Saturday, February 24, 2018

Andrew Sullivan Fights For His Seat On The Lifeboat



"This is your captain speaking.
There is no need for panic...do not rush for the lifeboats ...
Women, children, Red Indians, spacemen
and a sort of idealized version of a gay Republican
expatriate Libertarianish papist Renaissance Man
(but definitely not a Liberal) first!"

Now that the Republican Party is fully out and proud as the rootin' tootin' batshit racist shit-show Liberals have always said it was, many of it's most prominent enablers are scrambling for space on the same Both Siderist Lifeboat.

Here is a small sample of that vast scrum of unscrupulous professional Conservative havers-of-opinions from just the last few days. 

Max Boot, infamous Iraq War Pimp:

Joe Scarborough, life-long Republican stooge and Trump waterboy

David French, proud employee of America's White Supremacist Journal of Record:
The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

February 22, 2018 3:27 PM

A rage more personal than political exists on both sides, and poses real danger to the ties that bind us as a nation...
And Andrew Sullivan, America's most famous Gay Catholic Tory True Conservative:
Trump has turned the right into a foul, spit-flecked froth of racist reactionism, and he has evoked a radical response on the left that, while completely understandable, alienates me and many others more profoundly with every passing day.
Sure, Andrew.  One possible theory is that the rank and file of your Conservative movement were all choir boys who spent their days singing Ave Marie and their nights meditating on Burke before Donald Trump showed up and used his Orange Lantern Powers --



to convert them all into foul, spit-flecked froth of racist reactionaries overnight.

Another possible theory -- one based more on "history" and less on a nine-hour weed-and-self-pity bender is that Donald Trump is just one more lump of racist carcinoma to manifest itself out of a political party which has been a shithole of bigots and imbeciles since before Mr. Sullivan came to America and began making his living writing self-flattering soft-core political porn about a Republican Party and a Conservative Movement of Ave Maria-singin', Burke-musin' heroes which never existed anywhere outside of the tiny, well-funded wingnut welfare bubble where Mr. Sullivan lives.

And now that the Left has been proven to have been 100% right about the Right all along -- now that the real Republican Party and the real Conservative movement have Hulksmashed his delusions hard enough to launch them into orbit --  so, like so many of his species, Mr. Sullivan has no place left to go and no alternative but to try to squeeze his ass onto the same Both Siderist Lifeboat between Max Boot and Joe Scarborough.

Continuing with Mr. Sullivan, I can tell you that it is going to come as a huge fucking shock to the adult Sunday school class that Bluegal and I help facilitate, and the faith-directed writing classes that we co-teach, and to all the nice people at the church where I usher every Sunday to learn that --
The left has denounced religion as insane...
But of course, Andrew Sullivan absolutely must lie about Liberals like me and my wife in this way so he can get his Both Siderist Lifeboat Boarding Pass stamped like so:
The left has denounced religion as insane; the right has redefined it into another twist on identity politics.
And like so:
The only antidote to Trump and the politics he has forged and intensified is this kind of self-doubt and self-knowledge. It refutes him while never empowering him. It opens up the possibility, if we let it, that the insanities of today’s right and left will not inevitably ratchet themselves into an ever tighter spiral of vengeance and mutual incomprehension
Then, a little gratuitous, drive-by Hillary-bashing because Mr. Sullivan is an incredibly bitter little man whose movement is in ashes --
 I will vote for a Democrat this fall and encourage everyone else to do so, because it is our only hope against accelerating authoritarianism. But I’ll do so with the same kind of nausea that led me to support Hillary Clinton in 2016...
-- and he can call it a day.

So how do we know Mr. Sullivan is lying?

Because the alert reader will notice that the graphic at the top of this post is from a remarkably similar piece I wrote about Andrew Sullivan nearly a decade ago.  In other words, years before Donald Trump glided down the Escalator of Doom and magically...
...turned the right into a foul, spit-flecked froth of racist reactionism
Yes, Andrew has been making a living slinging this same Both Siderist bullshit for a very long time now.  Because he has to.  Otherwise, as I noted all the way back in 2009...
...he would instantly lose his place in the food-chain, wouldn’t he? Because like that microscopic number of self-loathing black Conservatives who make their daily bread by serving the interests of the Southern Bigot Party, more than any other single factor, it was always the sheer gawking, oddballness of the brazen self-delusion inherent in being the gay champion of the Christopath Homophobe Party that put Mr. Sullivan in the spotlight.

