Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:09 pm

Your liberal media …

… is, as Jason Linkins observes, utterly unable to call a spade a spade.

Journalists, even the ones working in Podunkia for $15,000 a year, are held to this standard: If you knew it was wrong and published it anyway, or you published it with reckless disregard for whether it was wrong, you’re screwed. (Unless, of course, you work for The New York Times, in which case they’ll give you a regular op-ed gig alongside Tom Friedman, David Brooks and Ross Douthat.) I see no reason why a politician, particularly one running for president, should be held to a lower standard.

Mitt Romney lied — and, knowing that the media will not call him out for his lying, he seems to believe that he can successfully campaign against Obama by lying while the media say, “Oh, what an interesting campaign strategy,” instead of, oh, I don’t know, maybe, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

Politico notwithstanding, calling a politician’s lie a lie is not expressing “opinion.” It’s reporting. And, dear God, do we need more of it.

UPDATE: Fox’s Megyn Kelly dismissed pepper spray as “a vegetable, essentially.” No, Megyn, the vegetable would be you. (link NSFW)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:30 am

American journalism on a soul-killing mission

Jason Linkins watches “Meet the Press” so we don’t have to. For the love of all that is holy, will no one put this man out of his misery? Because just reading this is agony; I cannot even conceive of what it must have cost him to sit through it and transcribe it:

And now, today’s Panel will perform a piece about CENTRISM, in a one-act play entitled “Will No One Shoot Me In the [Expletive] Face, Please? Because This Is A Living Nightmare, Watching This!”

“Will No One Shoot Me In the [Expletive] Face, Please? Because This Is A Living Nightmare, Watching This!”

A Play in One, short, sharp act (of rape (to the soul)).

STARRING:
DAVID GREGORY: ICE HIM, Bros!
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Mustachioed myth-maker, funk-faker, mis-taker
PAUL GIGOT: of the “Djee-Gough” Gigots
ANDREA MITCHELL: Concubine of Alan Greenspan
BOB WOODWARD: the PICAYUNIEST
ME: will no one shoot me in the [expletive] face?

—————

GREGORY: OMGZ! THE RAND PAULZ? IS HE STRANGE OR WHAT?

FRIEDMAN: He sure seems weakened by his stance against Civil Rights. It shows somehow that everyone needs to be pressed on what government spending we should cut!

ME: HOW DID YOU GET THERE FROM RAND PAUL??

FRIEDMAN: We need to cut taxes and raise them! We need to cut programs and have new programs!

ME: I guess there’s no way you can be wrong, then.

GREGORY: OMGZ! YES! THAT IS EXACTLY THE LESSON RAND PAUL TEACHES US. IT IS A LARGER QUESTION ON THE TURRIBLE DEBTS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM GO AWAY.

GIGOT: I know! Rand Paul, though, is willing to be specific about what he’ll cut! He just made the mistake of bringing up the Civil Rights Act.

ME: I mean…ha…ha…it’s not at all about how a major party after years of associating themselves with the worst insticts of identity politics ends up nominating someone who critically forces them to look in the mirror about what they’ve become, at all!

GREGORY: OMGZ, DIDN’T RAND PAUL DO WHAT JOURNALISTS LIKE, THOUGH? AND SAID WHAT HE TRULY BELIEVES?

ME: Journalists should like prying the truth from people, not sitting back and letting inconsequential people implode on television. I mean, props to everyone going hard at Rand Paul, right? But it’s not a very high-stakes encounter!

MITCHELL: Why does Rand Paul presume to be able to pass laws in the Senate if he thinks that the government should not meddle in the affairs of private business.

ME: Uhm…Andrea, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with “libertarianism?”

WOODWARD: Ronald Reagan ran on an anti-government message. Then he didn’t cut government.

ME: …[expletive]

MITCHELL: I don’t agree.

WOODWARD: He refused to come on this show.

GREGORY: HAHAHAHAHAA. HERE’S SOME CARTOONS!

GIGOT: Obama has governed so far to the left.

ME: Have you read the health care bill? Have you seen what FinReg amounts to? Noticed the retention of any number of Bush-era executive policies? Seriously. Now is where I would seriously like that gunshot to the face, people.

