BASIC SKILL LEVELS DOWN: Paraphrasing Senator Harris!

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

In search of what she said:
Long ago and far away, we administered the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills to a succession of fifth grade classes right here in Baltimore, Maryland, in a set of public schools not far from our current sprawling campus.

It seems that the Iowa Tests are now called the Iowa Assessments. Here's an outdated overview from the leading authority on the subject:
The Iowa Assessments (previously the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and originally Iowa Every Pupil Test of Basic Skills) also known informally as the Iowa Tests or colloquially as ITBS tests, are standardized tests provided as a service to schools by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. Developers Everett Franklin Lindquist, Harry Greene, Ernest Horn, Maude McBroom, and Herbert Spitzer first designed and administered the tests in 1935 as a tool for improving student instruction. The tests are administered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade as part of the Iowa Statewide Testing Programs, a division of the Iowa Testing Programs (ITP). Over decades, participation expanded and currently nearly all school districts in Iowa participate annually in the program, as do many other school districts across the United States.
If memory serves, it was a nice quiet day for the classroom teacher as the children scratched away on their Iowa Tests!

Within a few years, we learned that extensive cheating could occur, and was occurring, within such testing programs. By the early 1980s, we'd even been told, by the editor in chief of one such battery, that teachers and principals would sometimes erase wrong answers and insert correct answers on the students' answer sheets after the testing was done!

We'd even been told that, for an extra fee, test publishers would scan a school district's answer sheets for highly suspicious, or statistically impossible, erasure patterns. We were told these things in the early 1980s. The mainstream press corps learned about this unfortunate syndrome maybe thirty years later—and it was USA Today which largely blew the whistle, not the somnolent New York Times and Washington Post.

Our upper-end press corps managed to sleep through decades of fraudulent activity. As such, a thought occasionally comes to mind:

Maybe someone should devise a test battery called the Mainstream Upper-End Modern Journalists Tests of Basic Skills!

If someone is working on such a project, we'll recommend inclusion of a sub-test on basic paraphrasing skills. Paraphrase is a basic tool of the modern journalist. That said, the practice doesn't always turn out especially well.

How bad can paraphrase get? Coverage of the disastrous 2000 presidential campaign was built around a mainstream press corps campaign of "creative paraphrase" directed against one of the two major party nominees!

Nor are things always better today. Consider an attempt at paraphrase which appeared in Saturday morning's Washington Post.

The attempt appeared in an op-ed column by Christine Emba, whose work we've praised in the past. Emba paraphrased Kamala Harris—but in our view, the paraphrase didn't turn out all that well.

Below, with headline included,
you see the way Emba's column began. Like many others, Emba wasn't real high on Attorney General Barr's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
EMBA (5/4/19): William Barr’s master class in word-splitting

On Wednesday, the Hon. William P. Barr reminded us why lawyers are one of the United States' least-trusted professions. And on Thursday, he made it clear whose lawyer he really was.

The attorney general's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was a performance to be remembered, a veritable buffet of legal know-it-all and feigned expressions of surprise. Ostensibly, Barr was there to answer questions about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But after a thrilling opening act by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) (the f-bomb, on live TV!), Barr proceeded to deliver a master class in prevarication and provocation, twisting the questions put to him so as to give the least amount of information while producing the maximal amount of irritation.
Like many other observers, Emba didn't think much of Barr's performance. But as she listed the ways he failed, she was soon offering this:
EMBA: There was faux ignorance [on Barr's part]. "Could you repeat that question?" pleaded Barr to Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who had asked whether the White House ever suggested that he open an investigation into anyone, which would be a clear abuse of power. "I'm trying to grapple with the word 'suggest,'" as though he was hearing the word for the first time.
Emba had already offered an incoherent account of Barr's alleged "mansplaining." Now she said that he'd also displayed "faux ignorance"—and she paraphrased Harris thusly:
[Harris] asked whether the White House ever suggested that Barr open an investigation into anyone.
That's a paraphrase of Harris' question. After offering this paraphrase, Emba quoted part of Barr's response, then offered an unflattering review of what he'd so faux-ly said.

