Supplemental: Joan Walsh and Chris and our discourse oh my!

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015

The fraudulence of Our Own Press Corps:
For fraudulence and sheer inanity, it would be hard to top yesterday’s piece by Salon’s Joan Walsh.

According to Walsh, the mainstream press is promoting Candidate Sanders. Below, you see the way her piece began. Her claims are absurd, even ugly, in fairly obvious ways:
WALSH (7/2/15): If only the great Michael Harrington had lived to see this. So many brave Americans fought in vain to spread socialism in the United States, but it’s advancing in the summer of 2015 thanks to an unlikely vanguard: lazy and apolitical political reporters who love horse races and hate the Clintons.

Yes, the MSM is making sure that socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is taken seriously in his uphill run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’s surging in Iowa and New Hampshire, polls tell us, and attracting 10,000 people at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wednesday night.

This lifelong lefty who attended Madison is thrilled to see it—and yet a little cynical, too.

I mean really, folks: If Sanders had a chance to become president, Mark Halperin would be the first in line to red-bait him, rather than shaming Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Clinton supporter, into doing it on Morning Joe.
Is the mainstream press “working hard” in some way to “make sure that Sanders is taken seriously?”

That strikes us as a ludicrous claim. Walsh presents exactly one example—the claim that Halperin “shamed” McCaskill into “red-baiting” Sanders on Morning Joe last week.

It’s an ugly claim; it’s also manifest nonsense. This was the first Q-and-A in McCaskill’s stumbling, incompetent appearance on Morning Joe:
BRZEZINSKI (6/25/15): Joining us now from Capitol Hill, Democratic senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Claire, great to have you back on the show...

Joe and Halperin here. I’ll start.

Bernie Sanders is doing quite well in the polls. And I guess we’re wondering. We know you’re “ready for Hillary.” Do you think there’s any concern there?

MCCASKILL: No, I think the media is giving Bernie a pass right now. I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he’s a socialist.

I think everybody wants a fight, and I think they are not really giving the same scrutiny to Bernie Sanders that they’re giving to certainly Hillary Clinton and the other candidates...
To watch the whole segment, click here.

McCaskill noted that Sanders identifies as a socialist in the first words out of her mouth. She said the press rarely mentions this fact, a demonstrably ludicrous claim.

In her second question, Brzezinski asked McCaskill about the “massive crowds” Sanders has been getting. McCaskill said “it’s not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following.”

Scarborough jumped in at that point, saying this: “So you think Bernie Sanders has an extreme message?” In her answer, McCaskill noted again that Sanders is “a socialist.”

If “red-baiting” occurred in this session, that’s where the baiting occurred. Plainly, McCaskill wasn’t “shamed into” any such conduct.

As for Halperin, he hadn’t even spoken yet. McCaskill had already dropped two S-bombs on Bernie’s head.

When Halperin did jump in, he asked McCaskill an obvious question, given what she had already said: “Name three specific positions he holds that you think are too far left, too socialist, to be elected.”

McCaskill stumbled and fumbled around trying to answer the question. For better or worse, she isn’t a skillful red-baiter.

There will be a lot of aggressive red-baiting if Sanders wins nomination. We’ll hear that he honeymooned in the Soviet Union, that he wanted to hang with Fidel.

That said, Walsh’s piece was absurd, and even ugly, right from the start. It was also an obvious piece of propaganda—but then, that pretty much describes everything Walsh writes at this point.

In this case, Walsh was pimping for Candidate Clinton. Down through the years, Walsh has been willing to pimp for various sides.

So has her mentor and benefactor, cable talker Chris Matthews.

In line with current corporate arrangements, Matthews currently pimps for the Democrats and their wonderful national leaders. Under previous corporate owner Jack Welch, he savaged Clinton, Clinton and Candidate Gore in reprehensible ways.

No one distorted and dissembled any harder in the mainstream press corps’ two-year push to send George Bush to the White House. People are dead all over the world because of the things Matthews did.

(He was more influential back then.)

Currently, Walsh’s mentor is paid to pimp on Our Own Liberal Side. That doesn’t mean he has any idea what he’s talking about. Consider the astounding exchange he conducted on Hardball last night.

We’ve often noted the amazing way Paul Krugman’s work is ignored by the rest of the mainstream press. Last night, discussing Obama’s economic greatness, Matthews produced the perfect example.

Matthews said he was “defending this president as a major force in history.” Incredibly, he posed the question shown below to a youngish, three-pundit panel.

He spoke first with Time magazine’s Jay Newton-Small. His question was extremely basic—remedial, even. It concerned a topic Krugman has discussed a million times:
MATTHEWS (7/2/15): Do you know economics? Do you?

NEWTON-SMALL: Of course.

MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you an economic question, because I don’t know the answer. That’s why I’m asking. It’s not a rhetorical question.

If you’d gone with an austerity policy like the Brits did—you know, like Cameron did over there, in the conservative party. Would this have gotten back the economy the way it has? If he had said, “I’m going to squeeze everything down, we’re going to stop spending, we’re going to tighten the belt.”

