THE STATE OF THE UNION IS: Atomized!

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014

Part 3—Cornerback fails to respond: Everyone except Richard Sherman responded to last night’s address.

Perhaps in response to a plea from Coach Carroll, Sherman focused on bringing his teammate, Marshawn Lynch, out of his shell.

The trio of former Pacific-10 greats are poised to win Sunday’s New Jersey Bowl, which will occur at 6:30 P.M., barring access lane closings. In the long history of the event, no team coached by a former Pac-10 great has ever lost to a team forced to start a former SEC quarterback.

Whatever his motive may have been, Sherman has so far failed to respond to Obama’s address. We were struck by some of the people who did respond, and by some who responded to those who had responded.

Locked in a green room with Newt Gingrich, Paul Krugman responded in real time. Early this morning, we were surprised to read this:
KRUGMAN (1/28/14): 9:25 Son of a barkeeper? I didn’t know that.
Interesting! How many million times has it been said that John Boehner comes from such humble stock? Krugman, who actually knows real things, had apparently never heard it!

That said, we were puzzled, and provisionally disappointed, by this earlier reaction:
KRUGMAN: 9:13 We have the text of the speech. It says “More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.” It’s that big already? Even I’m surprised. Obama is going to cite at least one example of a person for whom the ACA was literally a saving grace.
Krugman said he was surprised by the large number of sign-ups. Somewhat oddly, it didn’t seem to occur to him that his surprise might stem from the fact that the number in question could perhaps maybe be wrong.

Is the number wrong? We aren’t real sure about that, but we did know where to look. As part of a somewhat peculiar set of “fact checks,” Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker, offered this assessment, as we figured he would:
KESSLER (1/28/14): “More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.”

Obama carefully does not say these numbers are the result of the Affordable Care Act, but he certainly leaves that impression. But the Medicaid part of this number—6.3 million from October through December—is very fuzzy and once earned a rating of Three Pinocchios.

The ACA expanded Medicaid to those who earn less than 133 percent of the poverty line—about $15,000 for an individual — to 26 states (and the District) that decided to embrace that element of the law. But no one really knows how many of the 6.3 million are in this expansion pool—or whether they are simply renewing or would have qualified for Medicaid before the new law. Indeed, the number also includes people joining Medicaid in states that choose not accept the expansion [sic].

The private insurance numbers—about 3 million—are also open to question. The troubled federal exchange counts people as enrolled if an individual has selected a plan, but does not know if a person enrolled and paid a premium because that part of the system has yet to be built.
We’ve read Kessler’s previous fact checks of those numbers, so we figured he’d fact-check last night’s statement. Somewhat disappointingly, Krugman seemed to assume the number had to be right, even though he found it surprisingly large.

People! Obama had said it!

Proximity to Newt can have that effect on some people. But just because Obama says it, that doesn’t mean it’s accurate, true, on-point or correct. In his own review of the speech, the analysts’ favorite captured a groaner, although he played it way down:
DRUM (1/28/14): On the fact check front, the only thing that jumped out at me was Obama's reference to women making 77 cents for every dollar that men make. It's not precisely wrong, but it will certainly open him up to nitpicking about whether it's fair to use that number. For the record, I think it is fair, though I'll grant that a little bit of explanation is called for.
Drum provides a link to a previous post which only makes matters worse. In each case, he took the same approach: having flagged an obvious groaner, he played down the size of the offence.

Kessler fact-checked that statement too. Like Drum, he failed to give a full account of what Obama actually said—or rather, what he implied.

If we might borrow from Kessler’s earlier language, “Obama carefully did not say” that women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for equal work.

Carefully, he didn’t say that. But plainly, that’s what he implied:
OBAMA (1/28/14): The bottom line is, Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. But we know our opportunity agenda won't be complete, and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise, unless we also do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.

You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment.

Women deserve equal pay for equal work.


(Cheers, applause.)
In a way, a politician’s desire to mislead seems more clear when he implies something that isn’t true, but seems to avoid flatly saying it. It becomes harder to believe that the person just doesn’t know that the statement in question is bogus.

Drum and Kessler both slid past the obvious thrust of Obama’s statement, which is pleasing, and highly familiar to liberals, but also grossly misleading.