Unless a male witness is now required to agree with anything a female senator says, Emba's passage on Barr's "mansplaining" made no obvious sense. That said, her paraphrase of Harris' question was an example of a phenomenon we're inclined to call by another rough name:
Basic Skill Levels Down
Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves (TM), a trademarked yet disconsolate group which communicates from the aftermath of the global conflagration known to them as Mister Trump's Quite Explicit War, have suggested to us that Emba's column should be seen within the anthropological context.

"Our species was never built for this," these relentlessly glum future scholars have said, gloomily linking to the unflattering portrait of Homo sapiens painted by Professor Harari. "The failures of the pre-war press should always be seen as an unfortunate function of basic 'human' wiring."

Harari has said that our war-inclined species runs on "gossip" and "fiction," with a healthy dose of intolerance thrown in. Could Emba's paraphrase of Harris' question possibly be shoehorned into this scholarly framework?

We'll examine such questions all week long. What exactly is the state of the press corps' basic skills?

Tomorrow: Maddow and Harris discuss that very same question!

42 comments:

  1. "Basic Skill Levels Down"

    Their goebbelsian skill level is fine, Bob, just fine.

    It's your analytical skill level is down in the gutter, Bob, if you really do believe that this whole incident demonstrates the "skill level", as opposed to a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion.

    In fact, you'd have to be insane, dear Bob, not to see it. But of course you're a self-identified liberal zombie, and for that reason I'll categorize it as instinctive, customary hypocrisy, rather than outright insanity.

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  2. "Unless a male witness is now required to agree with anything a female senator says, Emba's passage on Barr's "mansplaining" made no obvious sense."

    The quote accompanying Emba's accusation of mansplaining consisted of Barr explaining the legal basis for obstruction of justice, at length, to Diane Feinstein, the longest serving woman in the Senate. Telling a highly qualified woman what she already knows is the definition of mansplaining and this was a fair example of it.

    Emba, by the way, is not only young and female but also African American. One reason for including diverse people on the staffs of newspapers is that they may have a different perspective on the events they cover. In this case, Emba presents things in a way that upsets Somerby. Does that make her experiences less valid than his? If Somerby were less eager to criticize and more receptive to other viewpoints, he might learn what the term mansplaining means, and thereby what it feels like to be patronized by a mendacious, arrogant, sell-out like Barr, instead of chalking it up to inadequate paraphrasing, or whatever his specious beef is today.

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    1. The quote accompanying Emba's accusation of mansplaining consisted of Barr explaining the legal basis for obstruction of justice, at length, to Diane Feinstein, the longest serving woman in the Senate. Telling a highly qualified woman what she already knows is the definition of mansplaining and this was a fair example of it.

      I would expand your definition to include a man telling a woman that her point of view or feelings are invalid, but that won’t change things in this case. Yes, DiFi is the longest serving woman in the Senate, but she’s hardly “highly qualified” in this context. She is, in fact, the dumbest cluck in the Senate to have a “(D)” after her name, at least since the Dixiecrats joined the Republican Party. She’s not a lawyer — she has a bachelors in history — and she has no prosecutorial experience.

      DiFi asked Barr about Trump’s asking McGahn to write a memo declaring that he, Trump, had never asked McGahn to have Mueller fired. “That’s not a crime.” said Barr. “So you can in this situation instruct someone to lie?” asked DiFi. Barr explained that for the lie to rise to the level of obstruction, it would have to “be tied to impairing the evidence in a particular proceeding.”

      Interpreting proceeding broadly, Barr is right on an issue of law. This leaves aside Trump’s disgraceful behavior and the fact that no lawyer with an ounce of integrity would remain as Attorney General in the face of that behavior. But Barr’s been a soulless hack since the days when he helped bury the Iran-Contra scandal. Doesn’t make him a mansplainer here.