Would have worked, based on history right now?
Would an austerity program have worked after the economic collapse in 2008? How many thousand columns has Krugman devoted to this general topic?

We’ve often noted that Krugman’s work gains no purchase anywhere else—produces no wider discussion. Here was Matthews, saying he has no idea how to approach this topic—the topic Krugman has written about again and again and again.

Newton-Small was clueless too. So was Francesca Chambers, White House reporter for The Daily Mail:
NEWTON-SMALL (continuing directly): That’s a huge debate to have and clearly, Republicans would say no and Democrats would say absolutely. I’m sorry—Republicans would say yes, and Democrats would say—

MATTHEWS: But is there any anecdotal evidence of that, Francesca? That a tightened-belt, conservative policy, rather than his expansionary policy, would have worked? He had a policy. And it worked!

CHAMBERS: Well I will say, I agree. I think it’s difficult to get into counterfactuals here.

But it’s undeniable that the president had a really good week. He’s having a really good month. I mean, it is undeniable that the unemployment rate went down significantly since he took office, like he said today. It was nearing ten percent at the beginning of his presidency. Now, it’s down to five percent.
Michael Tomasky sat this one out, saying nothing about this super-basic question. At this point, Matthews rushed ahead to his next topic.

Would an austerity program have produced an economic rebound? Remarkably, Matthews stressed the fact that he didn’t know how to answer the question which has launched a thousand columns by Krugman.

Newton-Small and Chambers didn’t seem to have the slightest clue either. The two parties disagree, Newton-Small unhelpfully said. Chamber warned against exploring counterfactuals, then quickly changed the subject, turning to a discussion of Obama’s week.

Tomasky offered no thoughts. Matthews hurried away from the scene.

Krugman has written about this topic again and again and again and again. The faux nature of our “national discourse” is amazingly hard to compute or comprehend.

You’d never know it, but: We were unfamiliar with Chambers, a very personable young woman. So we ordered a team of analysts to run a background check.

Chambers graduated from Kansas in 2009. In 2008, she was editor of The Daily Kansan.

Here’s the part we found surprising—Chambers describes herself as a young conservative!

You’d never know it from the way she gushed about Obama’s week, month and career. But before she went to The Daily Mail, Chambers was “founder and editor and publisher of Red Alert Politics, a publication by young conservatives and for young conservatives, from the parent company of the Washington Examiner and The Weekly Standard.”

How faux is the discourse you’re handed each night? Chambers didn’t seem to know how to approach that question—but either did anyone else!

127 comments:

  1. Not only has Krugman been discussing stimulus versus austerity, but that is the main topic of the argument about how to cope with the recent recession. It was also a main debate among historians about how the US got itself out of the great depression. Why wouldn't anyone with a solid liberal arts education and half a brain, alive during the past five years, have an opinion on this topic?

    I think it is because they don't know what the party line is and they are hesitant to alienate powerful interests by saying the wrong thing. It isn't that they don't know what Krugman thinks or what economists have said, but rather that they don't know what their bosses want them to say.

    When people are going to be interviewed on TV or radio, they are typically told what the questions will be. Aren't pundits given the same heads up?

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  2. "Incredibly, he posed the question shown below to a youngish, three-pundit panel."

    We presume the incident would have been credible if the query were made to an oldish three geezer gaggle.

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    1. Well, oldish geezers would have some perspective on changes in the economy over time, would be more likely to have read on the topic. But I think older geezers might be less insecure in their careers and thus less attuned to what others want them to say and more likely to give their own opinions.

      You mock Somerby's references to age, but there is a difference between young people clawing their way up the career ladder, more insecure about their success, and older people who grew up with pre-internet journalistic ethics, less beholden to corporate interests and more independent-minded as a matter of personality.

      It seems odd to me that Matthews wouldn't direct economics questions toward economics experts. Why are journalists being asked questions about economics anyway? What authority do they have on the subject?

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    2. Ghost of Broder PastJuly 3, 2015 at 2:48 PM

      Dittos @ 2:45

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    3. By my estimate the average age of the Matthews "youngish" panel is 39.66 years.

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    4. That is "youngish" to everyone except 12 year old trolls.

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    5. Since the average life in the US is 78.8 years according to the CDC, I would say a person mistaking what is literally middle age for "youngish" is mistaken. I would say someone defending another for making that mistake then compounding it with an insult also based on age is both a sycophant and a simpleton.

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    6. The average career begins at age 21-25, not 0. These guys are "youngish" for journalists because they have been on the job no more than about 10-15 years. That is about 1/4 to 1/3 of their working lives. Even very bad newspapers don't hire babies. But kudos for trying to lie with statistics!

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    7. If Somerby wanted to single out the black woman he attacked for being young he could have done so without hiding behind the other guests.

      OTOH, if Somerby wanted to dilute his attack on a midwestern woman who was conservative in her youth but then began praising Obama, he could have compared Chambers to a more famous fellow traveller, Hillary Clinton.

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    8. I am wondering what is the average amount of time one can defend the Daily Howler with your head completely up Bob Somerby's enflamed ascot without having to come up for air?

