"The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half."
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, writer
The Professional Left is "sponsored" by...
"The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half."
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, writer
It's like a struggling restaurant with rough reviews changing its name instead of the menu. pic.twitter.com/6MKhwePOHf— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) May 26, 2017
Some of us want to distinguish Trump from the GOP, as a healthy GOP is good for America. But the distinction is getting harder to maintain.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 25, 2017
The conservative mind has become diseasedTo many observers on the left, the initial embrace of Seth Rich conspiracy theories by conservative media figures was merely a confirmation of the right’s deformed soul. But for those of us who remember that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were once relatively mainstream Reaganites, their extended vacation in the fever swamps is even more disturbing. If once you knew better, the indictment is deeper....
The basic, human questions are simple. How could conservative media figures not have felt — felt in their hearts and bones — the God-awful ickiness of it? How did the genes of generosity and simple humanity get turned off? Is this insensibility the risk of prolonged exposure to our radioactive political culture? If so, all of us should stand back a moment and tend to the health of our revulsion....
Who is the politician who legitimized conspiracy thinking at the highest level? Who raised the possibility that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Who hinted that Hillary Clinton might have been involved in the death of Vince Foster, or that unnamed liberals might have killed Justice Antonin Scalia? Who not only questioned President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but raised the prospect of the murder of a Hawaiian state official in a coverup? “How amazing,” Trump tweeted in 2013, “the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ died in plane crash today. All others lived.”...
Trafficking in this kind of radioactive poison to fire up the mob is as low as it gets, and anyone who jumps on this bandwagon is not only so unfit for public office, but unfit for public anything.
So, needless to say, the entire GOP presidential field has been fighting over who can pitch the biggest tent on this most ancient and toxic of slanders.
Those conservatives who believe that the confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch is sufficient justification for the Trump presidency are ignoring Trump’s psychic and moral destruction of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Clinton, with a small number of changed votes, would have defeated Republicans. But Trump is doing a kind of harm beyond anything Clinton could have done. He is changing the party’s most basic moral and political orientations. He is shaping conservatism in his image and ensuring an eventual defeat more complete, and an eventual exile more prolonged, than Democrats could have dreamed.
Big-time backlash: When all polling on Donald Trump is dismissed as fake
...For the better part of a decade, the conservatives made liberal a dirty word. Well, it isn't. It represents the best and most noble nature of what America stands for: equitable government services, old age pensions, health care, education, fair trials and humane imprisonment. It is the heart and soul of what made American different and better than other countries. Not only an escape from oppression, but the opportunity to thrive in land free of tradition and the repression that can bring. We offered a democracy which didn't enshrine the rich and made them feel they had an obligation to their workers.Bush and the people around him disdain that. They think, by accident of birth and circumstance, they were meant to rule the world and those who did not agree would suffer.Liberal does not and has not meant weak until the conservatives said it did. Was Martin Luther King weak? Bobby Kennedy? Gene McCarthy? It was the liberals who remade this country and ended legal segregation and legal sexism. Not the conservatives, who wanted to hold on to the old ways.It's time to regain the sprit of FDR and Truman and the people around them. People who believed in the public good over private gain. It is time to stop apologizing for being a liberal and be proud to fight for your beliefs. No more shying away or being defined by other people. Liberals believe in a strong defense and punishment for crime. But not preemption and pointless jail sentences. We believe no American should be turned away from a hospital because they are too poor or lack a proper legal defense. We believe that people should make enough from one job to live on, to spend time on raising their family. We believe that individuals and not the state should dictate who gets married and why. The best way to defend marriage is to expand, not restrict it.It was the liberals who opposed the Nazis while the conservatives were plotting to get their brown shirts or fund Hitler. It was the liberals who warned about Spain and fought there, who joined the RAF to fight the Germans, who brought democracy to Germany and Japan. Let us not forget it was the conservatives who opposed defending America until the Germans sank our ships. They would have done nothing as Britain came under Nazi control. It was they who supported Joe McCarthy and his baseless, drink fueled claims.Without liberals, there would be no modern America, just a Nazi satellite state. Liberals weak on defense? Liberals created America's defense. The conservatives only need vets at election time.It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?