      Neither do Barr’s more convoluted answers have anything to do with DiFi’s being a woman. They’re the inevitable result of trying to excuse the inexcusable on narrow, technical legal grounds.

      Delete
    2. 1. Mansplaining doesn't have to be something that only occurs with women. Some guys do patronize everyone. But many do it more with women because they think women don't know the stuff they're saying, because women don't interrupt them, and because it feels good and boosts the ego to sound off to an admiring (fantasy perhaps) audience. It is why there are so few female slight of hand magic performers. Men perform and women listen and admire. But there are some guys who treat everyone as their audience. The difference is that men can object to this treatment without consequence (unless it is your boss doing it) and the dynamic usually occurs between men and women not men and other men.

      Diane Feinstein surely was briefed by her staff on what constitutes obstruction of justice before the hearing, if she didn't read the report herself. Barr was stalling and trying to use up her time. But this is still mansplaining because the dynamic is a guy sounding off about something the woman knows and her having to interrupt and derail his performance, instead of two people talking about something with give and take (not lecturing) and both listening and talking on both sides. In this situation, it was particularly insulting that he would think she didn't know what he was explaining, just as it is insulting that you would think she was unprepared for the hearing -- or couldn't understand anything because her degree was in History (congrats on using Google).

      He showed her no respect. Fortunately, she interrupted him and made it clear that she was asking the questions and expected answers.

      Sorry to tell you this, deadrat, but men don't define what mansplaining is for women. You like to pontificate, so I know this may be a disappointment to you.

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    3. Deadrat, how do you suppose liberal women feel about you using the name Difi to refer to the longest serving Woman in the Senate, someone who is widely respected even if considered a bit too centrist by progressives? Do you think women like that shit?

      Delete
    4. Hey deadrat, some asshole left a comment here and signed your name to it, thought you should know.

      Delete
    5. Mansplaining doesn't have to be something that only occurs with women.

      Sorry to be mansplaining this to you, but mansplaining makes no sense unless the person doing the ‘splaining is a man and the person being ‘splained to is a woman. Men can be condescending jerks to men, but they can’t mansplain to them.

      DiFi may have been briefed by her staff, but it’s clear she was unprepared to counter Barr as he tap danced his way around both her and Trump’s abuse of office. This is not surprising because 1) she’s as dumb as a ball peen hammer and 2) she’s as old as dirt. Barr is a spry 68 compared to her decrepit 85.

      Sorry to intrude here with facts, but the topic isn’t “something this woman knows.” DiFi was outmatched by Barr in a way that Harris wasn’t. This is not surprising since Harris was the DA for San Francisco and the AG for California. She’s not only familiar with the law, she’s used to legalese smokescreens from defense attorneys. It probably helps that she’s dragging around three fewer decades than her fellow Senator.

      DiFi wasn’t unprepared simply because she has a degree in history. She was unprepared because she’s a dull, octogenarian layperson. And of course I looked up DiFi’s academic background. I like to get my facts straight, and I’m sure nobody thinks I’ve memorized the vitae of Senators.

      And speaking of getting facts straight, I recommend it to you. You didn’t even watch DiFi’s questioning, did you? Neither party interrupted the other. Not once. You’re probably thinking of Kamala Harris.

      Sorry to tell you this, “Anonymous,” but men are perfectly capable of explaining the meaning of words to women and men alike. Do you mean that men don’t get to dictate when women feel mansplained to? Because, feel away. How could I stop you?

      I do like the sound of my own voice, so guilty as charged. It’s actually my most endearing trait. But not to worry, your abyssal ignorance isn’t a disappointment to me. It doesn’t even seem to be a disappointment to you.

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    6. DiFi is a short nickname for Senator Dianne Feinstein and is not in the least pejorative. Don’t believe me? Let’s go to the video:

      Several months ago, the doddering senior (and I do mean senior) Senator from California was recorded discussing environmental issues with school children. Some thought she was dismissive and condescending; others thought the interaction was just fine.