That was what gave him his unique and lucrative cache.
Same bullshit.

Different decade.

And some of us have the receipts.



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Friday, February 23, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #429


"No puppet, no puppet. You're the puppet."
-- President Puppet
Don't forget to visit our new website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


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David Brooks: Radical Honesty For Thee But Not For Me



Here is the title of Mr. Davis Brooks op-ed column in today's New York Times:
The Virtue of Radical Honesty
Here is Mr. Davis Brooks standing in the pulpit of the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel in Elmhurst, Illinois on October 1st, 2010 lying point-blank about his body of published work in support of George W. Bush's war in Iraq.


I could have picked any of dozens of Conservative falsehoods and fairy tales Mr. Brooks has used his extraordinarily privileged real estate in The New York Times to promote, but this particular example is the only case I know of where an actual human being stood up, violated the most sacred Beltway commandment --



- and asked him in-person to justify things he had written.  Things which were patently shitty, vicious and untrue.

His long, rambling response was many things, but "radically honest" was not one of them



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Thursday, February 22, 2018

You Have The Right To Remain Silent


If you give up your right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be dismissed, warped, twisted and used against you by everyone on the Right from Wayne LaPierre (from today)--
In the midst of genuine grief, in an understandable passion, as millions of Americans searched for meaningful solutions, what do we find? Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi and more, cheered on by the national media, eager to blame the NRA and call for even more government control. They hate the NRA, they hate the Second Amendment, they have individual freedom. 
-- to the NRA's enablers at The New York Times -- 
David Brooks wrote something terrible this week. This is not a surprise. The Times pays him handsomely to write snotty, unedited editions of David Brooks Understands The Little People on a regular basis. They will not fire him, not even for takes as dopey and casually nauseating as this one:
So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war.
I think we’ve all seen what bending over backwards to accommodate Red America looks like. It looks a lot like the bullet-ridden liescape we all now currently occupy. Does the Times care that they’re printing this dreck? Of course not. Quite the contrary, the Times seems very happy these days to secure the endorsements of pretentious (and spineless) conservative publications and high-end white nationalist pamphleteers alike, and they have adopted a siege mentality when it comes to any profane opposition...
Rep. Claudia Tenney, a Republican from New York, claimed in a radio interview Wednesday that “so many” people who commit mass murders “end up being Democrats.”
...

“I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy,” Tenney said in email statement to The Washington Post.
-- which precisely echoes the casual, reflexive, unhinged slander of Democrats that has become the every-day, all-occasion Mother Tongue of Republicans since at least the rise of Limbaugh and Gingrich a quarter of a century ago:
Mr. Gingrich's remarks were reminiscent of an interview he gave to The Associated Press just before the 1994 election in which he spoke of the widely publicized case in which two children had been drowned by their mother, Susan Smith.

"I think the mother killing her two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick society is getting and how much we have to have change," he said at the time. "I think people want to change, and the only way you can get change is to vote Republican."
I gave up my right to remain silent right around the time GOP turned their party over to scum like Gingrich, Limbaugh, Rove and Atwater.

And I've never missed it.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

David Brooks: Moral Idiocy Incarnate


David Brooks' "How To Negotiate With Monsters" as it works in the real world. 
(Caution:  Contains a major Breaking Bad spoiler)


As America's Leading Brooksologist, after 13 years and the hundreds of thousands of words I have published on the subject, I take it as my job to tell you true things about Mr. David Brooks and, by extension, the mainstream media power structure which created Mr. Brooks and protects him like a glutton protecting his lunch.

So here is a true thing:  The Sulzberger family has been paying Mr. Brooks to write slight variations of the same, ridiculous Both Siderist claptrap for 15 years.  This has made Mr. Brooks a wealthy and influential Washington D.C. power player.  It has brought him professional respectability and a life of extraordinary privilege which Mr. Brooks has lived exactly where Mr. Brooks has always wanted to live -- detached from human concerns and floating dirigibly as far above the Real World as humanly possible.

Here is another true thing:   Mr. Brooks' wealth and influence flow directly from his ability to bullshit other wealthy and powerful individuals who also live lives as far removed from the Real World as possible that he, Mr. David Brooks, is possessed of a keen and accurate insight into what is really going on in the grubby Real World far below.  He doesn't, of course -- Mr. Brooks knows shit-all about this country and has a long and well-documented record of being completely wrong all the time about everything. But none of that matters, because his audience of clueless titans of industry, Beltway-media moguls, and TED-Talk jet-setting university presidents are even more clueless than he is.