Question: Why does someone like Obama feel the need to do that? In all such instances, from any pol, our first guess would be the obvious:

He or she chose to make the misleading statement because he or she knew it would lead to “Cheers, applause.” Also, because he or she doesn’t have truthful things to say about the topic in question which would produce that reaction.

If we apply that interpretation, here’s why Obama said that:

Obama is seeking support of women as a large part of his current thrust. If he has to toy with some basic facts, well by god, the times require it!

In that moment, you see a major politician whose party lacks things to say to the wide range of voters. For the fullest expression of this very large problem, we’ll direct you to a fiery response which appeared in Salon.

Joan Walsh wrote the fiery piece; we’ll assume she didn’t write the headline. In Salon’s new gong-show headline style, the headline shouted this from the top of Salon’s front page early this morning:
GOP'S DEMENTED SOTU MELTDOWN
The president's speech was a conciliatory, modest affair. But with enemies like these, it's hard not to be a winner
Sad! Sad, and “demented” in its own right, in modern atomized style.

Except as a way to please or express the views of the tribe, Walsh’s piece strikes us as profoundly clueless. She lodges the various standard complaints, including some that make little sense.

She name-calls the “hundreds of kooks” who oppose Obama. She closes with an extremely dumb remark, a type of assessment our own kooks have been inclined to repeat since the Clinton years:

“Once again, though, as throughout his career, the president is blessed by having lame enemies.”

They used to say that President Clinton was lucky in his enemies. So lucky!

All that happened is he got impeached by his enemies. After that, his chosen successor was kept from the White House, with people like Walsh repeating their moronic claims about the way he hired Naomi Wolf to make him an alpha male.

Our tribe is run by hopeless kooks too! This is what Walsh was writing, at massive length, one day before that historic election:
WALSH (11/6/00): But first, let's state the obvious: Al Gore is a flawed candidate who has presided over a troubled campaign. For me, the indelible image from the Democratic National Convention wasn't Al kissing Tipper, it was a photo Tipper shared of her Halloween-loving husband (Is it the costumes he loves? The infinite changeability?) dressed up like Frankenstein. I cringed: The image of Gore as Frankenstein captured his blockheaded otherworldly essence, the way he sometimes looks like a guy who's been torn apart and stitched back together, unnaturally...

Maybe the best assessment of Gore's personality problem comes from our own Jake Tapper, who sums it up in two words: "Dingell-Norwood." That's the HMO reform bill Gore wasted time trying to explain in the last debate...
Joan, who was building her career, joined Jake in echoing Sam and Cokie there, as hustlers and users of her type were required to do at that time. With hustlers and/or fools like this working within our own pitiful tribe, we hardly need to blame our failings on the hundreds of kooks over there.

Earth to pitiful people like Walsh: President Clinton wasn’t lucky in his enemies. And, to state what is blindingly obvious, President Obama hasn’t been lucky in his enemies either.

They have made a rolling joke of his presidency. They have an absolute mess of American life. In large part, they have been able to do this because our own pitiful, atomized tribe is willing to tag along behind know-nothings like Walsh. Consider this know-nothing reaction to last night’s address:
WALSH (1/29/14): Another SOTU leak revealed an internal split over whether Obama should stress “income inequality” or “opportunity,” and revealed that “opportunity” won because apparently income inequality is a big downer and sounds like class warfare. In the end, the president did mention income inequality while stressing “ladders of opportunity,” but the preliminary hype made me more sensitive to his disappointing storytelling: Obama blamed the decline of opportunity and the rise of inequality on “massive shifts in technology and global competition,” but left out the deliberate shift of wealth and power from the majority to the top 1 percent, and the deliberate dismantling of “ladders of opportunity” that began under Ronald Reagan and continue through today.
Last night, David Corn expressed disappointment in that choice too. That said, why do Democratic presidents tend to shy away from the basically accurate statements Walsh would like to hear?

Why is it that “income inequality is a big downer and sounds like class warfare?”

There may be many reasons. But one reason is clear—hapless, know-nothing leaders like Walsh haven’t created a world in which income inequality isn’t a big downer and doesn’t sounds like class warfare. There are about ten million points on which the liberal world has failed to make the sale to the nation. The stumblebum conduct of people like Walsh helps explain this ongoing failure.

