Our Stupid Media
Saturday, April 26, 2014
And Let Me Tell You One More Thing About The Wingnut, Mr Spicer
Sean Spicer is pissed, PISSED!! I tell you, that, somehow or other, the public have identified racist old right-wing desert moocher, Cliven Bundy, with The Party of Lincoln-Inside-the-Beltway. Sacré Bleu!
In his own words:
The issue with Cliven Bundy has absolutely nothing to do with his party, zero. He is a Nevada rancher that had a beef with the federal government’s continued overreach and suddenly this became a question when he made some inappropriate comments about what every Republican needs to answer for. That’s absolutely ridiculous. [Full video rant here]
Now, I truly don’t believe that all Republicans are racists, homophobes, conspiracy theorists, junk-scientists, theocrats, revisionists or misogynists. They just pander to those groups for votes. And those groups vote for Republicans because a) Republicans pander to them and b) Republican policies more closely comport with said groups’ respective ideologies than other parties.
Additionally, Fox News has carved out a media niche specializing in dog-whistling for conservative votes based on the neuroses listed above. For their part, Republican Party leadership say nary a discouraging word no matter how Fox News skews and screws with news events to keep their far-right audience in a “let-me-at-that-ballot” lather.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/26/14 at 10:28 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2014
ALEC: A Legislator for Every Corporation
Ever notice how when something particularly butt-headed, laughable or creepy happens out in the state “laboratories of democracy,” it is usually accompanied by the unsettling sound of ALEC flapping its leathery wings overhead?
For those of you who are blissfully ignorant of ALEC and its doings, ALEC is a corporate-sponsored lobby shop and “bill mill” dressed up as a non-profit charitable organization. Corporations pay huge annual dues to sit on ALEC task forces, in each state, and hold state legislators hands throughout the law-making process. So, it is far from surprising that the resulting state laws are exceedingly corporate-friendly.
And the reason this happens on a state level rather than the federal level? because it CAN. Here’s a good explanation of how this works from progressivestates.org:
Even as state legislatures make spending decisions of the same order as federal legislators, they generally lack any comparable staffing or support. Most state legislatures are made up of poorly paid, part-time lawmakers with few if any staff to research or evaluate the laws they are asked to approve.
So when ALEC delivers “model legislation” to its legislative allies to promote, there are few staff members in the legislature to challenge the expertise presented or uncover the hidden payoffs for corporate interests contained in the legislation.
Moderate legislators appreciate the attention to their needs served by ALEC, so in times of political crisis (“crises” often created by the drumbeat of local media stories generated by ALEC corporate allies), they often feel they need to sign onto some legislation to solve the crisis.
And if there is no alternative legislation available, ALEC can create majority support for its legislation just by being the only serious legislation being discussed on the matter. Since states have little or no public reporting requirements that would require disclosure of junkets and gifts awarded to legislators, ALEC can spirit key state legislators off to luxury “conferences” to win them over to their legislation. And the lack in most states of public disclosure laws for lobbying means that ALEC and its allies can usually operate under the radar of any serious media or political scrutiny.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/24/14 at 12:16 PM
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Don’t Fence Me In
Looks like the jig might be just about up for Cliven Bundy. As it turns out, rather than a Noble Patriot deserving a place of honor in the How The West Was Won Hall of Fame, old Cliven is just a pretty pathetic garden variety liar. Or, if you prefer, a high plains grifter . . . in keeping with the western motif.
A local Nevada TV station was inspired by Bundy’s stirring personal history to do a little digging into his background and found that the details differ significantly from the King James Version elicited by BundyBooster, Sean Hannity, et al.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/23/14 at 10:27 AM
Monday, April 21, 2014
Meet The Press Hosts Panel of Dicks To Discuss Presidential Low-T
David Brooks must be pining for his lost youth now that he’s a newly-single balding, middle-aged guy tending toward paunch. That’s the only good explanation for the sophomoric little round-robin that took place on Meet the Press yesterday, during which Brooks questioned President Obama’s testosterone levels, while the rest of the bobbleheads nodded and grinned:
Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders, and once that comes into question, if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world … all bets are off . . .
… And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair, but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough.
How insipid is that? Let me count the ways . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/21/14 at 08:19 AM
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Free Your Mind
Aiming at who-knows-what entertainment value, Fox News, on Friday, launched a “robust discussion” of the current state of racism in America. Or, at least as robust a discussion as five white conservative pundits, including a B-list comedian, could have on that topic.