Here is another true thing:  The cloistered plutocrats who are Mr. Brooks' primary audience do not want to hear that Mr. Brooks' Republican Party has gone mad and is killing the country because that would impose a moral burden on these parasites that they have no interest in shouldering.  They do not want to hear that the lowest of the low -- those dirty, disrespectful hippies who say "fuck" all the time -- have been right about the Right all along, because that, too, would require some kind of action on their part, and they have paid a shit-ton of money to buy their way into the cloud city of High Above It All where the brochure promised that the problems of the Little People would not harsh their beautiful minds.

Here is another true thing:  Thus in order to maintain his position of wealth and influences, Mr. Brooks' must perform one task over and over and over again, perfectly and without fail.  That task is to tell his cloistered plutocrat audience the lies they want to hear. Lies about squabbling Tribes of Red and Blue peasants who are Both Equally Wrong About Everything All The Time.

And today Mr. Brooks glided right over the bodies of 17 murdered Americans to deliver the latest iteration of that Big Lie -- hot and fresh -- to his employer.
We have one big tribal conflict, and policy fights are just proxy battles as each side tries to establish moral superiority. But just as the tribal mentality has been turned on, it can be turned off. Then and only then can we go back to normal politics and take reasonable measures to keep our children safe.
Yes, Mr. David Brooks, who has never in his entire professional life had the first fucking clue about what goes on out here in the Real World, nonetheless has some very definite ideas about how we who do live in the Real World should be conducting our gun control debate.  Specifically, that we as a nation cannot lift one fucking finger to stop mass shootings until the paranoid madness of America's NRA thugs and ammosexual ghouls is heeded -- humbly and respectfully -- by everyone else.

I'm not kidding:

Because then apparently, God Almighty will pass a fucking miracle the likes of which has never happened before in American history when a fanatical minority held the majority hostage:

Here is another true thing:  Within living memory, there has never been any conflict over any public policy where Mr. Brooks has not warned the Left that our only reasonable course of action was to cave, capitulate or otherwise cede ground to the madmen who run his Republican Party.  And as a matter of historical fact, there has never been any case of concession or capitulation to the madmen who run Mr. Brooks' Republican Party which was not immediately followed by those same madmen taking even more hostages and demanding even greater concessions.

But of course, those hostages are never anyone that Mr. Brooks actually knows.

The families whose health care Mr. Brooks' Republican Party wants to strip away are no one Mr. Brooks knows.

Robbing poor senior citizens of fuel assistance won't kill any old people of Mr. Brooks' acquaintance.

Shredding the social safety net to pay for Mr. Brooks' tax cuts will not inconvenience anyone in Mr. Brooks' social circle.

The kids who were slaughtered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were not Mr. Brooks' kids.

So you can certainly be appalled by Mr. Brooks' column today -- I know I am -- but no one has any business being shocked by it.

Mr. Brooks has spent his entire adult life clawing his way to a position of professional respectability and privilege which permits him the luxury of not having to give a shit about the actual life and death struggles of the poor and the elderly and the kids who live here in the Real World.  And the way he gets to keep that very valuable seat in Beltway Elysium is by continuing to feed his cloistered, plutocrat patrons the happy horseshit they wish to believe.  By reducing the very real misery and ruin which Mr. Brooks' Republican Party visits on real people in the Real World every day to fairy tales about the faraway yammering of tribes of equally unreasonable Red and Blue peasants:
The discussions reveal other sensitivities. Some Blues didn’t want to enter a venue that had a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on the wall. To Reds that was a neutral flag from American history, but to Blues it carried all sorts of nasty associations. Reds were offended by the lawn signs that said, “Hate Has No Home Here.” The implication: Hate has no home in my house, but it does in yours.

In another exercise, Reds and Blues ask each other honest, nonleading questions. Blues may ask Reds, “Name a safety-net program you can support.” Reds may ask Blues, “How do you balance having a heart with keeping health care costs under control?”
Here is one last true thing:  Mr. Brooks will go right on gliding over as many dead and suffering Americans as it takes to keep his place in the clouds until his employers kick him out. So how does one go about getting the Sulzberger Family to take some action? Any action at all?