Obama preached to the choir last night with his statement about that 77 cents. Presumably, he went with a grossly misleading statement because he had nothing accurate to offer.

Similarly, Walsh is content to tell the tribe that we’re lucky in our enemies. That said, Walsh herself has been our long-time enemy, both on that ancient November 6 and in the ridiculpous way her magazine has begun to fashion itself as a landlocked, atomized enterprise which preaches to a very small liberal choir.

Millenials preferred!

Atomization was everywhere we looked last night. The nation is breaking apart into duchies. This process serves the stated interest of the most extreme members of the other tribe.

Walsh is clowning around and making money, just as she has always done. As part of the deal, Salon has become the cutting edge of the atomization.

Atomization is the goal of the other tribe, the one that wants nothing but local action. Walsh, who claims she wants somethign eklse, drives the disintegration along with her studied gong-ringing.

The nation is being sliced into slender segments. This dim-witted atomization makes money for quite a few media entities, but it serves the other side's interest.

Our side needs to learn how to talk to the broad swath of the public. Have you read Salon lately?

You can’t get dumber, or perhaps more dishonest: Walsh wrote 3600 words on the day before the 2000 election. As she puzzled and pondered, she never managed to mention the press corps’ relentless attacks against Candidate Gore.

Had she been alive on this planet during the previous two years? Somehow, she even wrote this:
WALSH (11/6/00): It should be clear, for so many political reasons, that this race couldn't have been anything other than close—unless it was a Bush landslide. The "Gore blew it" explanation underestimates both Bush's strengths as a politician and the media's flaws in dissecting the Texas governor's weaknesses and taking them seriously. It ignores the dynamic of American partisan politics...
Really? Had Walsh been alive on the planet?

After the Democratic Convention in mid-August 2000, Gore shot into a large lead in the polls—and the lead held. By mid-September, he was ahead by ten points and holding.

“Undeniable panic is gripping partisan Republicans,” Robert Novak wrote in the Washington Post, “from rank-and-file voters to seasoned political operatives.” Trust us: insider Washington had largely decided that the election was over.

At that point, in mid to late September, the press corps invented two more lies by Candidate Gore—those involving the doggy pills and the union lullaby. In the course of this latest onslaught, that large, month-long lead disappeared.

Howard Fineman explained what had happened to Brian Williams:
http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh092403.shtml
FINEMAN (9/21/00): I don’t think the media was going to allow, just by its nature, the next seven weeks, the last seven or eight weeks of the campaign, to be all about Al Gore’s relentless, triumphant march to the presidency. We want a race, I suppose. If we have a bias of any kind, it’s that we like to see a contest and we like to see it down to the end if we can.
Other lies were ginned up after the first debate, which Candidate Gore had won by large margins—until the press corps struck.

Somehow, Joan had missed all this! Today, she’s a “made woman” on cable news. She sits at the right hand of the man who did the most to create that historic debacle.

Was Walsh a fool on November 6 of that year, or was she simply dissembling? She will never be asked to explain, so pitiful is our tribe.

Also, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work! Obama said it. Our side cheered and applauded.

The claim isn’t true, as everyone knows. But that’s what you get when you live in a tribe which doesn’t know how to make accurate claims the electorate will respond to.

55 comments:

  1. "Interesting! How many million times has it been said that John Boehner comes from such humble stock? Krugman, who actually knows real things, had apparently never heard it!"

    Or . . . Krugman was being sarcastic. It's possible. We don't know. On a journalistic basis, it hasn't been disproved.

    And only a lying cad who is misleading his rubes would jump to such a conclusion before every scrap of evidence is known.

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    1. Go away you stupid troll.

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    2. Or maybe the blogger could just shut up and not say anything.

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    3. Sorry, 11:25, but that's "Krugman might be sarcastic" is my narrative and I am sticking to it.

      And it takes a morally ill clown going off on extreme histrionics not to rule out every other explanation I can possibily conjure before landing on his preferred narrative.

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    4. Anon @ 11:47, Man, you are dumb!