The timing of the program probably had to do with Attorney General Eric Holder getting all “uppity,” a few days ago, about being disrespected by Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and follow-up remarks by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) when he was asked if Holder had played “the race card.”
The discussion meandered along most of the well-trodden paths leading to Post Racism America.
Comments like these abounded:
This race thing is – you know, at this point, I can’t believe they’re still saying it.
I might even agree with you that there may be some racism left in America, but who cares? Anyone who does or says anything racist is always punished for it immediately. So why do we even talk about it anymore?
Dana Perino even managed a deftly worded boy-who-calls-wolf admonition when she wondered if “playing the race card so promiscuously actually drains the power of calling someone a racist.”
Eric Bolling and Andrea Tantaros seconded the theme that most Americans aren’t even concerned about racism anymore.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/13/14 at 02:10 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Banality of Evil: Rumsfeld Edition
Seems like a lifetime ago, in the 1960s, philosopher Hannah Arendt gave us the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s demeanor during his war crimes trial in Jerusalem.
Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a “monster,” but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the entire enterprise [his trial], and was also rather hard to sustain in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused to millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed and almost never reported (p. 55).
Arendt has always had critics of her thesis about Eichmann’s “ordinariness.” Still, I find her ironic notion of the “banality of evil” a very useful device for characterizing some of the inexplicable nuttiness afoot in 21st century America.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/26/14 at 12:36 PM
Friday, February 28, 2014
Noonan Haz A Sad, Channels Ophelia
Apparently Peggy Noonan took to her fainting couch recently, suffering from a touch of SAD, and found herself scribbling away and projecting her depression on all of America. I tend to avoid conservative propaganda outlets, such as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, mainly because of their insalubrious effect on my blood pressure.
But this communique from the inimitable Nooners exploded across my desktop like a multi-car accident and I just had to become a gaper.
She had me by the first sentence, which reads:
The constant mischief of the progressive left is hurting the nation’s morale.
A bold premise but deftly supported by citing those experts on the American psyche—Gallup, of Gallup polls. Gallup found, in December, that a record number of Americans, 72% to be exact, feel that big government is a bigger threat to the future than big business and big labor.
This probably came as no surprise to the good folks of Gallup because so it has been, every single time that they have asked that question since the first time, in 1965. Indeed, Noonan, herself, points out that this is a fairly predictable data point.
None of these numbers are new, exactly, as they reflect long-term trends.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 02/28/14 at 04:24 PM
Monday, February 24, 2014
Tears Of A Clown
You know, I could run for governor and all this but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never really done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil industry. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.
In an interview with the Midland Reporter Telegram on July 4, 1989, quoted in Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential (John Wiley and Sons, 2003) by James Moore and Wayne Slater, p. 161.
The man above is either a) a sociopath, b) a masochist, c) dumb as a bag of hammers or d) all of the above.
Despite the fact that my life has spanned the 1960’s civil rights movement, America’s open season for assassins, the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration, I must admit that I have never seen anything on national television quite as nauseatingly abhorrent as the spectacle of George W. Bush shedding a gentlemanly tear over the thousands of lives he wrecked to remedy his Daddy Complex.
This is how “sad” Dubya’s “mistakes” made him in 2012:
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Posted by Bette Noir on 02/24/14 at 12:15 PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
C’mon Truth, Get Your Damn Shoes On!
“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but it has never been verified as originating with Twain. This quote may have originated with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) who attributed it to an old proverb in a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855. Spurgeon was a celebrated English fundamentalist Baptist preacher. His words were: “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
Brace yourselves, Roasters, it’s starting early this time around. You know what I mean, right? that goofy quadrennial American reality show called The Making of The President, in which a gang of nattering political nabobs join in a rousing cacophonous chorus of Me! ME!! Look at meeeee!
One of the talking points that seems to be developing legs, on the Right, is the Lawless Obama meme. Rallying round that notion, I expect the pundits of the courtier press to be donning their little amateur constitutionalist thinking caps, any minute now, and letting us in on what their “gut” tells them is unconstitutional. And we the people will commence quivering with fear because . . . ASSAULT ON LIBERTY!!!
