Clowncar watch: The transcripts of Candidate Clinton's speeches!

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016

Now for the rest of the story:
This morning, we has to pull the plug on a post we had planned.

We had planned to ask and partially answer a question: where do our inaccurate claims and statements come from? We had planned to start with this (fuzzy but) unlikely-seeming claim, as featured in last Sunday's Washington Post:

"A younger sibling is more than ten times as likely to try and succeed at stealing a base."

From there, we'd planned to move to the latest debunking of one of Malcolm Gladwell's eye-popping claims. We'd also planned to ask this question:

Why doesn't Ken Burns know what Slate seems to know about Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese? Even worse:

If he knows it, why in the world has he chosen not to say it? (We were especially struck by the Robinson quotes.)

The facts behind the base-stealing study turned out to be more elusive than we'd understood. We may return to it at some later point. To our ear, that statement had the feel of an instant classic of a familiar type.

For today, we've just seen Kevin Drum's post about the latest dopey pseudo-scandal—the desperate need to examine the transcripts of Candidate Clinton's deeply important speeches.

Drum's post was triggered by recent remarks by TPM's John Judis, a very experienced lifelong insider. We were struck by Judis' remarks at TPM too.

We largely agree with what Drum wrote. That said, we want to add the rest of the story.

We'll start with Drum's basic assessment. According to Drum's best guess, Clinton doesn't want to release the transcripts because some pointless remark will be yanked out of context and "made into yet another endless and idiotic Republican meme."

We would be inclined to assume that this is basically true:
DRUM (4/16/16): My own guess is that it's vanishingly unlikely Hillary said anything in these speeches that's truly a bombshell. Her entire life suggests the kind of caution and experience with leaks that almost certainly made these speeches dull and predictable. But the Goldman folks knew all that up front. They just wanted the cachet of having a Clinton address their dinner.

Still, when you give speeches to any industry group, you offer up some praise for the vital work they do. It's just part of the spiel. And Hillary knows perfectly well without even looking that some of that stuff is in these speeches—and it can be taken out of context and made into yet another endless and idiotic Republican meme. Remember "You didn't build that"? Sure you do.
Obviously, we don't know why Clinton is withholding the transcripts. That said, the principle here is blindingly obvious, except to those who pose as reporters and pundits within our "mainstream press corps."

Clinton has been a targeted pol for decades. You'd have to be extremely clueless not to know what would happen as soon as she released the transcripts of those speeches:

Some pointless phrase would be yanked out of context and transformed into the latest distraction, entertainment and deeply concerning scandal. The fact that we liberals still don't understand this point helps prove a blindingly obvious fact:

Our tribe is largely ineducable.

That's the first thing that would happen if those transcripts were released. Baboons don't understand that fact. Neither do we the liberals.

Now for the rest of the story:

Concerning John Judis: At TPM, John Judis was wringing his hands about Clinton's puzzling failure to handle this.

Judis has been around forever. Does he really not know what Kevin Drum knows? He didn't seem to have a clue about what would instantly happen.

Concerning Kevin Drum: Drum seemed to picture this context grab being performed by Republicans. He said the play would result in "another idiotic Republican meme." Earlier, he showed how an anodyne statement from those speeches would end up sounding "in the hands of a political opponent."

Crackers, please! If history is any guide, this context grab would be performed by the mainstream press corps. They've been running these cons for decades now. That said, within the career press, liberals still aren't supposed to say so.

Would something from one of those speeches be yanked out of context? Would pundits proceed to howl at the moon? In the process, would some relatively innocuous comment be transformed into the latest distraction, entertainment and scandal?

Crackers, please! Of course those things would happen! Drum offered "you didn't build that" as an example. We can think of more egregious examples, stretching back through many years.

But of course those things would happen! Forget the GOP for once. This is the only way our mainstream press corps knows how to play. It's also the way we now conduct our own affairs here on "the left."

Would something like that happen? Liberals, please! Did you hear that Candidate Clinton made a remark on one occasion, in 1996, using a term which was in widespread use by many players at that point in time? Did you hear that she made that one remark, on that one occasion, twenty years ago? On exactly one occasion?

That's our latest exciting scandal! That's the way we humans now "reason" within our deeply unimpressive failing political culture.

We're death-defyingly silly and dumb. We just aren't serious people. Our major candidates all know this, and conduct themselves accordingly.

When it comes to the press corps' role in this nonsense, long-time players like TPM's Judis are still unwilling to tattle. Dearest darlings! You know the rules!

It simply isn't done!

38 comments:

  1. Judis isn't really concerned. He is shilling for Sanders.

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    1. Is Judis one of those youngsters Josh hired so he and his wife can rake in the dough?

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  2. Want to understand the liberal media? Try reading Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.

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    1. [LINK] (Takes a while to buffer but it'll get there.)

      A later, largely in agreement, but more lively retelling of this same slice of the Chomsky/Herman explanation by Adam Curtis in nine minutes here. [LINK]

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  3. I heard Bill Mahar stated "Obama won't do his show" After the discussion of Anita Hill and that paragon of political virtue Sue Sarandon, I wouldn't do BM's show either. In fact, that is why I quit doing his show. And Rachel's show. And shows. Obviously, people here still do teevee, unfortunately. I did learn yesterday Ben Gha ZEE won't be an October Surprise. Snore... And all the people worried about those transcripts... why the fuck didn't you raise a peep when she said it in real time "which that awful voice" of hers. That's what I thought... she's not the problem, on this front, AFTER ALL!