Well, as of this writing, Mr. Brooks has been trending on Twitter all day because of the sheer perversity of today's column, and he is being eviscerated on social media and in the blogosphere.
Examples include:
From Splinter News:  David Brooks: Please 'Show Respect to Gun Owners' During This Difficult Time  
From Brother Charlie Pierce: Our 'National Gun Conversation' Is Now the Worst of American Discourse 
Media Matters:  David Brooks needs to shut up 
This Space Reserved For Yastreblyansky 
All of which is right and good, but none of which will make the slightest difference because Mr. Brooks is protected from on high.  And Mr,. Brooks will go right on being immune to the forces of both merit and morality as long as he keeps delivering that sweet, sweet Both Side Are To Blame (But Mostly Liberals) sugar to his premium clientele.

In fact, according to Mr. David Brooks, the only way to finally get the Sulzberger Family to pass common-sense restrictions on David Brooks' morally bankrupt columns is to listen to David Brooks.

To really listen to him.  Humbly and respectfully.  Decade after fucking decade.

To stop shaming David Brooks.

To stop calling David Brooks potty-mouth names.

To stop pointing out that he lies flagrantly and constantly in order to prop up his morally bankrupt cult of Both Siderism.

Then and only then will David Brooks lead the way to common sense restrictions on David Brooks' toxic bullshit.

Wait, where have we seen this movie before?

Oh yeah...




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Now Is The Time. Right Now.



From The Washington Post:
Don’t blame ‘Washington.’ Blame the GOP.

Dysfunctional Washington refuses to work out its differences to solve problems that matter to Americans.

So say pundits and policy activists, perhaps hoping that diffuse criticism, rather than finger-pointing, will yield a government willing to govern.

But the problem isn’t “Washington.” It isn’t “Congress,” either. The problem is elected officials from a single political party: the GOP...

We saw this during the final collapse of the Bush Administrations, as the crimes and criminal incompetence of that clusterfuck administration multiplied beyond the media's ability to cover up.  A "Holy shit, maybe those Libtards have a point"inflection point in the media that came when all that they had spent years defending and excusing finally became publicly indefensible and inexcusable.

That moment has come again, and now is the time to bring down the Fake Center.  Right now.

Push hard enough, and the Fake Center will collapse.

Take down the Fake Center and the Depraved Right will fall.

I guarantee it.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Sunday Morning Comin' Down



I used to devote more time and viscera deconstructing the Weekend Gasbag Cavalcade back when there was a glimmer of hope that if enough of us documented and published the catastrophic failures of our political media over and over and over again, it might change their collective behavior.

I no longer believe that.

Clearly, their contemptable collective behavior is an organizational feature and not a bug, and therefore unfixable until it becomes unbearably more painful for the men and women who control our corporate media to change their ways than to maintain the status quo.  I still take note of the weekly crimes against journalism and the vipers and pettyfoggers who commit them, but now it is more with an eye towards the future.  Just a dime-store Josephus documenting who we are and why this is happening to us as our country is systematically gutted by forces beyond my control.  And I think I write a pretty honest stick, but this Sunday I can't sum things up any better than @51Renee on the Twitter machine:
Trump having a meltdown today.

Jill Stein having a meltdown today.

Bernie snapping at Chuck Todd today.

Hillary Clinton is laughing her ass off.

She tried to tell you.

#StillWithHer
Yeah, that's about where we're at.

Also a few, very special Presidents' Day Fuck Yous going out to a few very special Beltway media collaborators who never, ever want to find themselves across the table from me with a camera rolling.

First, Fuck You, John Kasich  Y'know, the "Good" Republican who is running so fucking scared from the degenerates who own his Party and their enablers who own the media that he cannot form his mouth the say the word "Republicans" when asked a direct question about who exactly is blocking any meaningful progress on gun control legislation of any kind:
BASH: But when it comes to Congress, you were a member of Congress. Do you think that it's just dysfunction and ineptitude, or do you think it's because they're actually scared of the political consequences from important groups like the NRA?
Instead, he gasses on about the goll durn "Congress" up there in goll durn "Washington D.C." and advises people to just give up on the federal government entirely because of the goll durn "politicians" and do what he did: get a lil' group together with a friend of his and his friend's cousin and then there's Floyd and some of the boys down ta' the barber shop who's always up for whatever, and ya get together and maybe propose somethin' to the town council!
KASICH: ... Where we have to effect this, I believe, is at the local level and the statehouse, because you can have greater access to politicians who serve in the state legislature, in -- a county commissioner, in a city council.
Before ending up exactly where every one of these sniveling Republican cowards always ends up.
KASICH: ... And, look, I'm not calling for some outright ban. I'm talking about small steps that can be taken that can be effective. And the Congress ought to do it.
I just don't -- I -- I don't have any confidence in them. I don't think most Americans do. Nobody's supporting them any more on both sides. They're both broken.
Then Fuck You Maureen Dowd, who took the same "Both Sides/All Sides/Everyone is to blame" playbook and ran with it --
Then I gave up. If the sight of slaughtered angels did not dent the nation’s conscience, could anything?...