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    5. Well, I do admit I am confused. Here all this time, I thought it was evil to jump to the preferred conclusion without substantial evidence to back it up, and well before all other "possibilities" had been thoroughly disproved "on a journalistic basis" completely and beyond all doubt, with not even a shadow left.

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    6. Go away stupid troll.

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    7. I am with you Anon @ 11:38. Maybe your even keel
      appreoach will keep Anon @ 11:47 from being too far in front of his/her skis.

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    8. Bob, this analysis is superb and it would be nice to discuss the analysis but the crazed pretend Democratic trolls never stop trying to destroy the blog as they try to destroy any person who is honest about Democrats and getting by this trolls is too trying.

      I wish you would ban the trolls or troll, for there may be just 1 and making an example of 1 would do.

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  2. "After the Democratic Convention in mid-August 2000, Gore shot into a large lead in the polls—and the lead held. By mid-September, he was ahead by ten points and holding."

    Depends on which poll you are cherry-picking Bob. The polls swung wildly and were notoriously all over the map during the 2000 campaign.

    For example, one poll had Bush opening up an 11 point lead in early October. Guess there must have been a "War on Bush" to explain the final result.

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    1. And by the way, Bob, the bump that Gore got after his convention is known by people who actually pay attention to such things as the "convention bump." And they are always short-lived.

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    2. Yeah Bob. Digest those facts.

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    3. An argument that press mistreatment of Gore did not affect the election results is ridiculous. That leaves you arguing about how much it affected those results, which is quibbling over numbers again. Gore won the election but gave it away when a biased Supreme Court decided to give Florida to Bush (easy to rig the voting when your brother is governor). Gore chose not to put the country through a protracted battle over the outcome. So, it is foolish to argue about whether Gore was actually ahead or not when he did win the popular vote (after the shouting was done).

      But, you are stupid trolls and you do not care at all about Gore or the election. Your sole purpose here is to say nasty things about Somerby. So, go away you stupid, nasty trolls.

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    4. I did some research (Bob should try it sometime) on the volatility of polls in a presidential election and came up with some interesting things about the 2012 cycle. Forgive me if it sounds like a horse race.

      Romney got a very nice "convention bump" despite his horrid convention (who can forget Clint Eastwood?) and actually pulled even with Obama for the first time in the entire cycle.

      This lasted about a week when Obama got his "convention bump" and began to pull ahead again.

      Then the "47 percent" tape was revealed and Romney cratered. He cratered more on the night of Benghazi when he rushed to the microphone to proclaim that Obama apologizes to terrorists regarding the tweet sent by the Cairo embassy.

      Then came Romney's strong first debate and Obama's weak one, and Romney surged back ahead, albeit only by a couple of points. Joe Biden stopped the bleeding when he mopped the floor with Paul Ryan, and Romney made the race pretty much even-steven again until his faceplant in Debate No. 2.

      Finally came Hurricane Sandy, with Obama on the beach with Christie, and the race was pretty much over. Polls were still showing it tight overall, but that Obama was surging in the key battleground states.

      The last Real Politics average had it 49 Obama, 48 Romney. The final result was 51 Obama, 47 Romney.

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    5. Oh, 2:15, I couldn't agree with you more. Now please, go tell Somerby. He's the one who can't let go of an election that was held nearly 14 years ago.

      Perhaps if he would finish that book which is guaranteed to blow the lid off that whole thing, he'd get it out of his system, feel better and won't have to obsess over it as much.

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  3. Today, in most families women with children must work outside the home because otherwise the family cannot survive economically. Their wages are needed because it takes two incomes (or more) to support a household these days. THAT could have been stated by our president.

    Despite the quibbling over studies of women's salaries, other studies repeatedly show that when you put a woman's name on the same resume or manuscript, it is judged as being lower quality, that women applying for orchestra jobs must be placed behind screens in order for their accomplishments to be heard, that fewer women are being elected to office and reaching CEO positions, despite those high percentages entering graduate programs. No one wants to mention that women must routinely post online using fake names because of the violence of threats they will receive if self-identified as female. No one wants to look at the way in which women are shut out of emerging technical fields, such as gaming (which is no longer used just for entertainment). No one wants to mention the rapes of women in the military, by their own comrades in arms. So, there are no problems faced by women in this economy worth mention beyond that bogus statistics, are there? Any "war on women" must be limited to abortion issues because we wouldn't want women to talk about their position in society in any larger sense.