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    1. I was nearly unconscious after the boring intro segment with Huffington rambling about sleep deprivation, soooo, I guess it worked!

      To use a favorite Howler trope, Bill is being swallowed up by the Creeping Dowdism.

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  4. Bob, watch how you say "Crackers, please!" You may have to produce 'those transcripts' one day and you'll have some SPLAIN'N to do

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    1. Your comment is an insult to Hispanics and women who know what stereotypes produced that joke.

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    2. Anon -- you may be too young to remember, but that's reference to the TV show, "I Love Lucy." "Lucy, you got solme 'splainin' to do was a tag line for Desi Arnaz, who played the role of Lucy's husband, Ricky Ricardo.

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    3. DinC you got some learnin to do.

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    4. Yeah, but what about "we has to pull the plug on a post we had planned."?

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    5. What is the backstory, and why is "SPLAIN'N" so powerful as to be an insult to all Hispanics? With all the problems in the world people choose to get emotionally invested in something that trivial? An inappropriate pronunciation.

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    6. Anon 2:59 -- It looks like aphphasis.

      "Apophasis is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up.[1] Accordingly, it can be seen as a rhetorical relative of irony. Also called paralipsis..."

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    7. Or it could be a typo.

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  5. Bernie got to meet the Pope!

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    1. A good example of how he would waste government dollars as President. A 4000 mile flight to make a perfunctory 5 minute courtesy appointment in which nothing of importance could have been discussed, no endorsement was gained and nothing was done. A huge waste of everyone's time for appearances sake. This is how the man prioritizes his time and money? Ridiculous!

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    2. A good example of a 5 second dismissive comment leading to an eternal appointment with damnation!

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    3. Wrong. Bernie STALKED and WAYLAID the Pope. - http://apne.ws/1SlXmT5

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    4. How pathetic -- Sanders waited for him in the lobby of the Pope's hotel and the Pope was gracious enough to speak to him briefly. Not even a meeting. Bernie is now officially part of the paparazzi!

      Does he think this will impress Catholic voters in NYC? How does he think this will play with Jewish voters, given the Catholic church's record during WWII and the strong feelings many still have about that. Is he throwing one constituency under the bus to attract the other, with Passover coming up? Odd move and kind of tone deaf, in my opinion.

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    5. Outrageous, he has a photo of the Pope on his website with Bernie's goddamned logo plastered on top. For shame, Bernie.

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    6. Bernie simply honoring a like-minded critic of capitalism.

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    7. OK for divorced people to take communion (with proper contrition) but not OK for the mother of a Zika microcephalic baby to seek an abortion. Is Bernie also like-minded about that?

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  6. Today Huffington Post calls Clinton's position on the $15 minimum wage "Confusing and Conflicted" when it is in fact nuanced. She doesn't think the minimum wage should be the same everywhere regardless of cost of living. She thinks the minimum wage should be higher in places where it costs more to live, like NYC and San Francisco, and lower where the $ buys more. That isn't hard to understand if you have half a brain.

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    1. Did HRC charge less for her speeches in venues with lower costs of living?

      How much was it she got an hour?

      Oh, I forget. She was broke. And in debt. And nuanced.

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    2. Who charged the highest average per speech?

      Donald Trump. 250K average

      Surprise, Chuck Todd and Anderson Cooper never ask him about that.

      Oh that's right, he's a republican who thinks the minimum wage is too high, so he gets a pass. Fucking liberal media strikes again.

      How much did JEB! earn in speaking fees 2014-2015? Where was the screeching media demanding the transcripts?

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    3. Seems mm has Hillary running against Trump and Jeb.

      Where and when were there opponents raising the issue?

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    4. So sorry, you are confused and mistaken. Secretary Clinton is indeed running against the eventual republican nominee, be that the vulgar Donald or the insane Lyin' Ted.

      The only people that aren't aware of this are the Bernie suckers who just paid for his family vacation to Rome.

      I don't want Secretary Clinton at a disadvantage relative to her republican opponent. When all the candidates are asked to and agree to release their paid speeches, she has already promised to do the same. That's fair.

      As it is right now, Secretary Clinton is the only candidate on either side to release the customary years of tax returns.

      Therefore, by Clinton Rule logic, she must be the most secretive.

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    5. Nope. Just the only one who was broke and in debt.

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    6. Conservatives would have loved it if the years of legal defense bills borne personally by the Clintons had actually bankrupted them. Instead, they were resourceful and pulled themselves out of debt. Most people would consider that admirable. I know I do.

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  7. Today Huffington Post is running an article on Monica Lewinski for no other reason than to embarass Hillary Clinton.

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  8. It's not just the right-wing media and the mainstream media that will sensationalize every trite statement in every Clinton speech. The so-called PROGRESSIVE media will rake her over the coals, as well.

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  9. Breaking news!!!! Maureen Dowd announced again today that she dislikes Hillary Clinton.

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  10. The Bush destruction of the USA, its economy, the two wars, the handout to the wealthy, coupled with the OBSTRUCTIONIST REPUBLICAN PARTY whose sole goal was to make Obama a ONE TERM president, and make sure that everything he proposed never got passed, WAS the cause of where we are today.

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