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    9. HRC was never conservative. She was a child expressing her parents views, then she grew up.

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    10. She probably ditched her Goldwater girl outfit by the time she was an intern for Gerry Ford, but clearly never delivered pizza and flashed her thong. But she did switch parties when she hooked up with a boy in law school who would later fall for that sort of thing when he got old and foolish.

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    11. You seem to get off on calling the former Secretary of State a "girl" and speculating about thongs and hooking up. She talks about this in her own bio, so why not read instead of speculating.

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    12. Extremism in defense of Hillary Rodham is no vice. Errors of fact in attacking others is no virtue:

      " I was also an active Young Republican and, later, a Goldwater girl, right down to my cowgirl outfit and straw cowboy hat emblazoned with the slogan "AuH20." "

      Hillary R. Clinton "Living History," page 31

      I began by referring to her youth. Someone responded by calling her a child. I responded by quoting her own characterization. If you want to deny her service as an intern to Republican Gerry Ford was the act of an adult, fine. Just remember Monica was the same age.

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    13. "Clinton writes that she began to have doubts about Goldwater’s politics even before she left high school, when a teacher forced her to play President Johnson during a mock presidential debate in order to "learn about issues from the other side" (page 24). Later, as a junior at Wellesley College, she writes, "I had gone from being a Goldwater Girl to supporting the anti-war campaign of Eugene McCarthy," driving to New Hampshire on weekends to stuff envelopes and walk precincts (pages 32-33). Even so, she also worked as a Washington, D.C., intern for Gerald Ford, who was then the Republican leader of the House, and she attended the 1968 Republican convention to work for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s unsuccessful effort to get the GOP presidential nomination (pages 34-35).

      At Yale Law School, however, she completed her transformation from Goldwater Republican to liberal Democrat. At Yale, she met Marian Wright Edelman and helped in her investigations of the Nixon administration. She also met Bill Clinton, and in 1972 joined him in Austin, Texas, where they both worked for George McGovern’s campaign. There, she writes, "I quickly made some of the best friends I’ve ever had" (page 58)."

      Few people will deny that Monica behaved foolishly, especially by confiding in Lucianne Goldberg. Recall also that she was NOT an intern when she had her affair with Clinton and was not working on his staff. Note also that Clinton did not have an affair with Gerald Ford or do anything else that attracted negative attention.

      All children tend to be indoctrinated by their parents politically (and in other respects). Some have experiences that lead them to question the views they were exposed to early on, others don't. It seems pretty obvious that Clinton's early exposure to the campaigns of Goldwater and Ford led to her rejection of their political views, not a strengthening of her early indoctrination. It makes sense that her early political opportunities for activism would have been arranged by parents or their contacts or inspired by the opportunities on her radar as the child of strong conservative parents in the Midwest.

      Trying to pretend that Hillary Clinton today still holds conservative views or is somehow more conservative than other Democrats is just another smear attempt.

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    14. Thanks for the stroll down Memorypedia lane.

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    15. Anonymous @ 11:19 writes:

      "Few people will deny that Monica behaved foolishly, especially by confiding in Lucianne Goldberg. Recall also that she was NOT an intern when she had her affair with Clinton and was not working on his staff. Note also that Clinton did not have an affair with Gerald Ford or do anything else that attracted negative attention."

      Let's skip past the odd notion of Bill and Gerry getting it on.

      If Monica Lewinski was neither an intern nor a White House staff employee on November 15, 1995, what should I recall as the reason she was there the day she started polishing the Presidential knob? Did she jump the fence?

      I note you single out her confiding in Lucianne Goldberg as the only specific example of her foolishness. That indeed was "especially" foolish. I am sure all of Bob Somerby's analysts will agree with that.

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    16. Goldberg should have been prosecuted for her illegal taping of a private phone conversation with Lewinsky. That she was not shows the political motives involved.


      A consensual affair between two adults cannot be evaluated as foolish or not except by the people involved. Lewinsky describes herself as the aggressor in her depositions. Lewinsky worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. She did not work for the President any more than any employee of the White House did -- nominally. He was not her supervisor and he didn't interact with her in the course of her doing her job.

      Her confiding in Linda Tripp was also foolish. Both acts display the kind of attitude of groupies of all types, bragging about sex with a famous person as if it were some kind of accomplishment. She also foolishly lied under oath then recanted and tried to get Paula Jones to lie under oath.

      I realize you are joking, but assuming that the name "Clinton" only refers to Bill, after we had been discussing Hillary's political views, is kind of sexist. "Just joking" isn't really a good excuse for sexism. It is also sexist to think that Monica is the victim because she is female and Bill Clinton cannot be a victim in any situation because he was President. Interesting possibilities arise if you think about the situation in terms of a set up (honey trap).

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    17. Wow. Those are interesting possibilities. No wonder Clinton had such a difficult time. Everybody trying to set him up and nobody at the White House doing anything other than nominal work for him.

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    18. What is funny or clever about pretending to be stupid?

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    19. And to think, some Americans wonder why the French are rude to us.