      Here’s a cite from the LA Times (2/23/19) quoting one Eric Schmeltzer “progressive strategist”:

      “I was initially furious and ready to jump all over DiFi based on the edited video, and felt duped when I saw the longer one,” Schmeltzer said, using a common nickname for the senator.

      emphasis mine

      So how do I suppose “liberal women” feel about my using the name DiFi? I haven’t taken a poll with a statistically-valid sample, but most liberal women I know are both sensible and informed, so my guess is that they wouldn’t give it a second thought.

      That said, the title “The Longest Serving Woman in the Senate” doesn’t mean a damn thing to me and shouldn’t mean a damn thing to anyone else. But wake me when DiFi breaks Mikulski’s record.

      For the record, I don’t give any more of a shit about what “liberal women” like about my opinion of DiFi than I do about what conservative men like about my opinion of Donald Trump.

      Delete
    7. Hey Anonymous, a whole bunch of assholes left comments here and signed your name to them, thought you should know.

      If you want to call me an asshole, Asshole, then just do it, preferably with some argumentation about why I’m an asshole for holding the opinions that I do.

      Not up to rude but rational discussion? Fine, but cleverness isn’t your strong suit either.

      Delete
    8. ooooooh someone got their panties in a bunch.

      This is too easy.

      Delete
    9. Deadrat shows dim and sheltered reasoning over and over again. Sad. But yes, also thin skin and a self centered, boyish ego.

      Delete
  3. Whoa, Some say Comey The God is in trouble... Tsk, tsk. Stay tuned...

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  4. I watched the hearing in real time. It was obvious that Barr was evading a the "yes" or "no" answer demanded by Harris to her question of whether the President or anyone in the White House had asked him to open an investigation of anyone. The meaning of the question is obvious and Barr was trying to evade answering that question. Harris made this clear by suggesting alternate wordings of the question as Barr kept refusing to answer it.

    According to Somerby, we cannot know whether Barr was confused or didn't know the meaning of the word "suggest" or just didn't want to answer the question in any form. But from the context of the hearing and Barr's previous answers it was clear that he was evading the question and stalling until Harris's time was up. It was also clear that the answer to the question was most probably "yes" or he would have had no problem stating a clear "no" to it.

    Emba's so-called paraphrase captured the essence of what was said, in my opinion. It doesn't matter that Harris was giving Barr a series of alternate wordings to a question he refused to answer in any form. Emba focused on Barr's evasion and did not speculate about what he was covering up, the obvious implication that Trump was trying to use the DOJ to persecute his enemies, which is a clear abuse of office. Emba used restraint about that. Barr's evasion was obvious to everyone and there was no reason for him to be stalling and floundering over use of the word "suggest" in place of "ask."

    And it makes no difference whatsoever whether Harris suggested the word to Barr or not. She was the person asking the questions during the hearing. This is Somerby's red herring and he tries to defend Barr from congressional oversight.

    Why is Somerby working so hard to defend Barr? Why is he trying to distract us from the actual implications of Barr's testimony? Why is he carrying water for Trump and the conservatives? Since he is behaving like a conservative now and has been for some time, why does he continue to call himself a liberal?

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    1. Because you're a dumb bitch?

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    2. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/why-men-abuse-women-online/9666900

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/23/empowering-young-women-internet-abuse-harassment

      http://www.womensmediacenter.com/speech-project/online-abuse-101

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    3. Because you're a dumb human being?

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    4. "Because you're a dumb bitch?"

      No. The world doesn't evolve around your economic anxiousness.

      Delete
    5. Eat shit stink ass hoe.
      .

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    6. One syllable adjectives, short sentences, must be a Trump supporter. Or maybe @10:03 IS Trump! Clearly his NAEP scores were low. Should we feel pity or annoyance? I vote for apathy.

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    7. If apathy includes not rising to the bait, I'll vote apathy too. @11:49 is just trolling. Ignore it. Serious response is what a troll wants. Don't feed it.

