We’re off on a mission of national import!

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

Won’t post until tomorrow: We’re off on a mission of national import involving a limited tour of the nation’s Medicaid-funded facilities.

We won’t be posting until tomorrow. Today, we’re recalling the classic, decade-long Fox News hysteria concerning The New Black Panther Party.

The liberal world finally noticed this nonsense in 2010. By that time, Hannity & Colmes had been using the Panthers to stoke tribal fears on a regular basis for years.

The New Black Panthers were a thoroughly insignificant group. But they were repeatedly hosted by Hannity and Colmes as a way to stoke fear and excitement, and of course to build tribal identity.

Watching MSNBC last night, we thought of the many years of thrills provided by the New Black Panthers.

To recall one example from 2003, just click here. To what extent is the pitiful Cliven Bundy our equal-but-opposite tribal thrill-and-fear child?

We’re not sure what we think about that. But the question occurred to us last night, perhaps at the time when the Chris Hayes guest, an assistant professor at Fordham, offered these deathless thoughts:

“Many right-wingers, especially Tea Partiers, refuse to recognize that they are the original welfare kings, right? They’re the ones who went to public schools. They’re the ones who have the GI Bill. They’re the ones who lived off of the fat-cat government for so long...”

Did you realize you’re a welfare king if you went to public school? Festivals of the current type can turn human brains to mush.

In the post to which we link above, you can see Hannity and Colmes, in 2003, turning conservative brains into mush. Warning! As we lord it over the pitiful Bundy, the same thing can happen to us.

It’s easy to find the world’s biggest kook and create a sense of peril, excitement and justification. It’s good for ratings and tribal fervor.

It may not be all that great for the human brain or the soul.


  1. Before you dismiss Bundy and his armed-to-the-teeth buddies as merely "pitiful", perhaps you should listen to his rhetoric then do some research on the Posse Comitatus/Christian Identity movement.

    You might begin by watching Rachel Maddow's segment on this -- with an open mind, if possible.

    1. "You might begin by watching Rachel Maddow's segment on this - with an open mind, if possible."

      Impossible. Dream on.

    2. We can't watch Rachel anymore without seeing the beads of perspiration flowing from the guilt she must feel for lying her way into a pair of pants stuffed with the plutocrat plunder looted from rubes ruined by her divisive deception.


  2. "Both sides do it" - how amazingly original and brilliant.

    It would be a cold day in hell when blogger is willing to call this fellow what he is - a racist.

    With Bundy - blogger is going to out-Zimmerman himself.

    Nothing to see here folks - If you are old, white and realize you have been a loser all your life - this is the end you come to.

    1. "Both sides do it" is the only possible way that Somerby can use Bundy to launch into yet another anti-MSNBC rant.

      And THAT is "pitiful."

    2. This isn't a blog written to be original and brilliant. It's about both sides doing it and that the blogger's side should stop.

      This isn't a blog about racists, which is why the blogger doesn't talk about Bundy and Zimmerman except inasmuch as journalists report the stories.

      There's nothing to see here. But here you are. How big a loser does that make you?

    3. "It's about both sides doing it . . ."

      Exactly what did MSNBC do to foment a near bloodbath in the desert?

      I realize it takes a function brain, but try to see through the false equivalency game Somerby is playing, and playing you for a fool with it.

    4. "This isn't a blog written to be original and brilliant."

      Then let's give Somerby some credit. He's finally achieved a goal.

    5. Oh, dear. A "near" bloodbath. How many people do you suppose were "nearly" killed? More or fewer than those nearly attacked by the New Black Panthers?

      In this instance, I think that TDH is wrong. Bundy is the logical destination of the uncompromising antigovernment, anti-Constitutionalist, antidemocratic organization that is the Republican Party and its media claque. If you turn right, Bundy is where you're headed. If you turn left, the New Black Panthers aren't even on the map.

      I can keep that thought in my mind and still understand what TDH is all about. That's what it means to have a "function" brain. I recommend that you find one.

    6. Here's my mea culpa.
      I laughed when I was told Bundy was the perfect representative of the American heartland. Turns out that was the absolute truth. My apologies for not seeing this truth sooner.