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  3. I salute both Joan Walsh and Chris Matthews for being awake in the woods and helping in the good fight to prevent us from getting President Walker,

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    1. Because that's all trolls care about.

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  4. Glad to see Somerby taking the side of Rachel Maddow. She has been pooh poohing the notion that the media is promoting Sanders too. That is why she is doing that job herself.

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    1. Odd transitivity here. Somerby expresses the same opinion as Maddow so that means Somerby is supporting Maddow. Not so much.

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    2. More excessive literalism from the brain damaged @ 3:11 and @ 2:58.

      Somerby really means Walsh and Matthews have not changed a bit since their roles in the War on Gore. And not one commenter has agreed with either of you.

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  5. Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski* attempt in vain to educate Joan Walsh on the many examples of loony far left folks in the media.

    *best friends with Obama chief advisor Valerie Jarrett in case lib Howlers wish to discredit her liberal credentials.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0bjafq3n-I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpIivKPYXIg

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    1. What are your credentials for commenting on liberal media?

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    2. @ 3:19
      Growing up watching ABC news , NBC news, CBS news, PBS, reading New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, listening to NPR, watching Hollywood films. But you are making my point. Lib Howlers do not believe a conservative is capable of valid criticisms of the pervasive liberal media. That a close friend of V.J. all but identifies former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann as "an extreme voice on the left" just as Limberger is on the right was truly astounding for MSNBC.

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    3. Your credential seem to be exactly the same as Bob Somerby's. Good enough for me. Feel my love and forgiveness flow over you in hopes it will change your mind.

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    4. Actually, that is not true. Go read the Wikipedia bio of Somerby.

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    5. Wikipedia. We don't need to read no stinking Wikipedia.

      A friend of mine met one of the analysts at a party thrown by a cousin of David in Cal. It turned out they both used the same personal trainer and during a joint workout the analyst spilled all the inside skinny on "old Blowhard" as they call Somerby behind his back.

      Bob has no experience in real journalism. Like cicero he watches tv, reads publications, and blows it out his ass.

      OTOH the Wikipedia entry on the Daily Howler sounded familiar. I wonder when Bob found time in between chapters of How He Got There to upload it.

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    6. Spoken like a true know-nothing, make-up-your-own-facts conservative.

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    7. As everyone understands, facts have a liberal bias.

      Things are much better for willfully ignorant conservatives these days. Now you have your own little bubble world that you can safely live in. 24 hour non-stop hate radio, Ruppert Murdoch empire, you have mainstream media so scared out of their wits worried about being accused of having a liberal bias that they seem to have completely missed the biggest story of the past 20 years, namely that the republican party is batshit insane.

      best regards for a happy 4th.

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    8. @mm,

      You do realize when Colbert said ""reality has a well-known liberal bias." he was in his character of a lib's idea of a conservative. Since you regard conservatives as insane, you actually follow the precepts of said guano.

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    9. Two words for you: Creation Museum.

      You have a presidential candidate who decided to call the Pentagon just to make sure the US Army wasn't going to steal Texas or something?

      There are too many examples to list here. Anyway, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be busting a union somewhere, or manning the border down in Texas? Isn't there any work you can do on your defense against the liberal "war on Christmas"? Shouldn't you be working on destroying public schools and universities.

      Relax man. You have your very own alternate universe now. Enjoy it.

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    10. Can you please call someone a dickhead again?

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    11. @mm

      A few of the Scientists who have the temerity to believe in a deity. Maybe you have heard of one of them?

      Georges Lemaitre, Belgian priest, first person to propose the theory of the expansion of the universe

      Werner Heisenberg
      Isaac Newton
      Francis Bacon
      Galileo Galilei
      Guglielmo Marconi
      Rene Descartes
      Max Planck
      Ernst Haeckel
      William Thomson Kelvin
      Johannes Kepler
      Nicholas Copernicus
      Louis Pasteur
      Michael Faraday

      and of course

      Einstein

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    12. Argument from authority? All the believers in the world, scientists or not, cannot establish the truth of religion without evidence.

      Einstein probably doesn't belong on your list. Descartes was troubled by the conflict between religion and empirical research. Not really fair to offer up other guys who lived at a time when they could be burned alive for heresy. You have very few 20th century scientists on your list and overall most scientists are not religious.

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    13. "A few of the Scientists who have the temerity to believe in a deity."

      cicero, you're an idiot. I won't even debate your dubious claims because I really don't see what that has to do with anything I posted. Go ahead, tell me Einstein would have approved of the Creation Museum. The Fred Flintstone Theory of the age of the earth.

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    14. "I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
      - Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2

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    15. Good to know some folks waited until the Sabbath to smear God.

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    16. Why would you expect people who don't share your views about God to share your views about the Sabbath?

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    17. @7:15, let's include Francis Collins if modern is important to you. What is behind your ignorance is your assumption that anyone in this century is any closer to understanding the origins and first causes of the universe than anyone in any other, and thus religion is any more disproven than ever. Ignorance typical of any college freshman, but which most get over by their mid-20's.