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    8. Emba's so-called paraphrase captured the essence of what was said, in my opinion.

      Practically word-for-word, I’d say. Here’s the quote from Harris:

      Attorney General Barr- has the president or anyone at White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?

      Here’s the paraphrase:

      Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who had asked whether the White House ever suggested that he open an investigation into anyone,….

      I don’t understand TDH’s complaint about this.

      Why is Somerby working so hard to defend Barr?

      He’s not. He’s said nothing about Barr.

      Why is he trying to distract us from the actual implications of Barr's testimony?

      Is that the royal first person plural? I hope so, because I’m not distracted.

      Why is he carrying water for Trump and the conservatives?

      He’s not. When TDH endorses Barr’s position that Mueller exonerated Trump, then you can cite quarts and gallons of carried water.

      Since he is behaving like a conservative now and has been for some time,

      He’s not and he hasn’t. For behaving like a conservative see any comments from Village Idiot David in Cal.

      why does he continue to call himself a liberal?

      Because he considers himself a liberal and doesn’t require approval from you?
      Just a guess.

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    9. Somerby is a liberal who repeats Right-wing nonsense memes on his blog. Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the coastal elites who look down at flyover country.

      I, OTOH, am a Conservative, who realizes the term "Heartland of America" means "white".

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  5. Cheating occurs on every test if the stakes are high and test-takers are under pressure to do well. Somerby hasn't blown the roof off the existence of cheating. ALL teachers recognize that students can and do cheat on tests. It is no surprise that teachers, administrators and school district personnel may cheat also if the stakes are high and there is pressure to succeed on those tests. These school staff are, after all, human beings, just as the students who take the tests are human beings.

    Anyone who administers tests is also taught procedures for minimizing cheating. It goes with the territory. Can Somerby really be so naive that he didn't realize this? Does he think he is telling anyone anything new?

    The question is why he has juxtaposed this discussion of cheating with an accusation of inaccurate paraphrasing by a Washington Post journalist? It isn't about Basic Skills -- his ostensible segue. Is he meaning to imply that Emba is cheating? But does he perhaps wish to avoid responsibility for such an accusation, one that might hurt her career and create a flap and perhaps be actionable against him? Is he using a silly riff on Basic Skills (paraphrasing is not on the Iowa tests) to camouflage an ugly criticism that everyone gets but he can plausibly deny having made?

    What an ugly man Somerby is these days. His crappy soul is revealed in these manufactured attacks on women who dare to use words like mansplaining, which is probably the actual offense that caused Somerby to single out Emba today.

    Somerby's time would be better spent talking with a shrink. No one is fooled by today's exercise and it is perhaps no coincidence that Harris too is female and African American and uppity when it comes to taking no nonsense from guys like Barr. I find myself wondering whether Somerby would have voted for Trump if Sanders had not been in the race, to give the bros cover to attack Hillary. Somerby's anthropological complaints will be seen by future scholars as a foot-dragging, whining, resistance to change as women and minorities find their place at the table in American society.

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    1. Let’s start with this:

      Does he think he is telling anyone anything new [about cheating on standardized tests]?

      Of course he doesn’t. He claims to have been informed in the early ‘80s by an “editor in chief” that school staff altered answer sheets. And he says that 30 years later, USA Today publicized the scandal. That would be a few years past 2010 when presumably such cheating was public knowledge.

      Having confused yourself about whether TDH thinks the cheating is news, you can’t understand why he would bring up the subject:

      It isn't about Basic Skills….

      Yes, that’s exactly what it’s about.

      Is he meaning to imply that Emba is cheating?

      No, of course not.

      But does he perhaps wish to avoid responsibility for such an accusation, one that might hurt her career and create a flap and perhaps be actionable against him?

