only are those hard-hitting questions about the nature of journalism – I favor ‘Or what, exactly?’ – but I have every reason to believe the dedicated LOLcats fans at Buzzfeed are all waiting, mouths agape, to hear why Ben Smith thought this was at all fair. There are standards, after all, in overseeing a website, especially a clicktastic one running hundreds of thousands of monkey GIFs. I’m not sure how Pat Robertson, or that guy on Cable 709 who calls for stoning fags, can ever trust Ben again. FAIL. Breitbart’s J-professors as well were dismayed by the ethical laxity:

Smith and his site BuzzFeed stepped in it Friday. After the Supreme Court made gay marriage the law of the land across all 50 states, BuzzFeed dropped its pretense as an objective news outlet to openly celebrate the ruling. Like many other left-wing sites, BuzzFeed altered its logo to resemble the anti-Christian gay pride flag.

And Buzzfeed has the nerve to call itself “America’s Newspaper of Record”? Tsk-tsk.

Like I’ve said many times before, Smith goes beyond bias. He’s just a bad, bad guy. Sleazy, unethical… An evil genius.

With that, a bit of context and contrast. The fundamentalist chief administrator of Alabama’s Supreme Court just sent this corrective to the state’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley:

“You’re not standing for the rule of law when you capitulate to a law that defies God and exposes people to the wicked. You’re just a coward making excuses! Or will your conscience cause you to resign?”

The Governor said he had absolutely no choice but to obey the Supreme Court’s ruling. That is obviously wrong.

“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous. You cannot serve two masters: you must pick — God or Satan.”

I don’t imagine this is anything but entirely fine and good by Mollie because of course ‘the law’ requires Biblical scrutiny. Whereas everybody knows ‘journalism’ is a matter of character.


The U.S. Chamber of Cancer

Given what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been doing overseas perhaps we should start calling it The U.S. Chamber of Cancer. The New York Times:

From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

They’ve become the American bullies for tobacco companies everywhere. Look what they did in Nepal:

…the health ministry proposed a law last year to increase the size of graphic warning labels from covering three-fourths of a cigarette pack to 90 percent. Countries like Nepal that have ratified the W.H.O. treaty are supposed to take steps to make cigarette packs less appealing.

Not long afterward, one of Nepal’s top officials, Lilamani Poudel, said he received an email from a representative of the chamber’s local affiliate in the country, warning that the proposal “would negate foreign investment” and “invite instability.”

In January, the U.S. Chamber itself weighed in. In a letter to Nepal’s deputy prime minister, a senior vice president at the chamber, Tami Overby, wrote that she was “not aware of any science-based evidence” that larger warning labels “will have any discernible impact on reducing or discouraging tobacco use.”

Certainly Tami isn’t the least bit worried warning labels will have any effect on tobacco sales, she’s just raising a point regarding product aesthetics. Oh bullshit.

While Nepal eventually mandated the change in warning labels, cigarette companies filed for an extension and compliance has stalled.

Anti-smoking efforts here in the U.S. have had a dramatic effect, cutting the number of people who smoke from 42% in 1965 to 18% in 2012. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to stopping those same efforts everywhere abroad. It’s not a stretch to say that they’re killing people.


You dissect butter with a mind this sharp

Highlights from an angry justice’s dissent.

When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built.

Good government and unalienable rights. Tell it, brother.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government.

Clutch my stars and garters. Here comes some World-Class Wanking.

Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved.

[dig·ni·ty: the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. --ed.]

Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

I think I understand what Thomas is driving at here. By “unalienable rights” what the Founding Fathers were trying to say was “Buck up there, pal.” Or more succinctly “Chins up, grins up.” Or more grudgingly “Kids are starving in China by the way.” Just because they happened to be discussing the Rights Of Man in close proximity to declarations about how government should behave is no reason to think the one had anything to do with the other. Thank God Clarence only sits on some poor sap country’s supreme court, right? If he were, for instance, a high school teacher he could really fuck up a student’s day.