      The proportion of scientists who are religious is meaningless, but it somehow makes atheist feel smarter by association to "scientists." Scientists are as in the dark as anyone else on the Big questions and their belief or lack of it as a group tells us what we've always known about creation. "Nothing."

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    18. We must settle here and now what "Einstein" believed about God. Whatever "Einstein" believed, with his special, unique knowledge of the mysteries of the universe, kept secret to the rest of us, must be the truth about God.

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    19. mm, are you assuming if one is a Christian or believes in a deity one also subscribes to the creation museum's theory of creation?

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    20. @gravymeister

      "The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is."
      Albert Einstein, "My Credo", 1932

      http://www.einstein-website.de/z_biography/credo.html

      "Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
      Albert Einstein 1941

      Einstein's Ideas and Opinions
      Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium, published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941.

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    21. "Why would you expect people who don't share your views about God to share your views about the Sabbath?" blasphemes Hell-bound lost soul @ 11:04.

      We suppose you ask in the spirit of, and for the same reason as, our liberal professor/journalist leaders made fun of the Bible-clutching low-country rubes whose relatives were murdered in Charleston.

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    22. @11:56, I don't even know why you would think I assume that based on anything I've written.

      What I am saying is that it is the republican party that promotes and exploits the idiocy that is responsible for the Creation Museum.

      Why cicero is so intent on proving to me that Einstein had some vague religious belief - a much more mature and deeper philosophy about these questions than would ever be recognized by the Christian right in this country - is beyond me. One of my favorite Einstein quotes came during his debates with Niels Bohr about quantum theory when he said to Bohr, "god doesn't play dice".

      *************
      Gov. Bobby Jindal was asked about this law by NBC’s Education Nation and said, “I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism.” That is in fact why he signed the law.
      ********************

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    23. cicero,
      Alhamdulillah.

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    24. ".. it somehow makes atheist feel smarter by association to "scientists.""

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      What is true is that the liberal progressive side of the political spectrum in this country does respect the scientific community more and conversely the scientific community is constantly attacked by the republican party, the religious right and their big-business partners, characterizing the science as some sort of liberal conspiracy to take away their "freedoms".

      It is a fact that the liberal progressives embraced the environmental movement and were rewarded by being labeled "tree huggers" by the right. Global climate science has devolved into a constant right/left battle in this country. Cause you know, those liberal professors are just trying to stir things up to get more grant money from David in California.

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    25. The ability of mm to fight a simultaneous two front war against the axis of evil right wing commentary amazes.The fact it has taken a deeply religious swing on a Sunday afternoon is just an added treat.

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    26. Does the fact that this discussion started yesterday imply that some Jewish people are participating?

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    27. @ 1:06

      The one religion libs would never dare to denigrate. They are scared shitless of the consequences.

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    28. Cicero, I'll say it, Islam is a superstition just in the same way as Chrstianity, Judaism, belief in the gods on Mt. Olympus etc are. Jesus (paraphrasing) is said to have said that the chances of a rich man entering heaven are the same as a camel fitting thru the eye of a needle; also turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the earth among other things. I don't think the vast number of so-called christians are really Christians. That's not to say that there is not an ineffable, awe inspiring mystery of how the universe, and matter, came into existence, as Einstein, as you quote him, says.

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    29. I think it is awe inspiring that this thread evolved from Mika and Joe instructing Joan Walsh to cicero and a gaggle of brain dead tribalists twisting spirituality to fit their political memes.

      Rules out the human brain being part of the self image in which God made man.

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    30. mm it's also a fact conservatives were conservationists long before liberals. The liberal side of the spectrum does not "respect the scientific community more." A segment of the conservative side fits your "science is liberal conspiracy" caricature but most does not. A segment of the liberal side also fits the "science is a big pharma conspiracy" caricature but not all and probably not most.

      Nearly all on the left do support anti-scientific lunacies like "sex is unrelated to gender" and "a male becomes a female through surgery and hormone treatment" not to mention the GMO, gluten and vaccine hoke.

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  6. I need to know who to hate most here: Joan Walsh, Claire McCaskill, Halperin, Newton-Small, Chambers, Chris Matthews, or the potential President Walker.

    Or should I just fill my heart with love, like the Charleston families?

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    1. Tonite, when I light my votive candle and look into the humanity that was Bull Connor, I will say a prayer that your questions get the answer they deserve.

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  7. "(He was more influential back then.)"

    Possible Somerby epitaph?

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    1. So, so, so, so, so, so totally possible epitaph. Sick burn.

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    2. And such a big, big, big compliment from someone with no spark whatsoever.

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    3. So, so totally!! No spark whatsoever. Clearly! You win again.

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  8. There will be a lot of aggressive red-baiting if Sanders wins nomination.

    On Election Day, he will be a 75-year-old self-described socialist with a Brooklyn accent.

    That doesn’t mean he couldn’t win. It does suggest possible problems.

    We loved Candidate McGovern too. People, we’re just saying

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    1. McGovern couldn't even win his own state of South Dakota not to mention 48 other states. The only difference with a Col. Sanders as the Dem POTUS candidate, he would actually take his own state of Vermont. But only after giving away free samples of Ben & Jerry.