    When I hear a man talk about that 77 cents as if the accuracy of that statistic were in any way relevant to anything at all, I know that here is another clueless man, or someone trying to divert the discussion away from real problems onto a narrow, silly focus on whether a particular number means what is claimed. Somerby, that includes you if the shoe fits.



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    1. Also, it is important to note that the assumption that work can be of unequal value is an ideological one. Only if you subscribe to this ideology is the 77 cents figure misleading.

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    2. Only when men start doing 50% of the housework and child care will a discussion of equal work make sense.

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  4. Was Boneher's father just a barkeep, or did he tend bar at his own saloon, as I had been led to believe. Quite a difference.

    Was Boneher, so to speak, the son of Sam the bartender (former Frankenstein's monster Glen Strange) or the son of Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), proprietress/madam of the Long Branch (a cigar's just a cigar) Saloon?

    If the latter, there's a good chance he was begotten my U.S. Marshall Mathew Dillon (former Thing From Another World James Arness).

    Not exactly Abe Lincoln beginnings.

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    1. Boehner's grandfather actually started the bar that his father took over. But Boehner's background is still pretty humble.

      He was one of 12 kids in a home with one bathroom. No, not a log cabin. He was also the first member of his family ever to attend college.

      Interesting, though, how the owner of a small bar could raise and feed 12 kids back then. Or how he could send them to private Catholic school (Moeller High) and a private Catholic university (Xavier) on one income.

      Things have certainly changed.

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    2. Does anyone else recall the long string of Republicans who spoke at their 2012 convention, and they all had stories of how their ancestors arrived on these shores with nothing but the clothes on their backs, started their own businesses, and not only became successful but "created jobs" for others as well?

      I couldn't help but think if there were a Republican alive with an ancestor who worked on an assembly line, dug ditches, or held a union job. Guess not. They were all "small business entrepreneurs", which tells you a lot about the GOP today.

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    3. When you have a family with 12 kids, the older kids (if girls) are cleaning, cooking and taking care of the younger kids and both girls and boys are working outside the home or in the family business to help support the family. If you have 12 kids and you are Catholic, the church gives you a break on school fees and other help if you are poor. (Most private schools reduce the fees for siblings and provide financial aid of various kinds.) If you are the first in a family of 12 to go to college, then there is just one tuition and opportunities to work your way through existed for Boehner that don't exist now. Also, most families lived in homes with one bathroom in those days because they didn't build homes with multiple bathrooms the way they do now. Today, we think every kid needs a room alone, but it was routine for kids to share bedrooms in Boehner's childhood. But basically, the older kids are grown and out of the house by the time the younger ones are competing for extended bathroom time. Also, remember that taking a daily bath or shower is also a fairly recent invention, largely of the middle class -- once a week was fine for kids when Boehner was growing up. A family with a business wasn't enduring hardship -- they were relatively well off. My father's family of 11 had no father but his two older brothers contributed their salaries after leaving high school, his mother took in laundry. That is more typical of hardship.

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    4. Not so much any more, hence my "times have changed" comment.

      Just put two kids through Catholic High School, and not even a "private" one like Moeller. Tuition when one kid was in was $6,000. For both kids at the same time it was $9,500. Try coming up with that on a middle class income.

      Tuition to the local private Jesuit high school for boys is now around $15,000 a year. The private Catholic high school for girls is around $18,000 per year.

      And tuition at the local Jesuit university, such as Xavier is? $35,000 a year.

      It is also possible that the SOB (Son Of a Barkeep) took advantage of government programs such as grants and guaranteed, low-interest loans to get through Xavier. I don't know. It hasn't been disproved on a journalistic basis.

      If so, that would be kind of ironic, wouldn't it?

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  5. Can anyone figure out the gist of Bob's rant above? Is it about Obama's use of statistics? About Krugman (the journalist?) not being more critical? About Joan Walsh 14 years ago? Democrats? Liberals? Dang kids on the lawn again?

    "Presumably, [Obama] went with a grossly misleading statement because he had nothing accurate to offer."