This took me about two seconds of googling:

Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins…

Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.

…Einstein on the Negro Question. Sadly Al wasn’t sharp enough to get that the slaves couldn’t be “degraded” by slavery because the wingnut Constitution and the circumspection of Clarence the Clown. If we were perhaps to come up with a corollary to Thomas’ corollary, we might say “Because you always have your dignity, our government may do whatever the hell it likes.” I’m sure that’s what the Founding Fathers intended.


Gay marriage going to destroy us all and told ya so

If, after yesterday’s gay marriage ruling, you thought the Flying Monkeys of Value would quietly assemble outside the Supreme Court and serenade it with a rendition of “Amber is the Color of Your Energy”, you would be wrong.

1.) “This is the most monumental ruling of any court, by any nation in the history of the world,” Gallups said….

“These are the beginnings of the very last days”…

2.) “If ever a time the phrase ‘Now the end begins’ meant something, it is now.”

“…the Supreme Court of the United States has just declared that reality and biology no longer exist…”

3.) “June 26, 2015: the day the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists”…

“With the DOMA decision, we have ceased to be a constitutional republic. The words “We the People” are now meaningless”…

“June 26, 2015: I saw Satan dancing with delight, the day the music died in the United States of America.”

4.) “I think there’s an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country”…

5.) “Society itself is at risk and cannot continue.”

If this is how they handle a setback at the Supreme Court I can only imagine how they’d act in an actual emergency. If they weren’t currently merely being kicked in their Old Testament Teeth, but in real life.

Let’s say World War II were to break out tomorrow – what would the God-botherers do? Well the handful who didn’t suffer a disabling bowel evacuation, disappear between the pews, or suddenly begin to dress in exotic fashion, with delightful bamboo accents borrowed obviously from the bowler-topped Imperial style, would be asked to join the Army. Begged to join the Army. And the sturdy one or three who actually managed to crawl on their bellies, drooling and quivering, as far as the recruiting station would end up becoming soldiers. You can bet those Christ-huggers would only spend every bit of their valuable wartime haunting the barracks to make sure you weren’t keeping any pinups of Bobby Grable over your bunk. Semper Fi, precious.


Foxiosis Scaliarium (ad nauseum)

Just trucked into town, glad to be back. Sweet home, Venice.

The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

If you were some sort of Scalia-like hack, and you thought all the people around you were no better than headless chickens, you might try to insult them with a hearty take that!. In the gotcha manner of Fox News. Because you watch the cable outlet 24 hours-a-day and Stuart Varney is the shit.

You might then easily mistake Varney’s “OBAMAcare!” for a hobnail boot rather than a word for subsidized health insurance. And you might well flatter yourself that you’re slamming it up some co-worker’s backside with this:

We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

…when you’re only burying your reputation. (The best judges are usually neutral, or impartial, etc.) I imagine that if some New Deal provision had just come before the court, and the majority had been joined by the Chief Justice, the first line of your booger-flinging dissent would read “We should start calling this man Franklin Delano Roberts.”


Burn the fucking thing

Anyone who would defend the Confederate flag is a clever monkey.

I have tried — and failed — to write about Confederate symbols previously. It’s not a straightforward topic, whatever Vox may say. But in the wake of today’s events, a thought on the subject is in order.

We make the Trump face and we send out a sonorous ooh-ooh to National Review’s Ian Tuttle. And how do we explain non-sequitur to our thick friend? It won’t be easy, despite whatever Jane Goodall may say.

Making the rounds on the Internet currently is a photograph of the Charleston shooter leaning against his vehicle, which has a “Confederate States of America” logo where the front license plate should be:

But with respect to Ms. Kendall, this hateful man’s use of a slogan is no proof that the slogan itself is hateful.

Here would be a slogan: Cats ask for it by name. Here would be a slave institution: The Confederate States of America. As regards it, I can be found lingering among the millions who believe that slavery is hateful.


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