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    2. Good to see cicero agrees with Somerby.

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    3. Most political observers agree with Somerby on this.

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  9. When I was growing up, from 1945 - 1965, government spending was much lower than it is today. Deficits were lower, too. Yet the economy boomed. Krugman and many others promote a theory that high government spending and high deficits are good for the economy. They can't prove it, but it's a convenient theory for those who believe in big government.

    Furthermore, the word "austerity" is spin. Pre-Obama levels of spending and deficits were already high. Bush was spending far more than most of our history, while state and local government spending had exploded. I have worked for businesses that had real austerity. The government spending choices offered weren't stimulus vs. austerity. They were more like opulence vs. grandiosity.

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    1. Your first sentence starts with a lie. According to USgovernmentspending.com, a conservative website maintained by Chris Chantrill, author of Road to the Middle Class:

      "Today’s annual federal deficit, the difference between outlays and revenue in a single year, always seems dangerous and unprecedented. In fact, you need a war to really get a big deficit. The peak deficits came during World War I (17% of GDP in 1919) and World War II (24% in 1945), as the chart shows. The deficits of the Great Depression only came to about five percent of GDP, and the big $1.4 trillion deficit for FY 2009 amounted to 9.8% of GDP. In 2015 it is estimated that the federal deficit will have reduced to 3.24 percent GDP. "

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    2. "Krugman and many others promote a theory that high government spending and high deficits are good for the economy."

      Of course, that is just a silly gross mischaracterization and misrepresentation of anything Paul Krugman might have said. Par for the course for David.

      **************
      Over the course of this debate, evidence has gradually piled up that, however well-intentioned they might be, the "Austerians" were wrong. Japan, for example, has continued to increase its debt-to-GDP ratio well beyond the supposed collapse threshold, and its interest rates have remained stubbornly low. More notably, in Europe, countries that embraced (or were forced to adopt) austerity, like the U.K. and Greece, have endured multiple recessions (and, in the case of Greece, a depression). Moreover, because smaller economies produced less tax revenue, the countries' deficits also remained strikingly high.

      So the empirical evidence increasingly favored the Nobel-prize winning Paul Krugman and the other economists and politicians arguing that governments could continue to spend aggressively until economic health was restored.

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-is-right-2013-4#ixzz3f1118AGs

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    3. "There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see!"

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  10. Average spending and deficits 1945 - 65 was considerably lower than today. Spending in 1945 was unusually high because of the war. And, of course, deficits are generally much higher during war time. But, the period 1945 - 65 was a period of (pretty much) peace.

    The fact remains that what Krugman and others called "austerity" was actually a period of high government spending and high government deficits by historical standards.

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    1. The deficit was high after WWII because of the Marshall Plan, cold war armament ramp up and Korea, leading right up to Vietnam. It was not a time of "pretty much" peace. You don't know shit about history. You felt safe and warm because you were a child.

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    2. AnonymousJuly 4, 2015 at 4:13 PM -- go to http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history and scroll down to the chart entitled "A Century of Deficits." You will see that deficits were low from the end of WW2 until the mid-1960's. Low, that is, compared to the Bush-Obama years. BTW average deficit was also low during Clinton's Presidency, yet the economy boomed.

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    3. Tax rates were also relatively much higher from 1945-1965. Also, the economy boomed during Clinton's Presidency after he raised tax rates.
      Take the next step DinC, you might finally be onto something.

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    4. "Tax rates were also relatively much higher from 1945-1965."

      As were the percentage of American workers in unions.

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    5. Plus we had really good gatekeepers to keep intellectual culture from melting into a gooey mess.

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    6. Tax rates (for federal) were relatively much higher from 1945-1965, but total taxes paid were lower. Federal income taxes paid were just slightly higher than now in 1945 - 1965. However, wage assessments like SS and Medicare were a lot lower and state income taxes were negligible.

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    7. D in C, as I recall Romney's plan was to balance the budget, increase military spending significantly, and cut taxes, especially for the rich, including eliminating the 'death tax', while attacking Obamacare for its cuts in Medicare spending, without explaining how he was going to do all this, or explaining what cuts in domestic spending would be involved. Which seems to be pretty much the GOP plan now (Paul excepted as to military) . god help us if you guys get control again.

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    8. Think Like David!July 6, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      Government was smaller then. The US economy was smaller then.

      Therefore growth in government has fostered growth in the economy.

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  11. One can imagine Chris' circle of influence regarding current events. His self-promoting guests, the sycophant MSNBC employees that he "mentors", his cocktail circuit pals, and of course his fellow swells who hang out down at the Cape Cod marina.

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    1. And one can imagine him having lots of influence back in the grisly War years.

      Imagination at work. GE.

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    2. A dangerous combination, no vision/too much influence.

      I wonder which of his influences clued him in that Donald Trump is so beloved by working class Americans because they long to be obnoxious jerks just like him. That's real wisdom.

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    3. I am still trying to figure out with whom, other than Bob's fertile imagination, Matthews has ever had any influence with.

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    4. Is that you Rachel?