...There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think. The NRO Corner thinks I'm a racist, I don't care, their opinions on race are meaningless.Instacracker doesn't like what I say?That's the purpose of the exercise.I want conservatives to read this site and come away steaming. I don't want them to think they will like a word I will say here. I don't want them to think I will consider their opinions or viewpoints. I want them to think: boy he doesn't like conservatives and really, really doesn't care what we say.I'm tired of people acting like these people can be reasoned with or talked to. They don't want to talk, they want to drive us away into a corner and ridicule our ideas.I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions.I'm not interested in debating them.I want to stop them.
"The Germans are evil, very evil"
At the meeting with the EU leaders Donald Trump has criticized massive criticism of Germany. The SPIEGEL learned from the circle of participants the exact wording.
US President Donald Trump has complained bitterly about the German trade surplus on his meeting with the EU top in Brussels. "The Germans are evil, very evil," said Trump. This was learned by the SPIEGEL from participants in the meeting.
Trump said, "Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US, and we'll stop that."
We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder....Still, conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.We know that Seth’s personal email and his personal computer were both inspected by detectives early in the investigation and that the inspection revealed no evidence of any communications with anyone at WikiLeaks or anyone associated with WikiLeaks. Nor did that inspection reveal any evidence that Seth had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks or to anyone else. Indeed, those who have suggested that Seth’s role as a data analyst at the DNC gave him access to a wide trove of emails are simply incorrect — Seth’s job was to develop analytical models to encourage voters to turn out to vote. He didn’t have access to DNC emails, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails, John Podesta’s emails or Hillary Clinton’s emails. That simply wasn’t his job.Despite these facts, our family’s nightmare persists. Seth’s death has been turned into a political football. Every day we wake up to new headlines, new lies, new factual errors, new people approaching us to take advantage of us and Seth’s legacy. It just won’t stop. The amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable. With every conspiratorial flare-up, we are forced to relive Seth’s murder and a small piece of us dies as more of Seth’s memory is torn away from us...
The president just made a titanic foreign policy shift. The media missed it.Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, was speaker of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He served as vice chair of the Trump transition team and is the author of the book “Understanding Trump,” which is scheduled to be released in June.
When ideology infects religions and political parties and becomes more important than truth and the common good, we lose our humanity.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) May 24, 2017
Definition of ideology
ABC's chief political analyst dreams of a world where pesky things like "concepts" and "aims" don't clutter up political parties.
1. : visionary theorizing2. a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or cultureb : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culturec : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
-- except, presumably, questions from people who he has already blocked for, y'know. asking questions.Folks, announcement, new digital show once a week Thursday at noon to answer your questions. https://t.co/pHb77svjHT #AskMattDowd— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) May 24, 2017
The campaign of 2016 was an education in the deep problems facing the country. Angry voters made a few things abundantly clear: that modern democratic capitalism is not working for them; that basic institutions like the family and communities are falling apart; that we have a college educated elite that has found ingenious ways to make everybody else feel invisible, that has managed to transfer wealth upward to itself, that crashes the hammer of political correctness down on anybody who does not have faculty lounge views.
As Robert W. Merry put it recently in The American Conservative...
As Yuval Levin argues in a brilliant essay in Modern Age...
Alienation also breeds a zero-sum mind-set — it’s us or them — and with it a tribal clannishness and desire for exclusion. As Levin notes, on the right alienation can foster a desire for purity — to exclude the foreign — and on the left it can foster a desire for conformity — to squelch differing speakers and faiths.
Now is the moment for a new establishment to organize, to address the spirit of alienation that gave rise to Trump, but which transcends him.
Party No. 3-- and which I have been fruitlessly deconstructing for an audience of dozens over the same period.
The McCain-Lieberman Party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism, and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency.
The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess.
But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people...
Wretched Mole Rat
Suffocates on own dick.
Film at 11:00
If Bobo is going to do nothing but recycle his old beerfarts over and over again into new column inches, then I may resort to rerunning old refutations and save my secret, new adjectives for new arguments. Because in his Thursday column, Bobo just retreads the tired, discredited "Tyranny of False Bisection" dodge and runs it around the block.
You know the joke (driftglass tm):
So Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.Here’s a snip from his column entitled “Party No. 3”, mercifully walled up like Fortunato behind the subscription-only fortification of the NYT...
What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?
“But the Democrats!”
Conservative talk radio.
Gingrich. Paul Ryan.
David Fucking Brooks.