      First, he’s not accusing Emba of cheating. Second, nothing TDH says can either “hurt her career” or “create a flap.” How many people read this blog? Now subtract our village troll Mao, our village idiot David, and the cognitively impaired like you. How many now? Finally, even supposing his statements were libel per se, what damages do you think she can show?

      Is he using a silly riff on Basic Skills?

      Yes.

      (paraphrasing is not on the Iowa tests)

      Of course not. It would be on his imaginary and facetious Mainstream Upper-End Modern Journalists Tests of Basic Skills.

      to camouflage an ugly criticism that everyone gets but he can plausibly deny having made?

      You didn’t get it, so I’ll explain. As usual, I’ll be typing as slowly as possible so that you can follow. TDH claims that Emba lacks a basic skill of journalism, namely paraphrasing. In this she is analogous to a fifth grader taking an Iowa Basic Skills test. (If TDH is talking about Harris asking Barr about whether Trump suggested investigating his enemies, Emba’s paraphrase seems to me to be a straightforward transposition to indirect discourse. But maybe that’s just me.) The cheaters are the Times editors, who have given an incompetent a pass. They are analogous to the school administrators altering test answer sheets.

      Somerby's time would be better spent talking with a shrink.

      Possibly. Your time would be better spent learning how to read for comprehension.

      No one is fooled by today's exercise….

      You were.

      I find myself wondering whether Somerby would have voted for Trump if Sanders had not been in the race….

      I find myself wondering how you know whom Somerby voted for.

      Somerby's anthropological complaints will be seen by future scholars as….

      If “future scholars” contemplate TDH at all, it will be to consider his commentariat as another data point on how dumb people can be. Why not give yourself a nym so make the task of those scholars easier.

      Delete
    2. Somerby voted for Clinton. Why doesn’t Somerby change his comments section to require id’s? Because he’s lazy and unconcerned with his commentariat. Perhaps contemptuous. For God’s sake, the man comments as himself on Kevin Drum’s blog, but ignores his own.

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    3. How do you know that Somerby voted for Clinton?

      How do you figure that laziness is behind his refusal to require an id to comment?

      I figure that TDH wants the commentary section to run as a completely-free speech zone, but it can be hard to discern motive from consequences, something TDH himself doesn’t shy away from in his blog entries.

      But given his commentariat, I would completely understand his contempt and refusal to get involved. From our village idiot David in Cal to our village troll Mao Cheng Ji, through the utterly clueless, I figure that one day TDH said to himself, “Fuck it. This crew is hopeless. I’ll just leave them to their own devices as a cautionary instance of people who can only think tribally. Depressing, but they’ll make my point for me.”

      But I’m only guessing. Maybe he’s never paid that much attention and for reasons of his own.

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    4. Somerby said he voted for Clinton because Trump needed to be stopped, but he preferred Bernie.

      There is no excuse for having a blog and leaving the spam in the comments the way he does.

      My theory is that stand up comedians learn to ignore hecklers and negative feedback. They have to or they won't succeed in the business because the heckling is horrible. I think he treats his commenters as if they were hecklers, not humans to have conversations with.

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    5. oddly deadrat accuses 11:48 of not getting it, yet clearly deadrat did not get 11:48. deadrat bemoans david and mao yet is as clueless and lacking in self-awareness as much as those sad souls. hint, are questions sometimes rhetorical?

      Delete
    6. Is that you, my own personal troll?

      You may think you're my toughest critic, but if you can't help yourself from throwing useless comments at me, then, bitch, you're my biggest fan.

      Welcome back. I'm flattered that you couldn't stay away.

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    7. Do you have a link? I can’t remember TDH saying how he voted, but I’m getting a bit forgetful. In any case, how do we know how he actually voted?

      Your theory about comedians and hecklers might be sound. I’m inclined to believe that good comedians learn how to shut hecklers down. But maybe Somerby just ignored them.

      Would you try to converse with this commentariat if you owned this blog? Wouldn’t it just be too depressing?

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    8. triggered much?

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  6. Emba wrote: ...had asked whether the White House ever suggested that he open an investigation into anyone, which would be a clear abuse of power.