    7. Berto - LOL !!

    8. "We're not sure what to think about that."

      What a maroon!

    9. deadrat - MSC!!!

    10. Deadrat, we had militia members wearing insignia linking them to various offshoots of Posse Comitatus-linked groups taking positions on a bridge and aiming automatic weapons at federal agents.

      Only for the grace of God and the prudence of those federal agents was a bloodbath avoided.

      It wouldn't take much of a functioning brain to realize how dangerous that situation was. But apparently you lack even that.

    11. "Oh, dear. A "near" bloodbath. How many people do you suppose were "nearly" killed?"

      Not even cute, deadrat. But you can't answer the question, can you?

      What did MSNBC do to provoke this standoff at the bridge (since you can't wrap your feeble brain around how close that was to a bloodbath).

    12. Anonymous @12:45P,

      Yes, it's all about me and my brain. Yes, it was a dangerous situation. Let's try and keep calm as we realize that nobody has been killed. That way we can actually talk about the content of TDH's argument.

      Anonymous @12:54P,

      I'm sorry I forgot to answer your question. I thought it was rhetorical. And pointless. MSNBC didn't do anything to provoke The Standoff at the Bridge. On the other hand, I doubt Faux News provoked it either. The armed posterboys for what the current Republican Party stands for would have rounded up their posse no matter how they found out about Bundy.

      The moral failings of Hannity reach beyond cheering idiots in this case and beyond anything that MSNBC has done in other cases. I hope occupying the moral high ground hasn't made you even more lightheaded.

    13. "The armed posterboys for what the current Republican Party stands for would have rounded up their posse no matter how they found out about Bundy."

      Beside the point, lizard brain. Whether or not they would have found out about Bundy and come running with their guns, Fox News certainly made it a hell of a lot easier. And some of them even got some face time on national TV with their 15 minutes.

      "The moral failings of Hannity reach beyond cheering idiots in this case and beyond anything that MSNBC has done in other cases."

      If you truly believe that, then why does it not bother you in the least that Somerby is devoting what is left of his remaining years to doing Fox's work?

      And please, no more of this "blogger's side" malarky. Bob morphed into a right-wing, nut case blogger a long, long time ago.

      And you are too damned dumb to see it.

    14. Anonymous @3:58P

      "Lizard brain" doesn't mean what you think it does. And this is exactly the point: Faux News is not powerful enough to foment armed rebellion, and the clowns in Nevada couldn't take over a Vegas blackjack table if they held nothing but tens and aces. That doesn't mean they can't get people killed, and that doesn't make Faux News any less reprehensible.

      It doesn't bother me that TDH criticizes the left more than he criticizes the right because the non-lizard part of my brain can actually consider two different thoughts without overheating. The first is that the right-wing media has long been a mendacious cheerleader for the worst the Republican Party has to offer. The second is that progressive interests are not served by imitating them. I think the first point is indisputable; the second point is arguable, and it's the case that TDH prosecutes. Sometimes I think he makes sound arguments, and sometime I disagree with him.

      In no instance do I find it useful to ponder whether TDH considers himself a progressive Jeremiah or whether he's actually a right-wing mole whose pretense is to improve the left by criticizing it. TDH either has his facts straight or he doesn't; TDH either employs logic or he fails to. I can check his facts, and I can test his chain of reasoning. What's really going on in his head, not so much.

      I understand that you think the critic of a friend is the enemy of you both. And I understand that you think any other stance is "damned dumb." Do you understand just how little regard I have for that position?

  3. Blogger("pitiful") is MORE despicable than Hannity, who has realized that there is no deniability anymore


    Conservative media titan Sean Hannity, formerly one of Nevada rancher Clive Bundy's strongest advocates, expressed his vehement disgust Thursday with the latter's remarks on slavery.

    Bundy's comments "are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me," Hannity said during his radio show.


    1. Bundy really is the perfect representation of the heartland of America.


  4. Wise words from Joe Scarborough


    Joe Scarborough on Thursday said that the prominent conservatives must be feeling "exposed" now that their anti-government hero Cliven Bundy was quoted wondering if African-Americans would be "better off as slaves."