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Posted by Bette Noir on 02/18/14 at 10:57 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Send in the Clowns: Breitbart Plans World Domination
Ambling around the Web this evening, I stumbled upon this headline:
Delingpole quits Telegraph ahead of UK launch of Breitbart.com
Two things immediately jumped out at me.
Delingpole—who, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is one James “I’m right about everything” Delingpole, in his own words “a member of probably the most discriminated-against subsection in the whole of British society—the white, middle-aged, public-school-and-Oxbridge educated middle-class male” who a few years ago earned this very blog’s coveted accolade of Dickhead of the Day, along with the timeless lede “Cretinous British twit,” which is far from the unkindest thing that’s ever been said about him (and I’d like a few props for resisting the obvious Photoshop here ... gnnnn).
Why, he’s even described himself as “James Delingpole — the man so barking even Ukip [the UK Independence Party] wouldn’t have him.”
How to sum up Sucky Jim otherwise? Google is, as ever, your helpful friend:
He’s a self-described rightwing libertarian, an ideologue who in 2010 called for a British Tea Party movement, kind of missing the point of the original Tea Party.
He also fancies himself a satirist, a poor man’s Jeremy Clarkson if you will, failing to see why some might take exception to a passage like this:
... Barack Seamus O’Toole Flaherty Joyce O’Bama is the most Irish US president that ever set foot on the Emerald Oisle, so he is, so he is.
Except, when he’s in Africa, of course, when he disappears into the dry ice and re-emerges with a grass skirt and a bone through his nose and declares himself to be Mandingo, Prince of the Bloodline of the Bonga People, Drinker of Cattle Urine, Father of A Thousand Warrior Sons, Keeper of King Solomon’s Mines, Barehanded Slayer of Lions, Undaunted Victim of the Evil Colonial British Empire.
You could also with some justification call him a minor toff (daddy owned a factory, so he’d never make the major leagues short of marrying a Royal filly, which he hasn’t so far), the minorness no doubt being the impetus for his incessant clamor for attention and Pooteresque trumpeting of his mediocrity.
A polemical left-baiting anthropomorphic climate change denier, his Daily Telegraph blurb reads:
James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books, including his most recent work Watermelons: How the Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future, also available in the US, and in Australia as Killing the Earth to Save It. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com.
His acumen can be gauged if you click on that link to “his” eponymous website.*
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Posted by YAFB on 02/16/14 at 11:42 PM
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Countdown to World-Class Tantrum: Toldya So Edition
Just call me Nostradamus.
Staking out Donald Trump’s Twitter feed in wait for the almighty head explosion after the rejection of his objection to an experimental windfarm within bellowing distance of his Aberdeenshire golf development has so far proven an exercise in futility and frustration. But never fear—he found other outlets for his fury:
DONALD Trump sparked renewed outrage yesterday when he compared the development of wind farms in Scotland to the Lockerbie disaster.
On Tuesday, the billionaire tycoon announced that the Trump Organisation would be turning its back on Scotland and concentrating on developing a new course on the Republic of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.
But yesterday, Trump sparked an angry backlash after renewing his attack on green energy schemes in Scotland in an interview with the Irish Times.
He told the newspaper: “Wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103. They make people sick with the continuous noise.
I’ll pause there a moment to allow time for your brain to supply the obvious riposte. Done? OK.
They’re an abomination and are only sustained with government subsidy. Scotland is in the middle of a revolution against wind farms. People don’t want them near their homes, ruining property values.”
All 259 passengers and crew on board Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 residents of Lockerbie were killed when the Boeing 747 plunged from the skies over Dumfries and Galloway on 21 December, 1988, when the plane was destroyed by a terrorist bomb.
It can only be a matter of time before some scurrilous hyperbolic blogger somewhere compares whateverthehell that thing on Trump’s head is to 9/11, and I doubt you’ll read about it here first when it happens.
In Scotland, as well as among some of the relatives of the Lockerbie victims, this newest low low among Trumpbursts has gone down about as well as you’d expect. People might be more incensed, but it’s not the first time Trump’s invoked a comparison between the Lockerbie disaster and the Scottish government’s renewable energy strategy. Back in December 2012 Trump International Golf Links placed this advert in two Scottish newspapers.
This prompted 21 complaints to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), not least from the Scottish Green Party, which Trump greeted in his usual diplomatic manner:
The Trump Organisation responded by labelling the Green Party “a complete joke” and insisting that it had wanted the advert, which has been approved by the Committee of Advertising Practice to be much stronger.