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    5. Rachel's Plastered ToesJuly 5, 2015 at 2:33 PM

      No. I was soaking my corn festered feet, blistered from years of wearing clown shoes, while watching the big screen TV like a junkie all day yesterday from my hot tub.

      But thanks for asking. And watch this space. After the break, cocktails and other fun stuff after an amazing news week that makes this job especially fun.

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  12. Bernie can possibly be the Ralph Nader of 2016.

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    1. Does that mean he is going to get the Dodge Ram off the road?

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    2. Nah. Bernie has actually won an election.

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    3. In Vermont.

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    4. See. Some troll is trying to attack Sanders to diminish him because he moved from Brooklyn to a small state. Sanders in fact has won several statewide elections and served as a Mayor. Nader never has.

      Nader has never won anything or been accountable to the electorate. To compare him to Sanders is just another effort to try and blame the Nader instead of the press for giving us Bush that is a major wedge issue in the troll agenda.

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    5. Nader got swing-axle cars off the road in the USA.
      After that, not too much.

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    6. The point of comparison between Nader and Sanders was not their election records but their potential to pull votes away from a viable candidate, allowing the opponents to win.

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    7. Actually Nader is given credit for getting the Corvair off the road. It's swing axle design had already been replaced GM by the time Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed" came out in 1965.

      Other swing axle vehicles, including Porsches, Mercedes, and the VW Beetle escaped Nader's wrath. And the Corvair was still being made as late as 1969, but fell victim to Chevy concentrating on the Camaro as a response to the success of the Ford Mustang.

      After the demise of the Corvair, the National Highway Safety Administration, which some Nader fans give him credit for creating, cleared the wonderful rear engine car of charges made against it in "Unsafe at Any Speed" through comparison tests to other vehicles not defamed by Ralph Nader with his Chris Matthews like false charges.

      At best all Ralph Nader can be given credit for is a slow moving bureaucracy and the critical electoral college victory of George Bush in New Hampshire in 2000. However, noted political science expert Bob Somerby has proven beyond a strawberry of doubt, the election loss of Al Gore was not caused by Nader, whose life work Somerby admires.

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    8. Then would you say Somerby admires the life work of Nader because it is so similar in ultimate outcome despite Somerby not sharing Nader's fame?

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    9. Sanders is going to make HRC choose Joe Lieberman as her running mate?

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    10. At the time, Joe Lieberman was the main Democrat condemning Bill Clinton's infidelity. Gore thought he had to distance himself from that to win. Lieberman had not yet revealed himself as a Neocon. He didn't cost Gore votes, no matter how people feel about him today.

      Regardless of how many votes he earns in primaries, HRC will not choose Sanders as a running mate. O'Malley might be running for VP. I cannot see her choosing Webb.

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    11. I just hope coverage of Sander's rape fantasies doesn't remind people of the sordid Juanita Broaddrick episode.

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    12. anon 12:14, there can be multiple causes of the loss of an election

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    13. It is too early to blame Bernie for anything.

      Right now I am leaning toward the WaPo speech fee jihad.

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  13. "We’ve often noted the amazing way Paul Krugman’s work is ignored by the rest of the mainstream press. ...

    Krugman has written about this topic again and again and again and again."

    "Supplemental: Bob Somerby was almost describing himself!"

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    1. What if Somerby is as right about things as Krugman is. If he weren't right about something, we wouldn't have this relentless troll infestation. He has clearly upset someone.

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    2. Somerby is more right about things than Krugman. He has even pointed out where Krugman got things wrong and then tired to cover it up in his correction. Somerby never has to make corrections. Sometimes he is only wrong because trolls take him literally when he is just livening things up with literary devices. Sometimes his timing is bad.

      And he only repeats himself because youngish readers may not have read things the first few times he wrote about something. For example, people reading for the first time that Chris Matthews is responsible for dead people all over the world might not also have read Bob's series in 2014 showing how Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed in 1998.

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    3. See, someone took the time to write this crap response to a comment that merely suggested Somerby might be right about things.

      This troll keeps mocking that poor women who was attacked at her house because Matthews fingered the wrong person in a poorly researched article. Somerby was correct that shoddy journalism can hurt people but this troll cannot admit that Somerby got something right.

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    4. @ 9:36 you wrongfully called me names in a poorly researched comment with incorrect facts generated in response to my agreement with your earlier comment.

      I did not and would not mock a woman or any women. Bob Somerby only does it when they deserve it.

      You need to get your facts correct about the Matthews nearly-killing incident.

      Too many people around here have itchy troll trigger fingers. But otherwise no apology is needed. Just respect for the facts.

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    5. "Somerby was correct that shoddy journalism can hurt people . . ."

      And Somerby sycophants still think this is a brilliantly original insight.

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    6. Who else talked about it at the time? Please cite sources.

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    7. Well, @ 1:27 was wrong about Somerby not making corrections. He very quickly corrected the error about Governor McDonnell's unfortunate brush with the law. That clearly suggests the work of a troll.

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    8. @ 11:07 is spot on. Nobody else has ever linked the crazy right winger's tire slashing to an almost killing by Chris Matthews.