    “This has happened before. It happened when conservatives raced blindly to put their arms around George Zimmerman, a man who they didn’t realize who gets in all these troubles," Scarborough said. "Because they basically pick their friends based on who their friends’ ‘enemies’ are. In this case, you have a lot of people in conservative media have raced to this guy’s defense. And they must be feeling very exposed this morning.”

    The host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" blasted conservatives who decided "to go blindly in to champion the cause of someone like this."

    "There’s nothing conservative about this man," he said. "This is where nihilism against the federal government as the basis of your ideology gets you in trouble every time."


    Blogger has no ideology - only a nihilist all-consuming hatred of successful liberals. The stand he would take on any issue can be predicted based on his hatred of liberals.

    1. "Because they basically pick their friends based on who their friends’ ‘enemies’ are."

      Both Bob and his few remaining fans should pay heed.

  5. rat -

    we know what this blog is about - hating librulz.

    But if this is only about journalism - why does blogger attach ANY adjective to Bundy at all?

    pitiful = "deserving or arousing pity"

    Blogger identifies with this chap - old, white and a loser. On the other hand, Hannity, a phenomenal success at what he does had no problems denouncing Bundy roundly after initially carrying water for him.

    1. Anonymous @9:10A,

      Please call me deadrat. I'm not on a last syllable basis with an Anonymous.

      I'm guessing that TDH attaches the adjective "pitiful" to Bundy because he finds Bundy more pathetic than frightening. That guess is based on reading TDH's words and my native speaker's understanding of English. This contrasts with your mind reading about whom TDH hates and whom TDH identifies with.

      TDH claims to be a progressive and hates that so-called progressives have become like so-called conservatives. Maybe that's true or maybe he really hates liberals. Maybe TDH has had a rewarding, fulfilling life or maybe he's nothing but a bitter loser. I can't know any of that and it hardly matters to his argument. He's either got the facts and logic to back up those arguments or he doesn't.

      In this case, I don't think he has either. But I can come to that conclusion without reading his mind. Hannity is a liar and a hypocrite, both characteristics independent of his "phenomenal" success and his current scrambling to dissociate himself from the embarrassment that he created for himself.

      See how that works?

    2. When blogger is tossed under the bus even by deadrat it is a pitiful day in the comment box.

    3. Deceased rodent,

      thanks for not proving to be as stupid as I automatically assume fans of the One True Bob (thanks KZ) to be.

      "In this case, I don't think he has either. "

      End of story. We agree.

      I CAN read blogger's mind based on the brilliant concept introduced by an otherwise execrable person - Dinesh DeSouza - "The indignation gap".

      Has blogger EVER talked about stuffing money down one's pants or stroking or petting when talking about "the other tribe"?

      The Republican party cannot exist if without exercising an Indignation Gap towards their gamier associates - only observe how namby-pamby Republican criticism of Ted Nugent has been for calling the President "a sub-human mongrel" and noting carefully that his subsequent apology was not necessarily to the President.

    4. Anon @ 12:08

      You're welcome, but in the future do not invoke us while addressing our friend mr. d. rat. He does not understand a thing we write and believes we come from Schizophrenia.*


      * Full disclosure...We did visit the place once on a mission of planetary import in search of BOB and Rachel's screws. We later determined the screws were loose, but not missing. It was a bone simple lesson we won't forget.

    5. Anonymous @12:08P,

      I doubt you can even imagine the immense relief I feel that you don't think I'm as stupid as you initially assumed.

      Well, perhaps that's not true.

      Let me say in return that I have absolutely no idea about the size of your intellect. Mostly that's because that's nothing I can tell much about from some comments you make on a blog. On the one hand I think you're correct about some of TDH's rhetoric and the basis for the existence of the Republican Party; on the other hand, I think you're mistaken when you claim you can read TDH's mind. Neither hand gives me much information about your IQ.