The Trump Organisation’s executive vice-president and counsel George A. Sorial added: “The Green Party’s policies should be challenged on every front because they have done nothing to protect the deliberate mutilation of their own environment, coastline and countryside. Members of “green” groups must be embarrassed.
“Those who lost a family member or a friend in the Lockerbie tragedy must be incredibly incensed with Alex Salmond for releasing a murderous criminal.”
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Posted by YAFB on 02/13/14 at 09:35 AM
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Countdown to World-Class Tantrum: Windbag Trump in Windfarm Fail
Hello again, Rumproasters, after what seems like a long, long period of impromptu sabbatical to allow the trauma and RSI from 2012’s electoral shenanigans to subside to a dull ache.
What brings me scrambling back to the keyboard? Why, another Donald Trump Grand Debacle, as reported by the BBC!
A legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm which could be seen from Donald Trump’s golf resort in Aberdeenshire has been rejected.
US businessman Mr Trump claims the £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) would spoil the view from his golf course at Menie.
He wanted the decision by Scottish ministers to approve the project overturned.
However, the legal bid has been rejected by Lord Doherty.
Lord Doherty said he was not persuaded that it could be fairly concluded there was a real possibility of any bias in the decision-making process, or that the decision not to hold an inquiry had been unreasonable or unlawful.
The Trump Organisation said it would review the Court of Session decision.
A statement said: “Today’s decision has not altered our unwavering commitment to protect our investment in Scotland.
“We are reviewing Lord Doherty’s decision and will pursue the legal options available to us as recommended by our counsel.
“Communities world-wide continue to challenge the destructive proliferation of wind turbines and we will remain a fierce opponent at the forefront of this battle.
Over the years I’ve documented in a number of Rumproast posts Trump and his henchmen’s antics in Scotland, where his strongarming of the local authorities and attempts to celebrate his proud Scots heritage by re-enacting the Highland Clearances to build a “World-Class”
Clusterfuck Golf Course at the Menie Estate near Aberdeen have excited much ire and ridicule.
Trump began the development in 2007, there were rumors as early as December 2008 that Trump’s overambitious plans would have to be scaled back because he was feeling the same economic pinch as everyone else. Then all of a sudden in early 2012, Trump pivoted to blaming the offshore wind turbine project for the decision not to go ahead with the full development, suddenly becoming a rabidly vociferous opponent of Scotland’s extensive efforts to develop renewable energy as a resource and offering funding to windfarm opposition groups which soon all too predictably came to regret their involvement with the World-Class BeTribbled Buffoon.
As I’ve pointed out numerous times in the past, this is all a load of World-Class Self-Serving Bollocks. Never technically bankrupt himself but having left in his wake a trail of failed and bankrupt shell companies and developments, along with tearful financially distraught
mugs investors, Trump’s claims that the blight of the offshore turbine development is behind his decision are completely bogus.
None of the media seem to have joined the dots in recent times, and the Menie development’s earlier setbacks seem to have been forgotten, so I’ll risk taxing your patience and repeat myself again to draw attention to the fact that (excuse all caps) TRUMP WAS NOT GOING TO GO AHEAD WITH THE FULL MENIE DEVELOPMENT ANYWAY, EVEN WITHOUT THE EOWDC.
Here’s the Guardian back in June 2011, before he decided that he was going to exploit the situation to save face and stir up trouble in his ancestral home by blaming offshore wind turbines rather than his own overweening vanity for the project’s pruning:
Donald Trump has been forced to postpone his plan to create the “world’s greatest” golf resort in Scotland, complete with five-star hotel and luxury villas, because of the global financial crisis.
The billionaire property developer flew into Aberdeen on Monday on his latest luxury jet, a Boeing 757-200 fitted out with a master bedroom and five kitchens, to announce that his championship standard 18-hole golf course overlooking the North Sea would open for play in July next year.
... the tycoon said that the full scheme, a £750m complex featuring a luxury hotel, Trump Boulevard, a golf academy, a second course and timeshare apartments, had been bunkered by the recession.
Trump said “the world has crashed” since he first bought the Menie estate and dunes in 2005, provoking a long-running battle with local residents, councillors and environmental groups about his proposals, which has involved heavily altering the legally protected rare dunes.