    Can those words have been typed by the same person who considers all possibilities for Christie's Bridgegate?

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    1. Figure out any Somerby post? No. But the only explanation I can think of is this is yet another one of his unfocused, rambling efforts in which he sits in front of his keyboard and types up whatever thought crosses his mind.

      But Bob's fan think that is "clear thinking" and "careful analysis". So who are we to judge.

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    2. Go away you stupid trolls.

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    3. I have figured out the gist of "Bob's rant".

      I understand it well enough that though it is about the way conservatives like me have crippled the country, that I take a look at the comment board and could scarcely not see his point about current dynamics, and feel very sad for him, indeed.

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    4. I think you should feel sad for us. This affects all of us.

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    5. I loved it when he implied Chris Hayes was a wimp.
      He didn't flat out question his manhood, but boy he knows from the way things turned out in 2000, such tactics work.

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  6. Bob says "Walsh herself has been our long-time enemy, both on that ancient November 6 and in the ridiculpous [sic] way her magazine has begun to fashion itself as a landlocked, atomized enterprise which preaches to a very small liberal choir." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Looked in the mirror lately, Bob? How about stepping out from the sidelines from which you snipe, and showing these hacks how it's done? (I'm not talking about doing it from your "ridiculpous" blog, I mean in places where other tribes might actually SEE it). Or is preaching from the sidelines to a "very small liberal choir" more your forte? Definitely safer.

    Bob, I think you should carefully examine your criteria for designating your "enemies".

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    1. If you don't like it that Milli Vanilli lip-synced instead of singing their songs, then form your own band and show them how it is supposed to be done! If you don't like the way Kobe always seems to be injured instead of playing basketball these days, then try out for the Lakers yourself and show them how to put that ball in the hoop! Yeah, Bob, go be Rachel or Joan instead of just carping about how they should be serving their audiences better, doing their jobs properly.

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    2. Who is Milly Vanilla and why is she relevant to the topic at hand?

      Only a true believer in Maharishi Somerby can tell us. The rest of us don't know, because anything is always possible.

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    3. Go away stupid troll.

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  7. "Walsh wrote 3600 words on the day before the 2000 election. As she puzzled and pondered, she never managed to mention the press corps’ relentless attacks against Candidate Gore."

    Took him quite some tome today to tie it all into the War on Gore.

    And to this day, he remembers Walsh's word count. How impressive.

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    1. You think that "to this day" TDH remembers Walsh's word count? That's pathetic.

      I followed TDH's link to Walsh's piece, copied it, and pasted it into an online word-count tool. The result: 3676. It took less than a minute.

      On the other hand, I love "Took him quite some tome today."

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    2. Well, I was trying to give Bob the benefit of the doubt and hope he remembered it off the top of his head.

      Your explanation that he went to Salon, dug up an old Walsh piece, copied it and ran a word count just to drive home some really minor point sounds, well, either stupid, insane or on drugs. Or extremely obsessive. I don't know which. Any is possible. On a journalistic basis . . .

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    3. He certainly went to Salon and dug up an old Walsh piece, since he quoted some of it. But it's not like he made an illuminated manuscript from it and asked a monk to count the words. It took me less than a minute to get the number. Sounds commensurate for a minor rhetorical point. Both of ours.

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    4. Oh, if only Somerby would take that much time and trouble to research and test his own thoughts before he rushes to the board to type them up to the cheers and adulation of his three or four remaining fans.

      And perhaps if he took time to organize his thoughts before typing them up, we wouldn't get a post that begins with a Seahawk cornerback, moves to Krugman, finally gets to the SOTU, jumps to Bill Clinton, and winds up with something Joan Walsh wrote 14 years ago before finishing with the War on Gore,

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  8. Bob, nobody cares about Al Gore.

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    1. I care about Al Gore. I cried during an Inconvenient Truth. Not because of our planet but because he wasn't our president. We will all suffer the cost of that stupidity, as will our kids and grandkids.

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    2. It is hard to predict all the "What ifs" that mighta, maybe, could have happened differently.

      I do believe quite strongly that no Bush, no massive tax cuts that benefited the wealthy disproportionately, and no return to massive deficits, although Gore certainly would have passed some sort of middle class, targeted tax cut as promised.