      When I was growing up, around the time gas street lights were passing out of fashion, I noticed that my parents had an indignation gap of their own. They seemed much more concerned about my transgressions that about those of the neighbors' kids. Since Dinesh DeSouza hadn't been born yet, it didn't occur to me that they loved me less and the other kids more.

      Here's a hint: when you find yourself invoking Dinesh DeSouza in support of your argument, lie down until your mind is clear enough to examine your argument more critically.

      I'm glad DiDe was indicted. I suppose that makes me a bad person.

    6. I'll bet you miss those gas street lights. I lost my job in the buggy whip factory around the same time. Don't you hate what these boomers have done to the country? I hope the millenials tar and feather the bastards or at least change the Social Security COLA standards.

    7. I'm not a believer in a golden age. I just hate us boomers, period. The Whiniest Generation, the narcissistic demographic bulge that just keeps on taking. Luckily for us, we raised the millennial generation so badly they couldn't heat a vat of tar if they were given kindling and matches. In the ordinary course of things, they could have at least looked forward to inheriting, but I'm sure we will have spent it all by the time we're only some lines in the statistical tables.

  6. OK, so you call someone a racist -- Somerby or Bundy, doesn't matter who. What happens next? Can you change his mind? What about his behavior. Does he have any reason to listen to you after that? Do you put him in a camp, throw things at him? What?

    This is only about certain people feeling better than others via name-calling. For those purposes Bundy and Somerby are interchangeable, as are the commenters here. But the feeling is tenuous so the name-calling goes on. Meanwhile nothing changes in the world.

    1. Right. Let's not call "pitiful" Cliven Bundy what he is. We might hurt his feelings, and we will never change his mind.

      By the way, even his loudest cheerleader, Sean Hannity, now calls him "repugnant."

      But you can't bring yourself to see the guy what he is? How sweet of you.

    2. By all means, let's play nice with the racists, because then they will be open to change.

      With this particular racist, all legal means should be used to make him comply with the law.

    3. Not only that, but he and every identifiable person in that militia needs to face charges of interfering with law enforcement.

    4. Anonymous at 9:23,
      The only thing that can stop a bad guy with first Amendment rights is a good guy with first Amendment rights.


  7. Glad this blog wasn't around in its present form in 1995. We'd be hearing about "pitiful" Timothy McVeigh.

    1. Like the despicable Gore Vidal did?

    2. Ah, yes. That famous spokesman for all liberals, Gore Vidal.

      Is that the best you can do? If it is, then put your tar brush away. Your game of false equivalence is even more pathetic than Somerby's.

    3. The Nation continued to promote Vidal after his defense of McVeigh. The Nation is also not all liberals, but it's a fair point.

    4. I am not sure it is even a point much less fair.

    5. 10:06: I accept your condemnation. It was the best I could do and my game was pathetic ... truly pathetic, You nailed it. I was just trying to seem smart though I am really not. I never graduated from high school and have mental problems. It's true. Sorry to have upset you with my flip and woeful riposte. That said, the original post from 9:32 - reread it. It's pretty stupid and pointless too.

    6. I also am having problems with my adrenal glands.

    7. Adrenal gland problems. Should have known. Attacks on dead gay writers is a common side effect of that.

    8. Bundy blew up a building?

    9. No, I think Gore Vidal did.

  8. I see him as ignorant about race, embedded in a subculture and possibly having a frontal lobe disorder. I don't think that adds up to racist. It does evoke pity because no one can fight city hall and win and he cannot get himself out of his jam. Why call him names on top of it all?

    1. "I don't think that adds up to racist."

      Then what does?

    2. I see him as a full-fledged member of the white supremacist Posse Comitatus/Christian Identity movement who found it easy to use the national platform Fox News gave him, and the encouragement of elected officials, to raise a small army of like-minded to threaten law enforcement officials.

    3. A racist is someone motivated to harm people of another race.

    4. But are they legitimately motivated? And is their harm done in good faith?

    5. Has their harm, however motivated, been journalistically disproven and if not, why hasn't it been covered?

    6. Please don't bring Jebus! into this. Not even Jebus! of Latter Day Saints. Especially not Latter Day Saints. That is cretin stuff best left for Salonist comment threads.