WIFE: Do people honestly believe that?

ME: On this terrible show, yes.

GREGORY: LARF LARF LARF CARTOONZ! AND YET TARP IS A GOP IDEA!

GIGOT: Even the Democrats are turning on their moderates who won’t support the President.

ME: YES! SO LONG AS WE PRETEND MARK CRITZ DOESN’T EXIST.

WOODWARD: The oil spill in the Gulf, where is that going?

ME: WTF? Is this an Insane Clown Posse song, now?

GREGORY: I’ll get to the oil spill in a minute.

ME: Right! HORSERACE POLITICS FIRST, and then maybe, actual things that affect the lives of actual Americans.

GREGORY: WHO WILL SAVE THE HEROIC CENTRISTS?

FRIEDMAN: It’s been decimated! Through gerrymandering! And the internet and it’s “digital lynch mobs.”

ME: TERRIBLE, all these DIGITAL LYNCHINGS.

FRIEDMAN: What if we could just be China, for a day?

ME: A GUNSHOT. TO. MY. FACE.

MITCHELL: There is so much punishment for people who work across party lines.

ME: ON ONE SIDE, ANDREA! On one side! Blanche Lincoln is taking heat not because the Democratic base is upset with her propensity to “work across the aisle,” but because she TAKES MONEY FROM THE MOST CRAVEN FINANCIAL INTERESTS AND THEN WRITE LAWS THAT BENEFIT THEM AT OUR EXPENSE. That’s what she was doing, until she got primaried, and had to pretend she had principles for a brief period of time. But she wouldn’t even cast a vote for the very derivatives reform measure that she wrote for the sole purpose of appealing to the voters that were abandoning her because she’s a sell-out. Meanwhile, Bob Bennett is on the outs in Utah SOLELY BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AT ALL TIMES OPENLY HOSTILE TO HIS DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES. There’s no “both sides are doing it.”

FRIEDMAN: I WANT THE SYSTEM TO WORK!

WOODWARD: No one is going to enact your fantasies.

GIGOT: These things go in cycles.

ME: What, should be all just start mindlessly repeating platitudes? I actually prefer this. Can we just leave it here, David Gregory.

GREGORY: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE OIL SPILL, OMGZ?

ME: With Thomas Friedman and Bob Woodward? Why? Why on earth? This panel is barely hanging on with the topic they’re best suited for: pointless political minutiae.

GREGORY: THE OIL IS GUSHING. AND JAMES CARVILLE IS CRITICAL OF THE RESPONSE.

ME: Seriously, this has been happening for over a month, and you mean to tell me that now that James Carville has finally gotten around to giving a tinned [expletive] about it all, we’ve finally reached some critical milestone? OH MY GOD, THIS [EXPLETIVE] FINALLY GOT TO BE TOO MUCH FOR JAMES CARVILLE, SO LOOK OUT, GAME CHANGE.

FRIEDMAN: The Obama response is problematic because it’s “think small and carry a big stick.”

ME: As opposed to Friedman’s “Think Big And Fap Myself To My Image In A Mirror.”

WOODWARD: “It is potentially a giant disaster.”

ME: Potentially? WHAT THE [EXPLETIVE] BOB WOODWARD, DOES THE OIL SPILL HAVE TO MEET YOU IN A ROSSLYN PARKING GARAGE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT IT IS A SERIOUS THING?

WOODWARD: Disasters come and go. 9/11 for example. came and went.

ME: Oh, sure! It hasn’t had any everlasting policy implications at all! Here’s a true [expletive] story from my life this week. My sister had her wallet stolen. And she went to the DMV to get a new ID. She brought her passport, her social security card, her lease, her paystubs, her utility bills, academic transcripts from three institutions, and a FRAMED CERTIFICATE ATTESTING TO HER STATUS AS A NOTARY PUBLIC IN GOOD STANDING SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, and the guy at the DMV was all: “I’m not sure this is sufficient proof of identity,” forcing my sister to have to make her very best WTF FACES at everyone there until they relented. So, ha ha! 9/11 didn’t “come and go,” if you are a normal person who knows normal people.