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    9. Somerby did not say that Chris Matthews did any killing. He said that by focusing attention on the wrong person, he led that crazy person to attack that person's home, endangering the woman living there. Chris Matthews should have made the effort to get his story straight because what journalists write has real world consequences for other people.

      If you think this sort of thing is funny, wait until you are the target of some mistaken piece of information that leads people to make you fear for your safety. It happens frequently these days -- at least to people who are not privileged white male trolls who get their kicks attacking other people on the internet -- in this case Bob Somerby. Heaven help any other guy who might want to express an opinion about journalistic responsibility on his own blog.

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    10. Somerby was on that story from the git-go.

      "Last week, a mentally ill viewer with a shotgun went through Cody Shearer’s garage, after Matthews made false accusations against Shearer."

      Howler May 27, 1999

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    11. "Somerby did not say that Chris Matthews did any killing."

      No. Somerby correctly called it a near-killing by a Matthews viewer with a shotgun in a garage. He then has gone on to note people are dead all over the world because of things Matthews did.

      Matthews of course was talking on television. By writing carefully in a blog, Bob Somerby leaves a clear record readers can check so they do not go off half cocked against Matthews if they are mentally ill. Many of Somerby's readers have been shown to be mentally ill during this horrific troll infestation. Lots of people who are not privileged white male trolls are in danger. Because of sick people who get their kicks with shotgun invasions of garages. After watching what Chris Matthews wrote. Good for Bob for bringing it up again and again and following it up with reminders of those who are really dead because of Chris Matthews. People who are afraid need to know the enemies are still lurking out there. Armed and crazy.

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    12. He is referring to Matthews outrageous attacks on Gore, which put Bush into the presidency and resulted in the invasion of Iraq (among other things). By drawing these connections, he demonstrates that the actions of the media do matter, do have consequences for us all.

      Matthews is responsible for checking his facts. That is part of journalistic ethics because what he writes has consequences. Somerby has pointed that out using strong language. You seem to have a bigger problem with Somerby's language than you do with Matthews' malfeasance. That says a lot about you.

      No one in their right mind thinks Matthews is solely responsible for electing Bush. However, he is responsible for doing his job well instead of selling out or getting lazy or succumbing to ego gratification (like Maddow and Williams).

      No one can predict what will become part of the delusional system of a psychotic person. Perhaps you know that first hand, given your obsession with Somerby. Matthews cannot help what crazy people do. He can, however, GET HIS FACTS STRAIGHT. That is what Somerby complained about. And it needs to be brought up repeatedly because Matthews is still doing his job poorly.

      Complaints by members of the public are the main check on shoddy journalism. Somerby is doing that work well. The press is supposed to represent the people as a check on government. It cannot do that if it is incompetent, greedy, lazy, poorly trained, unmotivated, partisan or corrupt. You don't seem to care much about how our press functions. If that is part of your pathology, you have my sympathy but it doesn't give you license to shit on Somerby.

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    13. TIat said, think Somerby's work on "shoddy journalism," while clearly his primary motivation all these years, is secondary to his excellent work pointing out how lazy, dumb, and immoral he and other liberals really are. Your results may differ.

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  14. "Chris Matthews should have made the effort to get his story straight because what journalists write has real world consequences for other people."

    Most recently, a consequence of a nut murdering 9 innocent people in SC because the MSNBC gang pimped lies to idiots and the nut recognized it and was motivated to look into black on white crime statistics and from there begin to identify as "white," just like MSNBC taught him to do.

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    1. Your Howler gets results.

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    2. Out of all the hundreds of thousands of white supremacists that exist in this country, how many actually shoot anyone? There is obviously some other causal element you are not discussing here.

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    3. Do we count the relatives whose shootings are ruled accidental?

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  15. I'll tell you wants fraudulent. this dumb blog.

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    1. I agree with all of the aforementioned comments about him being bad cause liberals are good.

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    2. Somerby did not say that liberals are bad. He said that by by being tribal, they lead conservatives to make fun of them and all important swing voters to ignore them as a joke.

      People who pretend to lead liberalism by writing like Chris Matthews should make the effort to get their story straight because what journalists write has real world consequences for other people who need facts to stay focused.

      If you think this sort of thing is funny, wait until you need a job that requires good grammar and logical composition skills. You will fear for your job security. It happens frequently these days -- at least to people who are not privileged white male trolls who get their kicks attacking other people on the internet -- in this case Bob Somerby.
      Heaven help any other guy who might want to express an opinion about liberal responsibility on his own blog.

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    3. I tells you big mistake i made calling blog dumb.

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  16. Bernie Sanders drawing 10,000 to a speech in Wisconsin is a sure sign those three victories of Scott Walker in the Badger state were a fluke.
    This is the best sign of people wanting a progressive agenda since Liebermann was primaried in Connecticut.

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  17. Hope Bob has cooked up some more low country cadences for us this week. I am looking forward to more Panchito punching, Bruni butt kicking bloggery to pass my lazy liberal summer days away.

    ReplyDelete