  9. "I say to Jewish America: Get ready … knuckle up, put your boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down. … The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship with the Jewish community or the mainstream white community or the foot shuffling, head-bowing, knee bobbing black community. … All you Jews can go straight to hell."

    "[i]f you feel that you just got to mug somebody because of your hurt and your pain, go to River Oaks and mug you some good white folks. If you’re angry that our brother is put to death, don’t burn down your own community, give these white folks hell from the womb to the tomb."

    Quanell X

    1. And as a result of those 1995 comments, Quanell X was expelled from the Nation of Islam.

      Then after touring the Holocaust Museum in Houston in 2008, Quanell X issued an apology for his past anti-Semitic statements.

    2. Anonymous @ 10:13

      When do you suppose Hannity will have Quanell X back as a guest to offer his thoughts on the "repugnant" Mr. Bundy.

      He used to appear with such frequency. Perhaps only Mr. Colmes had QX's phone number?

  10. I enjoyed the 2010 article very much. It was nice when Mr. Somerby did not have all these nasty trolls.

    1. And all these abject whiners who provide zero content in their content.

    2. Please point to a comment you've offered with content.

    3. 11:53 -

      11:31. Your turn, smartass.

    4. Lotsa content in that one fer sure. Looks like your's a reply kind of guy rather than an original content feller.

  11. OMB (Leave BOB Alone)

    In this post BOB uses Cliven Bundy to recall FOX coverage of the New Black Panther Party. He links back to the glorious old days of the Howler we have to presume to prove the parallel. (Yes, Zarkon fans, we are quickly slipping into the fascinating rhythm we share with the OTB
    of alliteration with the letter "p".)

    So we ask ourselves, "Selves, what the Sam Hill does BOB find comparable?"

    Can we talk? We can't think of an answer. We are postitively perplexed, so we propose a probe into the purpose of this Panther parallel. Pen your own proposals.


    1. Only Bob would parallel a decades-long Panther obsessions with the Bundy festival, which has been going on for just a few days and will be distant memory within a week or so. But, of course, "both sides do it."

    2. Works like this, KZ.

      1. Fox gins up New Black Panther scare.

      2. Fox helps Bundy raise an army to draw down on federal officials.

      3. It's all MSNBC's fault.

    3. Since the link included a blurb attacking Joan Walsh maybe it was a subtle effort to keep a new streak going?

  12. I too have been mostly amused by the progressive left's reaction to Cliven Bundy.

    The errant cranks on the right are nowhere near as dangerous as those on the left like Sharpton and all Salon writers.

    1. Poor America. Nothing but errant cranks to defend us from
      the dangers of the Salonistas and Reverend Al.

    2. And here we get the old Sharpton dodge.

      No discussion of race is possible with a right-wing fruitcake without the name Al Sharpton coming up within minutes.

      Works like this:

      "The Klan burned a cross on the White House lawn."

      "Oh yeah? Well what about Al Sharpton?"

    3. Sharpton has tried to imprison innocent white men for being white. So what Al Sharpton?

    4. So what about Al Sharpton?

    5. OK, and that has to do with Cliven Bundy exactly what?

      More of the brilliant, "I'm rubber and you're glue" line of logic?

    6. Remember when Al Sharpton was Durham County DA and tried to railroad those lacrosse players?

      Me neither.

    7. Sharpton wants people like Anonymous @ 2:32 to hate him? Really? Why? What’s the point?

      In our view, Sharpton should possibly listen to the inner voice which is saying his instincts may be wrong here.

    8. Guess nobody wants to stand up for those Salonist writers, just the Rev. Well, Salon, see what ya get for paying trolls shit? No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

    9. The old Sharpton Dodge?

      I thought he had an SUV. Lincoln, natch!

  13. What do you think is the real mission of national import?

  14. Just heard this quote from David Simon - another Baltimorean that is twice as smart as you ego-driven nimrods.

    "As a journalist, I didn’t care what the audience’s presuppositions were about the issues I was covering when I started to cover them. I wasn’t trying to service the political attitude of the viewers or the readers of The Baltimore Sun. That’s why we have MSNBC and Fox, so you can watch the news that gratifies what you think you already know about the world."