WOODWARD: Why don’t they call in Google?

ME: WHAT? TO FIX AN OIL SPILL? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? BOOLEAN SEARCH THAT HOLE CLOSED?

MITCHELL: Why haven’t the scientists fixed this?

ME: Because SUPER-SCIENCE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU FLICK ON AND OFF WITH A SWITCH? Because we do not live in the world of THE VENTURE BROTHERS?

GREGORY: WHAT DO WE DO?

WOODWARD: “The one thing we’ve learned about oil is — and it’s kind of answered the question of why the oil companies have been making so much money — is that you don’t have to go down there and pump it. It just comes to you once you pierce the shell of the bottom and all of this is coming…you know…no pumps.”

ME: Wow. Just wow. Just, for real, put a gun to my face, pull the trigger a million times. That was a sentence said in America. WOW THE OIL JUST COMES RIGHT UP, WHO KNEW? You know, everyone was really disappointed that Rand Paul’s cancellation was going to diminish the chances that someone would say something exceedingly stupid on MEET THE PRESS today, but man, Bob Woodward. He has really stepped up and delivered.

WOODWARD: This could come up the East Coast! This could come here and destroy your set.

ME: Oh, don’t make me say: “Go OIL!”

GREGORY: We have an oil spill that continues and a debt that continues to go up.

ME: We have a problem that impacts actual people and something that political elites obsess over!

GREGORY: We’re going to leave it there.

ME: Go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.

People. The man is in agony. You must help him.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 8:48 pm

Odds and ends for 12/13

Same as it ever was: The Obama Administration is held in contempt for obstructing justice in the same way the Bushbots used to do. The courts, once again, slap a wrist but take no real action to make it stop. Maybe I’m just grumpy, but if a government prosecutor had disobeyed so clear and direct an order in MY court, his butt would’ve been in jail before lunch.

These are not grown-ups: Ben Nelson is now trashing the same Medicare-expansion proposal he, as part of the 10-senator negotiating group, helped create. He does not belong within a mile of any public office, ever.

Quote of the day, from House Appropriations Chairman David Obey: “I am damn tired of a situation in which only military families are asked to pay any price whatsoever for this war.” Yeah, I grasp the potential ramifications of that statement. Let’s HAVE that discussion.

Co-quote of the day, from Jason Linkins, on this week’s killing of al-Qaeda’s No. 3 guy, which is about the fourth time since 2001 we’ve killed al-Qaeda’s No. 3 guy: “It’s like we’ve gotten very good at killing Spinal Tap’s drummer.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009 9:15 pm

Odds and ends for 12/3

With friends like these: Iraqi lawyer helps U.S., gets tortured by Iraqis for his trouble and now is suing U.S. for $200MM for trying to murder him.

With friends like these, cont.: Someone else unhappy with U.S. conduct in Iraq — the head of Blackwater (now Xe), Erik Prince.

Women’s rights: I wouldn’t say I expect to enjoy reading this book, but I’m looking forward to it. Nick Kristoff can be an insufferable ass sometimes, but on this issue he is doing God’s work and has been for a long time. (h/t: Janice)

Reality check: Who are we, Zbigniew Brzezinski asks, to criticize Afghanistan about government corruption? “Americans, of course, hate hypocrisy,” the LA Times’ Andrew Malcolm observes, “by everyone else.”

Elizabeth Warren for president: “America today has plenty of rich and super-rich. But it has far more families who did all the right things, but who still have no real security.”

The Republicans have a plan for health-care reform: Prevent it by any means necessary.

They also have a plan for fixing the deficit: killing Social Security and Medicare. Actually, that’s backward. It’s not that they want to kill SocSec/Medicare to fix the deficit. It’s that they’re making a big deal about fixing the deficit (now; not so much when it was Bush’s deficit) because that’s a plausible excuse for what they really want to do, which is pulling the New Deal and Great Society up out of our culture by the roots. Unfortunately, they lack the intellectual integrity to say so forthrightly. When they did say so forthrightly, about Social Security, in 2005, they got their heads handed to them.