    Is Emba right? Would it be a "clear abuse of power" for the White House that the Justice Dept. open an investigation into someone? If a person in the White House believed that someone was breaking the law, would it really be an abuse of power to suggest that the Justice Dept. investigate?

    I don't know the answer. I suspect that Emba doesn't know either. The word "clear" is one of those words used when one doesn't have actual evidence. I don't think her statement is actually clear. I think she should have asked a lawyer.

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    1. Would you believe the lawyer if they agreed with Emba?

      Meanwhile, ask these 370 lawyers what they think about Trump’s obstruction:

      https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/05/former-prosecutors-say-trump-is-guilty-guilty-guilty/

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    2. Those 370 prosecutors are biased against Trump, because they don't get the same thrill David gets from Trump's bigotry.

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    3. What about when Trump asks the DOJ to investigate Hillary Clinton? Comey? CNN? Someone Trump tweets about as a political enemy? Members of the press?

      It is an abuse of power to use the presidency to direct the DOJ (part of the Executive Branch) to investigate a political opponent or anyone for political reasons. It would be an abuse if Trump asked the DOJ to investigate McCain or Gavin Newsom or the boys on the teams who have refused to meet with him after their sports victories. It is a clear abuse to ask DOJ to investigate how the investigation of his own campaign was started. That is political retaliation. This isn't rocket science.

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    4. ******
      David in Cal March 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.
      *****

      The White House has instructed former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a subpoena for documents from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, teeing up the latest in a series of escalating oversight showdowns between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats. May 7, 2019

      Delete
  7. Call Nancy Chickenshit Pelosi and demand impeachment, dembots. Immediately.

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    1. Benghazi Part II.
      Republicans being fuckfaces to Hillary backfired bigly.

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    2. Are you fantasizing that your zombie-clowns are somehow benefiting from their degenerative convulsing in agony, in public? Dream on, dembot.

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    3. Not at all. But zombie dembots, like yourself, think they are benefitting from Trump's EPA letting their betters (the corporate establishment) poison their potable water.

      Drink up, dembot!

      Delete
  8. Emba’s presentation is weak, particularly the reference to “mansplaining.” Inherent in that term is the notion of condescension and contempt. The problem is that Barr was condescending and contemptuous to every Democratic senator, not just the female senators. Whether Barr was especially contemptuous of women is hard to say. At any rate, Emba doesn’t do a good job explaining the importance of the exchange between Barr and Feinstein and how it shows Barr’s breathtaking obfuscation, specious argumentation, and his contradicting of the findings of the Mueller report.

    The main problem with Somerby’s post is this: Somerby critiques a column by Emba, and puts her in the “leadership cadre” to show “leadership down.” The problem is that there are dozens of other op-eds critical of Barr’s performance that are quite thorough and convincing that Somerby chooses to ignore. You cannot conclude a general truth (about leadership or skills etc) based on a single opinion piece.

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  9. Harris: Herr Himmler-Barr, has the Führer or anyone in the Führerhauptquartier ever asked or suggested that you stage false flag operations in Poland to create a justification for an invasion?

    Himmler-Barr: I wouldn't—I wouldn't—

    Harris: Yes or no?

    Himmler-Barr: Could you repeat that question?

    Harris: I will repeat it. Has the Führer or anyone in the Führerhauptquartier ever asked or suggested that you stage false flag operations in Poland to create a justification for an invasion? Yes or no please, sir?

    Himmler-Barr: The Führer or anyone else?

    Harris: Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us.

    Himmler-Barr: Yeah, but I'm trying to grapple with the word "suggest." I mean, there have been discussions of, of matters out there that— They have not “asked” me to stage false flag operations, but—

    Herr von Somerby: You see, Herr Himmler-Barr *said* he wasn’t asked.

    While Somerby quibbles with op-Ed writers, William “Heinrich Himmler” Barr solidifies the fascist takeover of America.

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