    1. I apologize, that was divisive and mean. Just saying false equivalence aside, he's kinda on the same track as the "racist", "lazy" blogger who we all spend so much time despising for saying pretty much the same thing.

    2. Except he only gets around to despising one side.

    3. I wonder if any characters in The Wire were based on kids Somerby taught.

    4. Why does Anonymous @ 12:20 only refer to smart Baltimoreans who are white men? Aren't their any Langston Hughes poems rattling around in that function brain?

  15. If TDH doesn't post Saturday is this the weekend open thread?

  16. Isn't anybody else curious why Chris hayes couldn't at least get someone on tenure track from Fordham?

  17. Bundy's black bodyguard says he would "take a bullet for that man." Cue chorus of white "progressives" hurling racist "Uncle Tom" epithets at this black man


    1. Well DinC, when he looks into the eyes, looks into the heart, and shakes the hand of a man whose palms tell him they've picked a bale or two of cotton you know he'll treat that Negro with respect.

    2. Reply to David in Cal:
      Okay, some racists are careful to speak in ways that hide their racism. That's entirely different from when a person exposes his own racism through what he says.
      But, well, yes. People are complicated. (Do bob's readers really need bob to realize this?) Could be that Bundy responds to individual black people without behaving like a racist. Bully for him. That and a couple of dollars will get him a cup of coffee. Racism is less about one-on-one interactions (though these are terribly important) than about relating those interactions to a larger picture, informed by a sense of history and a vision for the future. Bundy's sense of history is certainly thoroughly racist. God, I'm sick of "racism," a la bob and so many others, being reduced to a set of "feelings" (that I tell myself I have -- I want to be GOOD). It's about the institutions that structure those "feelings," and for the direct recipients of racism, about the life those institutions shape for them. Get back to me about the militia protecting Bundy (currently unchallenged by the Feds -- what would George Washington have to say about that?), and then we can talk about whether or not he's racist.

    3. When someone looks at a race that has suffered historical and current discrimination and announces that this discrimination must not end -- IMHO that's real racism.

      Even worse, when the people making that statement have the power to enforce it, to legally prevent that discrimination from ending, that's frightening and horrendous.

      The most horrific racist acts of this year were committed by Justices Sonia Sotomayer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who ruled that the citizens of a state have no right to stop discriminating against Asian Americans. And, many Democrats publicly endorsed their decision.

  18. You gotta admit Cliven Bundy cuts a heroic figure on that horse with the flag of the country he doesn't recognize. I'll bet some overpaid analyst on an MSNBC panel who teaches somewhere is going to ask why there are no rodeo clowns in that video clip.

  19. A slave with family life or a "free" man with prison or government dependent drug addicted life and no family life? Bundy has a point that one is better than the other although these are not the only options. The second is the current alternative to the past of slavery only because the left has made it so.

    1. You do know that the great family life of slaves often involved family members getting sold, don't you?

      Probably not.

    2. Actually, it was the right that made this trap by consistently underfunding social programs, insisting on "tough sentencing guidelines" and "zero-tolerance" programs. The result was a system designed by conservatives to grind people down and keep them there.

    3. And the left continues to regard a nonexistent work ethic, drug use, and crimes as expectations for blacks. Asian immigrants have done quite well under the same conditions. The progressive left is responsible for the degeneration of the black culture and family, the reasons most will live in misery in America.

  20. Yep, 5:31. Bundy is right. Martin Luther King, Jr. just didin't do his job.

  21. after reading the comments from some you cretins, my head is spinning.
    Cliven Bundy is a free loader who needs to punished, if a black man in
    Chicago was being evicted from his home by police officers and black
    men attempted to stop the eviction with assault rifles, Fox News would for the police arrest them by any means necessary.

    1. For that matter, imagine if:

      * some Muslims decided to pick up arms and defend the site where they're building their mosque;

      * some GreenPeace / Earth First! folks decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights and protect the desert tortoises from Mr. Bundy's cattle; or,

      * Folks opposing the Keystone pipeline threatened construction workers with guns?