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Posted by YAFB on 02/11/14 at 09:55 AM
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Disappointed in Dinesh D’Souza
The situation may well be dire for Dinesh D’Souza, conservative public intellectual, film-maker, and Christmas tree salesman. His recent indictment for charges of campaign finance fraud, for allegedly filtering $20K in campaign contributions to a long-time friend, Wendy Long, through “straw contributors”, could very well result in mandated jail time if he is found guilty. As in the picture above, you could say he’s up the creek on this one, but it’s a very odd thing, if you ask me.
Now, I don’t care for D’Souza, as might be evident by how I’ve written about him in the past. His claim that there is something un-American about being opposed to British colonialism, and selling that idea to people in tricorn hats waving stars and stripes, struck me as a tad incongruous and not without some racialist undertones when I first heard it, and I pretty much determined where his head was at when he quite recently made a tasteless tweet using a dead youth to malign the current president. His sensationalization of Barack Obama’s “hidden” life and times in his wingnut welfare hit (job) movie aimed low and didn’t miss hitting a low bar and stumbling right over, failing to actually be in any way a meaningful criticism of the President, even if a meaningful criticism based on policy from a conservative point of view could have potentially been made—but might not have been “sexy” enough for the president of a smallish Christian college who did not realize that not even being divorced from his current wife would look bad if he was kinda shacking up with some other lady.
But if anything, senationalist hot-button books and movies at least have some lucrative value, even if they don’t live up to what an actual intellectual dissection of the target might mean in actual effect. But this indictment is talking about a mere $20k (is that—“That they can prove” or what?) laundered (to use a term of art) through straw contributors (they had to have consented, yes?) to a campaign that lost so very, very considerably. I mean it wasn’t even close. Twenty large would have barely closed the deal on enough media time to make it remotely competitive. Not disrespecting whether he and the former Wendy Stone went way back—but what makes a guy risk jail time and at least four other
suckers unindicted co-conspirators go in for the thing? Sheer ignorance of the FEC and laws thereabout? This is neither brain science nor rocket surgery, friends.
I get that some conspiracy-minded folks are saying this is a biased charge, but I find it hard to think there would be motion on this without any evidence at all. I’m thinking this is out there because the Feds are dead-to-rights on the 20G’s they know about. Anything they shake out besides that is gravy. I just can’t figure out why.
That’s disappointing. What did he think he was doing there? For a public intellectual, he could be more smart.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/25/14 at 01:23 AM
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Message In a Bubble: Jennifer Rubin Edition
(h/t photo by the one and only Mario Piperni)
Jennifer Rubin is a conservative opinion blogger for The Washington Post and for the eleventy-umpteenth time she has just about had it with the mainstream media’s lack of journalistic integrity and shoddy workmanship [this time she’s looking at you, MSNBC].
Yesterday Ms. Rubin took to her blogatorium to inform us that if there is a real scandal to this whole BridgeGate thing, it is actually MSNBC’s persecution of jolly old Gov. Christie who has already told us “I am not a bully, so fuhgeddaboudit already!” There is so much utter silliness in this blog post that I only just finished unpacking it by Sunday morning.
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. Rubin’s oeuvre you might want to read this short offering, from last year, explaining why conservatives hate the mainstream media [which generously pays her salary]. It is cleverly entitled “Why Conservatives Hate the Mainstream Media.” The gist of it is that conservatives hate the mainstream media because mainstream journos are lazy, lying, un-serious, morally bankrupt Lefties who never ask Obama the hard questions.
So, it’s only a short hop, skip and a jump from there to how Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki and Chris Hayes are just the biggest meanies in smear-dom for their abuse of Chris Christie aka the GOP’s Great White Hope 2016.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 01/19/14 at 02:19 PM
Friday, January 10, 2014
Some bloggers of note have been commenting on the intelligence of one S.E. Cupp. I have not gone to the Cupp… er… well in quite some time.
I don’t think that S.E. Cupp is the dumbest pundit working, even though she has produced some of the stupidest punditry to assault the airwaves and t00bz. Cupp is actually pretty canny, having crafted a pretty sophisticated media image. Cupp’s M.O. largely consists of titillation, her “naughty librarian” image, much like that of Sarah Palin, appeals to a conservative male fan base… she’s basically a pinup for pinheads. I guess you can’t spell fanservice without “S.E.”
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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 01/10/14 at 09:07 PM