Ron Fournier: "A journalist's job aren't to create false equivalencies" pic.twitter.com/Q3SrYDrQwb— Brendan Karet (@bad_takes) May 22, 2017
...On Tuesday Mr Gingrich, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, chose to see a moral in the story, a weapon in his battle with President Bill Clinton over Republican plans to slash welfare spending and ease taxes on the rich. "Let's talk about what the welfare state has created," he said, addressing Republican state governors in New Hampshire. "Let's talk about the moral decay of the world the left is defending." Then he talked about the murders. "This happened in America. It happened in America because for two generations we haven't had the guts to talk about right and wrong ..."Now, a country which has this kind of thing going on - and this is not an isolated incident: there's barbarity after barbarity; there's brutality after brutality. And we shake our heads and say 'Well, what's going wrong?' What's going wrong is a welfare system which subsidised people for doing nothing; a criminal system which tolerated drug-dealers; an educational system which allows kids to not learn and which rewards tenured teachers who can't teach, while destroying poor children who it traps in the process with no hope. And then we end up with the final culmination of a drug- addicted underclass with no sense of humanity, no sense of civilisation, and no sense of the rules of life in which human beings respect each other."
On May 2, 1999, the Washington Post published new details on the pursuit of a Foster conspiracy in an article by David Brock, a key figure in the Troopergate and Whitewater scandals whose disillusionment with the political corruption motivating what would come to be known as the Arkansas Project ended his lifelong commitment to the Conservative movement and facilitated public dissemination of insider details on G.O.P. machinations. The article explains how Brock was "summoned" to a meeting with Rex Armistead in Miami, Florida at an airport hotel. Brock claims that Armistead laid out for him an elaborate "Vince Foster murder scenario" – a scenario that he found implausible.In an interview for Salon.com in 2000, Brock also revealed that he and Armistead received funding throughout Clinton's two terms in office from Richard Scaife for the initiative known as the Arkansas Project. The Project reportedly aimed to discredit the sitting president and first lady through investigations into a range of issues that could potentially prove problematic for the couple, from rehashed drug smuggling allegations to their long-standing relationship with Foster and other professionals/officials in Arkansas.Another prominent reporter to have received funds from Scaife was Christopher W. Ruddy – a former writer for the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (and later founder of NewsMax). Eventually, Scaife became the third-largest stockholder of Ruddy's Newsmax; and both NewsMax and the WorldNetDaily continued to publish materials that showed the Clintons in a negative light.Ruddy also enjoyed the backing of Joseph Farah and Farah's organization, the Western Journalism Center. This group supplied him with "additional expense money, funding for Freedom of Information Act requests, legal support and publicity" around his book deal & the requisite research into a conspiracy surrounding Foster's death. Simon & Schuster published his findings in 1997 as The Strange Death of Vincent Foster.In the book, he discusses mistakes and transgressions that occurred in the original investigations – in particular, alleged obstruction of justice by White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum – but stops short of positing an original theory on the circumstances surrounding Foster's death. Interviews revealed his personal belief that some sort of cover-up took place, which involved moving Foster's body from the (unknown) site of his death to the park where it was discovered.Despite Ruddy's disputed assertions, the Western Journalism Center "placed some 50 ads reprinting Ruddy's [previous] Tribune-Review stories in the Washington Times in 1999; and then refashioned the Times articles into a $12 packet called simply The Ruddy Investigation". Shortly thereafter, the Center "circulated a video featuring Ruddy's claims, Unanswered: The Death of Vincent Foster, that was produced by James Davidson, chairman of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and co-editor of the Strategic Investment newsletter."
Cheney: Wrong Vote Invites Attack
Vice President Dick Cheney says the United States will risk another terrorist attack if voters make the wrong choice on Election Day, suggesting Sen. John Kerry would follow a pre-Sept. 11 policy of reacting defensively."It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told supporters at a town-hall meeting Tuesday...
In his speech, Rove said no issue better illustrated the philosophical difference between liberals and conservatives than national security. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war," he said in a prepared text released by the White House. "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."Rove went on to say that conservatives wanted to "unleash the might and power" of the military against the Taliban in Afghanistan, while liberals wanted to submit petitions. He cited a petition he said was backed by MoveOn.org that called for "moderation and restraint" in responding to the attacks....
Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity keep Seth Rich conspiracies aliveProminent conservatives won't stop spreading conspiracy theories about a slain DNC staffer
STEPHANOPOULOS: We got a lot to talk about now on our roundtable. I'm joined by our chief political analyst Matthew Dowd; Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the DNC; Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy, a friend of the president's who's joining us now as an ABC News contributor; and Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter...
RUDDY: So many stories, fake news stories, are becoming fact here...