      When blacks or environmental activists act like Mr. Bundy's supporters, they are categorized as terrorists, arrested, and sent to prison. Why are the rules different for Mr. Bundy?

  22. Deadrat,

    you are smart, but used your smartness dishonestly to claim that "the indignation gap" could mean the opposite of what you know DiDe intended and I picked up on.

    OK - if your neighbor's child picks his nose in public you wouldn't feel called upon to set him straight but would do so with your own child. But obviously this is a case of knowing your place.

    By your logic Nugent is "family" for the GOP and they should have come down on him hard. But look at this - thee Abbott campaign issued only the most perfunctory disapproval of what he said:

    (source Media Matters for America)

    Feb 17

    An Abbott campaign spokesperson dismissed criticism of the Nugent campaign appearance, stating, "Ted Nugent is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights -- especially the Second Amendment rights cherished by Texans. While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution."


    Feb 19

    On CNN's The Situation Room, Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater revealed that sources close to Abbott "did not expect this to happen. They knew that Nugent was a controversial figure, who had said outspoken things in the past. They did not know how loud this was going to become." Slater added that Abbott would no longer campaign with Nugent but that Abbott would not publicly condemn Nugent, likely for fear of angering "right-wing pro-gun advocates."


    Anybody can exercise his freedom of speech - but nugent is a VOTE-GETTER for the GOP who still hasn't offered a clean retraction of what he said.

    You can pretend not to understand the continuum from today's respectable GOP to the fringe ideological GOP to the NRA to "states rights" groups to armed militias - but it is very clearly present.

    1. Anonymous @9:41P,

      Apparently you flunked the analogies section of the SATs, so let me break it down for you: When you declaim about other people's minds, you're in danger of doing no more than announcing your own psychological profile. When DiD' (I should have checked your spelling.) announced that the left caused 9/11 because they were more vehement about the WPE than they were about Al Qaeda, he didn't tell us anything about the left in general, but he revealed his own despicable character. If such a revelation didn't engage your gag reflex, it at least should have given you pause before you adopted his program.

      It didn't even slow you down.

      Sometimes you worry about your own before you spend time on the neighbors, especially if you can't control the neighbors or you think it's pointless to try. That's part of TDH's thesis: O'Reilly and Hannity are malignant ignoramuses and incorrigible ignoramuses to boot. Liberals should not emulate them because its a civic misdeed to do so and self-defeating to boot. As I've said, I'm convinced that the first sentence after the colon is correct, and there's at least a decent argument that the second sentence is true as well.

      I suppose you've worked yourself into a rage over Abbott and Nugent so you could work yourself into a further rage that I don't share your bile. The Republican Party has whored itself out to various groups over the years -- the Dixiecrats, the Christianists, the anti-science cranks, the antigovernment seditionists, and antigovernment plutocrats. These groups didn't buy the Republican Party because they agreed with that party's original principles; they bought the GOP because it was for sale and because they had the money.

      It's pointless to wonder whether the whores really think that Obama is a subhuman mongrel or to demand an expression of their moral outrage once the money is on the dresser.

      Actually what I understand is the progression from yesteryear's respectable GOP to the fringe ideological GOP of today, but that doesn't stop me from considering TDH's arguments about the state of journalism on the left, and it doesn't prompt me to demand hypertension over Ted Nugent as a litmus test for progressives.

      I understand that YMMV.

    2. I get it deadrat, but Somerby wants liberals to bring a paper straw to a gunfight.
      And when liberals do pushback, Somerby rides in on his (high) horse to tell them they're not doing it the way he approves.

    3. Anonymous @11:14A

      At the risk of showing my misunderstanding of your metaphor, I think I understand your position. TDH doesn't want the left to take up the armory of the mendacious bloviators on the right. He thinks that's civic misbehavior and an ineffective choice of weapons. You think his prescriptions are the equivalent of bringing a paper straw to a gunfight. I have no problem with anyone arguing that position, which is to say that TDH is on the wrong sides of both the political strategy question and the political morality question (assuming the latter isn't an oxymoron). What I'm saying is that you can gainsay TDH without speculating on his true but covert beliefs or whining about the fact that he isn't even-handed enough.