Call this bluff: The banksters at Royal Bank of Scotland, which got the world’s largest bailout, say they’ll quit if they don’t get their bonuses. Don’t let the door hit you in the bum as you leave, tools.

Dylan Ratigan FTW: Reject Bernanke. He started the damn fire.

Shorter Jonathan Weil: FDIC, man up. Banks, pay up. Amen.

Jason Linkins points out a bit of a discrepancy in criticism of the Afghanistan withdrawal date: Critics suggest that setting a start date for withdrawals will just embolden terrorists to wait until we leave. This ignores the fact that even while we’ve been threatening “to go hard, forever,” the average yearly number of global jihadi terror attacks  has increased 607% since we invaded Iraq. Oops.

Relatedly: George Will takes a couple of cheap shots at Obama, and embraces the flawed slippery-slope argument in the item above, and mistakenly believes that Afghanistan is winnable anymore, but he also believes the right thing for most of the right reasons: This will not end well.

To all the first-time voters who supported Obama because you thought he’d get us out of George Bush’s ill-conceived wars: Here’s to the loss of your political virginity.

Lou Dobbs’ presidential aspirations = FAIL: Anti-immigrant group pulls support. Bwa!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:50 pm

Odds and ends for 12/1

Green shoot (me): Delinquent balances underlying commercial mortgage-backed securities totaled $32.55 billion in October, up more than 500% from October 2008. They’re expected to top $65 billion by June, which would be a record 8.3% of the total.

Michele Bachmann, idiot: “Just over a year ago, 100 percent of the private economy was private.” Uh-huh. And just over a year ago, 100 percent of water was wet.

Jon Kyl, moron: The Arizona senator, who has repeatedly said President Obama needs to heed the request of Gen. Stanley McChrystal for more troops in Afghanistan, says any kind of deadline for getting them out — an “exit strategy” — would be “exactly the wrong way to go.” Perhaps he should have run that position past McChrystal, who said in October: “Gentlemen, I am coming into this job with 12 months to show demonstrable progress here — and 24 months to have a decisive impact. That’s how long we have to convince the Taliban, the Afghan people and the American people that we’re going to be successful. … That’s not a choice. That’s a reality.”

Alberto Gonzalez, imbecile: The former attorney general and unindicted co-conspirator, unable to find a job in any law firm, anywhere, or teaching law at any law school, anywhere, tells a political-science course at Texas Tech to “dream big” and hang in there until your crony network elevates you to power.

Mike Huckabee, deluded: Dude, God is telling you to pardon the wrong people. Plural.

Jason Linkins, not an idiot, moron or imbecile OR deluded: “I’d describe Politico‘s brand of journalism as banality, added to Scientology, multiplied by the spasmodic frenzy of a tween who hasn’t learned to displace their unfulfilled erotic needs onto emo vampires.”

Ben Nelson, just dumb, but United States Senator dumb, meaning he’s in a position to cause actual trouble: We need to pay for the Afghanistan escalation, but we don’t want to increase the deficit and we don’t want a war tax because we fought WWII without one, so let’s sell war bonds! (I am now cleaning my own gray matter off the walls of my study.)

Whom would Jesus card?: The Houston Salvation Army is among seven charities checking the immigration status of poor families before giving toys to the kids.

Things we don’t talk about when we talk about military missions and government spending.

Needed to create jobs: More direct infrastructure investment, fewer tax credits. This imbalance hobbled Stimulus I, which was no more than half as big as it needed to be to begin with.

The return of common sense: Fafblog on the war in Afghanistan: “Let us never forget just what’s at stake in the war in Afghanistan: nothing less than the success of the war in Afghanistan.” Pretty much.

Related: As the number of troops in Afghanistan grows, so will the number of contractors. Because that worked out so well last time. Comments Clavis at TPMMuckraker: “I think it would be cheaper if we simply paid the Afghanis to shoot themselves.”

Plus, he sounds exactly like Rush Limbaugh. Also.: MSNBC talk-show host Ed Schultz ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He had this to say about the Obama state-dinner party crashers (whom, I promise, I will mention no more): “What if one of them were a ninja? Obama could have been killed.” On hearing this, my thoughts ran roughly in this order: 1) Ninjas? Cool! 2) Yeah, and he could have been killed even though they weren’t ninjas. Idiot. 3) Pirates v. ninjas! 4) Obama v. Ninjas! 5) Obama v. Ninjas: The Video Game! (c) 2009 Lex Alexander. I win.

