Wednesday, December 17, 2014
|Chilly Willy, via Rufio Jones.|
Oh, well, that would be a reason. Which facts are those? It's that desperately mendacious Mike Lupica writing in the Daily News over an unsettling Pew poll:DECEMBER 15, 2014 6:16 PMWhy Gun-Control Advocates Lie about Guns
The facts aren’t on their side.
Over the course of 900 words, Lupica lambasted the public for continuing “to protect gun nuts,” chided the “mouth-breathing” NRA for its murderous myopia, and contended emotively that “there are no words” available to describe the horror of “a recent poll that says a majority of Americans believe it is more important to protect the right to own guns than it is for the government to limit access to guns.”Are you seriously denying that the NRA is composed of mouth breathers, Charles? No,
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
|Via Bette's Classic Movie Blog.|
He didn't want to actually read the thing, that sounds a little like work, so instead he just called up all the instances of the words "fight" or "fighting"—224, he tells us—and culled his quotations from there, and then he devoted the remaining six paragraphs to speculating on whether she's running for president or has a chance of winning, like it was last May—to be fair, he's only a day behind Steve Inskeep at NPR.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Scott Shane went full Driftglass this morning, writing a report on the Big Dick's pro-torture appearance on Meet the Press (which the real Driftglass couldn't make himself watch, like me, and had to report out of the written-language coverage). He wasn't trying to be funny or anything, at least most of the time, but a few items really stood out for me as pretty grand in the guignol department.
“Torture is what the Al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11,” Mr. Cheney said in his latest interview defending the C.I.A. program. “There is no comparison between that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation.”No, that's not torture. It's bad, it's morally wrong, it's illegal in most states (not sure about Texas), it's premeditated murder, aggravated by being a hate crime. It's just that torture is something different. Like I'm really against burying people alive but I don't call it child rape. As Merriam-Webster put it, simplifying down a bit from the legal definitions,
|Capitalists of the world, unite! Viktor Deni, 1920. Via.|
One of the most unnerving parts involves the fact that the waterboarding, ice baths and wall-slamming were conducted under the direction of an outside contractor. It isn’t the first time the government turned to private enterprise and wound up with a human rights disaster — think Abu Ghraib. Or Blackwater.Actually Abu Ghraib is a part of it (torturers there were trained by torturers from Guantánamo from the private enterprise torture-training program)—it represents, perhaps, the very beginning of the Bush administration drive to privatize everything they could from State Department security (that's where Blackwater came in) to Social Security (sorry, not privatization but the proposed "introduction of private accounts" which is totally not privatization except to the extent that it is that did not actually get done anyhow, though the former president persists in regarding it as his top achievement in domestic policy).
Sunday, December 14, 2014
|Can't find a source for this; it's been on Twitter a lot.|
One trick elite editorial boards regularly play is offering narratives of "bipartisanship" and "compromise" that don't really conform to their readers' understanding of those words. I mean, compromise is a good thing, right? Who doesn't love compromise!That's not exactly how I've seen it, from a partisan point of view: to me there's a clear asymmetry between "what Democrats want" and "what Republicans want" in that the former as a party are relatively more interested in voters and the latter in donors (and in Fred Hiatt, for whatever strange reasons), so that talking about the possibility of compromise between Democrats and Republicans is misreading a bit what the options are.
But true bipartisanship, where lots of members of both parties actually agree on something (even if they pretend not to), is the way that Congress passes things that voters actually hate. Actual compromise would involve Dems giving up something in exchange for something Republicans want, and vice versa, not "let's pass this piece of shit that everybody but Fred Hiatt and our donors hate."
Friday, December 12, 2014
|Harold Lloyd in Girl Shy (1924), via Popthomology.|
Like, Brooks keeps worrying about
a bias in the way governments often work. They tend to gravitate toward the grand and the abstract....
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Happened to catch this minutes after seeing Valerie Plame getting interviewed on MSNBC—remember her, the Cheney administration (Karl Rove in particular) got pissed off with her husband for casting doubt on its account of Iraq's imaginary uranium shopping and decided to punish him by revealing her identity as a CIA operative running a clandestine network in Iran, thereby destroying her career and incidentally wrecking for years the US ability to collect intelligence from inside Iran, a country said to be kind of important.DECEMBER 10, 2014 11:00 AMIgnoring Risks to National Security
The Feinstein report reflects the Democratic party’s contempt for U.S. intelligence agencies.
By John Yoo
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
|Image credit to UrantianSojourn.com via TPK at Kos.|
“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Mr. Cheney said in a telephone interview. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.” (New York Times)Yes, I think at the very least Cheney himself and his office, and the Office of Legal Council, and various people in the Department of Justice, must have known exactly what kind of violence the CIA was perpetrating in our name, right from the Memorandum of Understanding of September 17 2001, as Emptywheel was explaining a couple of years ago: