BREAKING: Drum is flummoxed by what he sees!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2018

He's seeing the soul of our species:
Yesterday, Kevin Drum said he was flummoxed by what's going on around him.

Though he cited no specific examples, he seemed to refer to press and pundit reaction to Donald J. Trump's "historic" summit, the one which has saved the world.

"I feel like I’m in some kind of parallel dimension or something," Drum wrote. He referred to "folks who are suggesting this is a 'good first step,' or we’re 'no longer on the brink of war,' or 'maybe Trump really does have a new relationship with Kim.' "

"Have I lost it completely?" Drum asked. "Where is this stuff coming from?"

We're happy to say that Kevin Drum hasn't lost it at all! But we can explain where that stuff is coming from:

The current ludicrous behavior is coming, live and direct, from the soul of Homo sapiens. We simply aren't built for times like these. It's all anthropology now.

Needless to say, Drum's aim is true; the punditry has been astounding. We'll suggest you start with David Ignatius' column in this morning's Washington Post.

In his specific assessments, it's clear that Ignatius knows that the summit was a farce engineered by a madman. But his specific assessments alternate with the repetitive praise he showers on Trump, starting in paragraph 1.

Ignatius writes like a North Korean who knows he must praise Dear Leader. He signals the fact that he knows what occurred.
But as he starts, he says this:

"Credit President Trump for seizing the diplomatic moment at the Singapore summit." And as he ends, he says this: "Let’s celebrate Trump’s success in Singapore."

Along the way, Ignatius says that Trump "is getting some deserved global applause." At one point, he even says this:

"It was a breathtaking piece of mutual audacity for Kim and Trump to push each other to the edge of the cliff and then walk back." Ignatius seems to be in thrall to a pair of dear leaders today!

Simply put, this is The Crazy. It's being expressed from within the soul of a floundering, ill-equipped species. That said, Ignatius reads like a fiery critic of Trump compared to much that appears in this morning's New York Times, whose headlines and boxed sub-headlines speak to the craziness which emerges from our profoundly non-"rational" kind.

The Times' headlines and sub-headlines are straight outta La-la-land. On our hard-copy front page, the headlines atop Mark Landler's featured news report say this:
PRESIDENT'S PITCH TO KIM GETS A VOW BUT NO GUARANTEE
Trump Trusts Gut in Persuading North Korea to Disarm
Did Mika write that second headline? The notion that Trump "trusted his gut" is straight outta her daily disordered talk. It's a lingering staple of Late 1990s Speak, when the boys and girls decided that "authenticity" was all.

Meanwhile, when in the world did Donald J. Trump "persuade North Korea to disarm?" Atop page 1, the New York Times seems to be explaining a major accomplishment which, of course, didn't occur!

(Inside the paper, a boxed headline on Landler's piece helps explain how Trump managed to do what he hasn't done. "Using flattery, cajolery and a slick film for persuasion," the boxed sub-headline says.)

Also on the Times front page, a NEWS ANALYSIS by David Sanger appears beneath this secondary headline:
PRESIDENT'S PITCH TO KIM GETS A VOW BUT NO GUARANTEE
Major Gamble Rests on 'Special Bond'
The foolishness of the "special bond" basically speaks for itself. Also on the front page, we get some palaver from Motoko Rich, who may have been the most incompetent reporter we've ever seen during her run as a Times education reporter.

Rich is covering world affairs now. The headline on her front-page report says this:
Pageantry Aside, a Summit Drama Built on Impromptu Moments
Bring on the body language experts! Also, send in the clowns!

Inside the Times, Max Fisher's "10 Takeaways" almost defy comprehension. Most incredibly, the paper's featured editorial flashes this boxed sub-headline:
The rest of the world holds its breath waiting to see if this new relationship will lead North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
In his own new column today, Nicholas Kristof wrote an excellent lede paragraph—but he used it as paragraph 14. Meanwhile, consider what we found today on the silly, upper-class newspaper's reimagined page A3.

According to the daily Spotlight section, Landler, who wrote the paper's featured news report, chatted with Mark Barbaro by phone "just hours before the historic handshake" between the two lunatic leaders. More specifically, the pair of Timesmen chatted about the way each of the summitteers "spent his pre-curtain call hours" in Singapore.

How did the the dear leaders spend their free time? According to the Spotlight section, this is part of what Landler said:
"It's a fact that Kim Jong-un is a fun-loving guy. Intelligence reports on North Korea will tell you that he likes a party. In fact, people say he's pretty much a carouser. It is a surprise that he would be so public about it in a place he's never visited. This is a guy who continues to surprise people."
With that, we return to Drum's very important questions. As we do, we remind you of certain things we've told you for many years:

All too frequently, it's very, very hard to believe that our journalists are actually human. On various occasions, we've asked you if it's possible that they're actually misfiring androids, or possibly extraterrestrials or some unknown kind.

Today, we'll tell you what they actually are—they're failing members of Homo sapiens, breaking down during an historical epoch which requires skills our species lacks.

Final point:

We said long ago that we should be discussing the possibility that Trump is "mentally ill" in some way. In January, the New York Times, apparently cribbing from Josh Marshall's work, said we mustn't do that, and the children all fell in line.

Sorry! If you don't discuss Donald J. Trump within that admittedly difficult context, you can't discuss Donald J. Trump at all.

That question is a deeply important question. It could lead a lesser person to loathe Donald Trump. It could make a kinder person pity him.

That said, that question take us well beyond the limited capacity of our species. Our species is failing quite badly right now. You can see the androids breaking down on "cable news" each night.

Correctly, Drum praises the West Coast Times: One newspaper got it right. For Drum's report, click this.

Kristof's graf 14: In hard copy, this was Kristof's fourteenth paragraph:

"It’s breathtaking to see an American president emerge as a spokesman for the dictator of North Korea."

That would have been a great place to start. He ran it as graf 14.

He opened with the softer claim that Donald J. Trump was "hoodwinked." That implies that Trump is basically sane, and that he was acting in basic good faith.

Does anyone know such things to be true? Of course! Our "press corps" does!

20 comments:

  1. Ha-ha, end-of-the-world-craving liberals are deeply disturbed and saddened by peace negotiations. Looking for every excuse to express their contempt for it.

    Indeed, you and you friend Kevin really are failing members of Homo sapiens, Bob.

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  2. Bob sounds like he lost it. I don't know whether Trump will actually persuade Kim to give up nukes. Neither does Bob or anyone else. His conclusion that "the summit was a farce engineered by a madman" is unsupported by facts.

    BTW even if this negotiation fails, as seems likely to me, that doesn't mean that Trump's effort was a farce or insane. There's no reason to doubt that Trump is making a good faith effort IMHO.

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    Replies
    1. Has there ever been a more ludicrous meeting, between two obviously whacked out leaders, where nothing was agreed to amid such pomp and circumstance?

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    2. Yes, hardlindr, the Iran agreement was more ludicrous. Only there one thing, was truly agreed: the US would give Iran billions of dollars, some in the form of US currency.

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    3. David in Cal - The Iran agreement actually stopped Iran's nuclear-weapons program, with inspections to verify that stoppage. The NK joint statement did nothing more than reiterate what has been agreed in more formal documents at least 3 times over the past 25 years, specifically that NK would like to see a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. What that means to NK is that we leave S. Korea high and dry. It's not the same as Kim agreeing to give up his nuclear weapons.

      And if you think about it, Kim would be insane to give them up. It's foolish even to consider that happening.

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    4. Had it been demigod Barry talking to Kim, zombies (Bob, Kevin, et al) would've been singing hosanna day and night.

      "It's foolish even to consider that happening"

      Not if he got satisfactory support and guarantees from Xi. Which, most likely, is what this is all about.

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    5. Yeah, Xi was the guy who told him to end those "provocative" war games. Hehehe!!!

      Ivanka probably got a few more trademarks approved. Got to keep the grift moving, even if it means selling out your country.

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    6. D in C stop with the bullshit. The US didn’t “give” Iran billions of dollars. They released seized assets, and returned money that had been paid for weapons never delivered, plus accrued interest. Some of it was cash because the Treasury Dept. was still not allowed wire transfers to Iran. I’m sure you are aware of this. That’s why commenters on this post call you a liar.

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  3. "Correctly, Drum praises the West Coast Times: One newspaper got it right."

    Would it have hurt Somerby to get the name of the newspaper right?

    It is The Los Angeles Times, not the West Coast Times. The latter might confuse people into thinking he is referring to the West Coast edition of the NY Times, which is also a thing.

    The Los Angeles Times has been doing a great job on national news, as Drum correctly notes. He lives in Orange County, so it is his local paper. The Los Angeles Times also has a great deal of celebrity news because TV and movies are the local industry in the greater Los Angeles area.

    I used to travel a great deal and always enjoyed seeing the different emphases on news in different areas of the country. It varies widely with different local industries. Chicago news is very different than New York news, which has more about finance and Broadway. You get more weather news in farm areas. Alaska news was fascinating.

    But the name of the newspaper Somerby and Drum both praise is The Los Angeles Times, and I agree fully with Drum's praise of it.

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  4. This was a historical event. So was John Wilkes Booth shooting Abraham Lincoln. So far the only immediate gain the US received was an agreement for repatriation of the remains of our war dead. The rest is puffery which will take years, if not decades to implement. (If ever.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually gravymeister we also gained a (possibly temporary) cessation of North Korean nuclear testing; and the destruction, complete or partial, of two nuclear facilities, which probably aren’t central to North Korea’s program.

      But, of course, the immediate gain is insignificant. The key is whether or not NK actually denuclearizes.

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    2. Meister calls out DIC on lie, he simply ignores it, because he is a liar, and moves onto the next thing.

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    3. Greg -- i'm too busy to fully debate this issue

      1. That debt existed for a long time. Presidents prior to Obama didn't pay it, because there were valid reasons not to.

      2. There surely were ways to pay that money other than wire transfer. Iran wanted American cash for their own purposes, and Obama obliged them. Never have I ever heard of a multi-billion dollar debt between countries being paid in American cash.

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    4. "Greg -- i'm too stupid and blinded by partisan hatred to actually debate this issue."

      FTFY - you're welcome.

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    5. Yes, Comrade DinC doesn't have time to actually debate the issue. He's just here to drop his right-wing bullshit turds in the punch bowl and run along. You know, those 80 year old retired actuaries are so busy these days.

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  5. Bob will never grant the MSM the right to call a Trump lie a lie, but he expects the coverage of this grotesque summit to be a hundred percent negative.

    He may be correct, but the MSNBC morning stuff, even the dreaded Joe, pretty much put the awfulness in proper context.

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  6. "we should be discussing the possibility that Trump is "mentally ill" in some way."

    The possibility? If it's just a possibility, then it's also possible that he isn't mentally ill.

    How should the media discuss such a possibility, one that sounds very much like conjecture or speculation, for which they currently get criticized?

    This sounds odd, to say the least:
    "That question is a deeply importantquestion. It could lead a lesser person to loathe Donald Trump. It could make a kinder person pity him."

    Say what? The phrasing is quite unclear: the "question"
    could lead a person to loathe, etc? Is Somerby saying that, if Trump truly is mentally ill, that a lesser person would therefore loathe Trump, but a kinder person would pity him? Presumably, none of us want to be a "lesser" person, so is Somerby suggesting we should pity Trump?

    That seems exceedingly odd.
    And it exonerates Trump from any blame. Convenient...for Trump. Somerby lets him plead insanity.

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  7. There is evidence that Trump and his family are benefitting personally from his actions. This involves potential quid pro quo and shows rational behavior. The possible corrupt shady deals involved are precisely the kinds of things that Somerby belittles the media and Democrats for pursuing, saying things like "Yay Yay Yay we love to get The Others arrested."

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    Replies
    1. It would be jaw-dropping if they weren't.

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