There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio David and Tamron, than are dreamt of in your philosophy: Of course they let bin Laden get away at Tora Bora on purpose. No other explanation comports with both the facts we have and Occam’s Razor.

And, finally …

Tiger Woods is changing careers: The Borowitz Report has the inside scoop.

UPDATE: I’m feeling generous, so here’s a bonus:

Write your own punch line: The COO of McDonald’s is retiring … for health reasons.

Must. Have.: Vodka. In a pill. (h/t: Maru)

Sunday, November 22, 2009 4:29 pm

Jason Linkins serves on the lonely outposts …

… of reality and sanity, defending us from Teh Stoopid with his mega-Patronus Charm of Barbed Humor & Mockery, as he liveblogs the Sunday morning talk shows (which you should never watch without a condom, latex gloves or both). Some of his jokes fall flat, but in the main this is a column full of WIN, including but not limited to a wonderful Mission of Burma video.

Some samples:

  • “[Chris] Wallace wants [Arlen] Specter to name another Congress that has cut Medicare by such a significant amount. He can’t! BURN!”
  • “Then [Wallace says]: ‘David Broder wrote a great column.’ Wrong. David Broder never writes great columns. A David Broder column about a Quinnipiac poll is the most awful piece of writing that anyone can imagine. David Broder is long past the day where he should have been shipped off to some lonely tundra to be eaten by ice wolves. Seriously, anyone who respects Broder needs to be trepanned.”
  • “Ann Kornblut is staring at Bill Kristol, thinking, “I can fix him!” YOU CAN’T, ANN! Hold out for someone who loves you for you.”
  • “[Brit] Hume says that we need to be a lot more unreasonable and bellicose so that we can threaten foreign powers into accepting a position of burden on our behalf for nothing in return.”
  • “Tom Coburn is on [This Week with George Stephanopoulos], today? The Senate is literally mounting a Sunday morning charisma offensive. This panel is Marsha Blackburn, Ben ‘Ralph Wiggum’ Nelson, Tom Coburn, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. So, that makes ONE person who thinks all Americans should have health care. Great! Nelson leads things off: ‘FIRE IS BURNY AND IT MAKES ME SAD.’ GS asks about filibustering, and Nelson replies: ‘SOMETIMES KITTY IS BITEY!’”
  • “Marsha Blackburn is blonde and pretty and has a voice that sounds like sloe gin fizz as she lies and fearmongers.”
  • “Liz Cheney, of course, says that the stimulus package emboldened terrorists, and we will all soon die when KSM unleashes his hypnobeams upon New York City.”
  • “Fun fact! Last night, I led a discussion about what ‘pony play’ is, over drinks, and you really cannot convince me that it would not have garnered higher network ratings than this show [Meet the Press], which is now the only thing standing in the way between me having a Thanksgiving break from David Gregory.”
  • “Anyway, Dianne Feinstein is a big fan of the bill, and voting for the bill, and debating the bill, and reconciling the bill, and most of all getting re-elected.”
  • “This panel is filibustering my life! David Gregory thinks it is significant that Americans think it won’t cut costs than the fact that experts in the field say it will. Someone, somewhere, in the world is always gathering together to say something dumb or uninformed or half-assed … it isn’t always ‘an interesting point of view.’ SOMETIMES IT IS JUST STUPID.”
  • “If this panel died in a plane crash, Don McLean would write a seven minute song about how rock music was awesome again!”
  • “Did you know that somehow, more people are watching this show than any other Sunday Morning talk show? It’s true. And I am one of them, and for that, I am very sorry. The Nielsen people really should have a calculation for ‘conscientious objectors,’ like me, who have to watch the show, but wish the Vogons would come and destroy it to build an interstellar highway.”

OK, that’s about all the WIN I can handle. Seriously. I laughed out loud so much that I’ve started hacking and wheezing again, so I’m going back to bed. But y’all go read the whole thing.

 

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