      I would also hope he would take the advance warnings about 9/11 more seriously. Impossible to say that it could have been prevented, though. And if not, it would have demanded a military response.

      Let's hope Gore would have remembered the Powell Doctrine -- clear mission, overwhelming force, clear exit strategy -- to avoid the "permanent war" which Obama spoke of last night.

      As for the other proposals, can't say the same thing that happened to Clinton in 1994 and Obama in 2010 wouldn't have happened to a President Gore in 2002, which would have hamstrung his ability to get anything on his ambitious agenda, particularly in terms of the environment.

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  9. bob somerby says,

    "Why is it that “income inequality is a big downer and sounds like class warfare?”
    There may be many reasons. But one reason is clear—hapless, know-nothing leaders like Walsh haven’t created a world in which income inequality isn’t a big downer and doesn’t sounds like class warfare. There are about ten million points on which the liberal world has failed to make the sale to the nation. The stumblebum conduct of people like Walsh helps explain this ongoing failure."

    >>> why single out walsh? because she has irish catholic heritage? what percent of the people, to this day, know who walsh is? or even what salon is? and btw, the know-nothings of the 19th century were very much against irish immigrants and their progeny. i guess somerby gets a kick out out of this kind or perverse insult.

    that said, somerby is correct that the democratic party and the media culture it lives in have been derelict in sticking first and foremost to the economic issues most important to the common man as the main purpose of the democratic party. so good for somerby for recognizing this, if i understood him correctly.

    but this began coincident with the loss of influence of americans with irish catholic heritage within the dem party, starting over 40 years ago. (see "why the democrats are blue"). so its ironic that somerby singles out a relatively obscure american with irish-catholic heritage to be the poster girl for the problem.

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    1. All these years, I thought the world was created by a loving and merciful God.

      Now I learn that God must be Joan Walsh.

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  10. The remark about women's earnings relative to men's by the President was shameful, either rank ignorance or just falseness.

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    1. It was a dog whistle.

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    2. The indignation is pretty rich coming from someone who thinks, apparently to this day, that the 16 words from Bush's SotU might be true.

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    3. No trolls allowed without something to contribute.

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    4. I think you do better work as broken record

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    5. @1239: where's your contribution, foof?

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  11. OMB (Is Somerby Worth 77 Cents of Every Maddow)

    Where Are Bob's Feminist Friends? Part 3

    In this comment we will advance a theory which is not journalitically disproven, that BOB is female, because he is 77% Rachel Maddow.

    Watch BOB do everything he would suggest you believe Maddow
    does in one brief (well brief for BOB) post.

    BOB on Obama and the 77 Cents Issue


    "If we might borrow from Kessler’s earlier language, “Obama carefully did not say” that women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for equal work.

    Carefully, he didn’t say that. But plainly, that’s what he implied:

    OBAMA (1/28/14): The bottom line is, Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. But we know our opportunity agenda won't be complete, and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise, unless we also do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.

    You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment.

    Women deserve equal pay for equal work.

    (Cheers, applause.)

    In a way, a politician’s desire to mislead seemsmore clear when he implies something that isn’t true, but seems to avoid flatly saying it. It becomes harder to believe that the person just doesn’t know that the statement in question is bogus.

    Drum and Kessler both slid past the obvious thrust of Obama’s statement, which is pleasing, and highly familiar to liberals, but also grossly misleading.



    Question: Why does someone like Obama feel the need to do that? In all such instances, from any pol, our first guess would be the obvious:

    He or she chose to make the misleading statement because he or she knew it would lead to “Cheers, applause.” Also, because he or she doesn’t have truthful things to say about the topic in question which would produce that reaction.

    If we apply that interpretation, here’s why Obama said that:

    Obama is seeking support of women as a large part of his current thrust. If he has to toy with some basic facts, well by god, the times require it!

    Obama preached to the choir last night with his statement about that 77 cents. Presumably, he went with a grossly misleading statement because he had nothing accurate to offer.
    ....................

    Also, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work! Obama said it. Our side cheered and applauded."

    KZ

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    Replies
    1. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb13-165.html

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