But we didn’t care...

In our ongoing angst about our national identity — if we weren’t John Wayne anymore, who were we? — there had been a terrible tacit judgment made: America would accept periodic human sacrifices to the trigger gods in the interest of upholding this bizarre notion that the Second Amendment is inviolate or even really threatened.

We can’t even summon the energy to break the chokehold that the N.R.A. has on Republicans in Congress.

When societies try to protect a malevolent status quo, they become warped.

The most chilling sign of this is when people look the other way as the most vulnerable members of society are preyed on.

America shrugs.
-- pausing only briefly to pat herself on the back for that time she blamed Barack Obama. 
And I wrote in disgust about President Barack Obama failing to marshal the L.B.J. mojo to push through a gun control bill after Sandy Hook even though he had 90 percent of Americans on his side and a Democratic Senate.
Because, see, President Obama didn't use his Magic Green Lantern powers to change the cold, dead hearts of Republican scumbags like Maureen Dowd's brother

Republicans who are are "meh" about all those "slaughtered angels" because Freedumb!  

Republicans who are delighted with the permanent damage President Stupid is doing to this country.  

Republicans who elected the seditious thugs who dynamited everything the Obama Administration tried to do just because they fucking hated the first black president.   From Time Magazine, August of 2012:
TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” 
And finally, a Very Special Presidents' Day Fuck You to Respected NBC Contributor and America's Most Lubricated Conservative Barfly, Peggy Noonan --


-- for very nearly making it to the bathroom before vomiting half-digested wingnut talking points about school shootings all over the sink, the walls, the rug and the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal:
The family blew up—divorce, unwed childbearing. Fatherless sons. Fatherless daughters, too. Poor children with no one to love them. The internet flourished. Porn proliferated. Drugs, legal and illegal. Violent videogames, in which nameless people are eliminated and spattered all over the screen. (The Columbine shooters loved and might have been addicted to “Doom.”) The abortion regime settled in, with its fierce, endless yet somehow casual talk about the right to end a life. An increasingly violent entertainment culture—low, hypersexualized, full of anomie and weirdness, allergic to meaning and depth. The old longing for integration gave way to a culture of accusation—you are a supremacist, a misogynist, you are guilty of privilege and defined by your color and class, we don’t let your sort speak here.
Poor Peggers.  Other than the Wall Street Journal...and The New York Times...and MSNBC...and NBC...and ABC...and the lecture circuit...and book deals..and putting words in the mouths of Republican presidents...and myriad radio appearances...and a standing invitation on the now-defunct Charlie Rose Show...

...no one will let her sort speak here!

Have another drink, Peggy.

Hell, have a thousand.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #428


"No puppet, no puppet. You're the puppet."
-- President Puppet
Don't forget to visit our new website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


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Eva Braun-Nose





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Both Sides Don't Versus Both Sides Dent


Both Sides Don't


Vs.


Both Sides Dent



One of these positions -- the Big Lie that somehow the blood-drunk barbarism, racism, and seditious insanity of the Republican Party which Mr. Dent and Mr., Scarborough have spent their lives serving is the fault of everyone or no one or Both Sides -- has been and remains the near-universal dogma of the Beltway Media for decades.

It seems that anyone, no matter how clownish they may be --


-- can mount an impressive TED-Talk/New York Times/NBC career by simply repeating this Big Lie over and over and over again.



While those of us who take the opposite position -- that it is self-evidently true that the Republican Party is killing this country, that they have been working on their Kill This Country project in plain sight for decades and that media Both Siderists are their enabling henchmen -- continue waging our lonely War on Pronouns as outcasts, held in Coventry by a corporate media system which would rather see the country burn than admit we have been right all along and then do something about it.

UPDATE:  Reader Andrew Johnston suggests that b/c I did not include every Tweet by Mr. Giridharadas I am misrepresenting his position.  Maybe so.  The Morning Joe video of him was not available when I wrote this up so I used his Tweets to convey the gist of what I though he was saying.

But now the video is available. So let's all jump to the 6:00 mark and let Mr. Giridharadas speak for himself outside of the constraints of Twitter.

You're clever people so I'll leave it for you to decide for yourselves.  



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