  23. OMB (Too Stupid for Words)

    "To what extent is the pitiful Cliven Bundy our equal-but-opposite tribal thrill-and-fear child."


    1. KZ, you distort what TDH said in your usual sophistical style, You omit the question mark that appears at the end of the sentence you quote, and you omit the following sentence where TDH says "we're not sure what we think about that?" Aparently, raising this as a question is the equivalent of a declaration that the answer to the question is 'yes.' Is asking this particular question inadmissible? Ever here of the Socratic method?

      Also, apparently from the various crew (impssob;eto tell howmany of them there are) of anon commentators, calling someone "pitiful" is the equivalent of lauding him, something I wouldn't have thought was the case.

    2. KZ can speak for himself.

      As for me, even asking such an idiotic question is "stupid beyond words."

      But hey, by golly, you caught KZ in the egregious offense of leaving off the question mark. Wow, are you ever sharp!

      By the way, did you catch the news out of KC about the anti-Semite shooting up their Jewish Community Center?

      A racist who can raise an army of "militia" buddies and force an armed standoff with federal law enforcement isn't "pitiful". He's damned dangerous.

      But your leader has told you that this is just some pitiful old coot, full of "under-baked" notions. So that's the line you'll swallow, along with the hook and sinker.

    3. AC/MA

      Please, if you are offended. allow us to restate our comment and direct it in your preferred format directly to you:

      To what extent is the pitiful Cliven Bundy our equal-but-opposite tribal thrill-and-fear child?

      BOB asked. You said "Aparently, raising this as a question is the equivalent of a declaration that the answer to the question is 'yes.'

      To play BOB, we'll respond to your claim thusly: we're not sure what we think about that.

      To play KZ we'll test your claim by applying it to another question:

      To what extent is AC/MA's comment a demonstration of the unthinking devotion of BOBfans to applauding stupidity?

      In Sockratese, "We can’t necessarily say that’s untrue."


    4. Pity vs. indignation is an age old debate that Dante address in Inferno. No easy answers but pondering the question is a very human affair that has been with us since just about forever. Here's to being human and all it brings!!

    5. Anon 10:57, there is a distinction, which you seem to be incapable of discerning, between defending TDH from inane attacks, and my swallowing what my "leader" has fed me. The characterization anyone who defends TDH from the constant barrage of dim-witted criticism as "bob fans" who mindlessly worship him is dim-witted.

      As for KZ, you can be witty and funnily absurdist, but there is something wrong with your obsession about TDH. Surely there are worthier targets for such unremitting venom, which almost always is unwarranted and unfair.

    6. "As for KZ, you can be witty and funnily absurdist, but there is something wrong with your obsession about TDH."

      Obsession? He posts two or three times at most in any thread, and often not at all.

      But since you are so all-fired concerned about obsessions, why the blind eye to Somerby's obvious obsessions about a handful of people that have gone on for years?

      As we learned in the "Matthews almost got somebody killed" series, when he has nothing new to vent his obsessions about, he'll go back 15 years and regurgitate.

  24. Ratster,

    I see another commonality between you and blogger - anal-compulsive nitpicks (D'Souza versus DeSouza - sheesh!).

    You are being terribly dishonest - pretending I approved of DiD''s (you happy now?) overall argument (did you miss "otherwise execrable" in my original post - no you didn't - just saw an opportunity to be dishonest). I simply liked his wordsmithing to aptly describe things like the horrific refusal of Republicans to condemn birthers unequivocally.

    You are merely pretending that you don't see that blogger has flipped sides or perhaps you are stupid, after all.


    "Cliven Bundy and racial concern trolling: Why the rancher’s bigoted rant means more doom for the GOP "

    By Elias Isquith at Salon. I learnt another phrase from that article that applies like a t to blogger - "a concern troll".

    Blogger hates successful liberal journalists with a passion and he expresses his unquenchable bile through the meme of "we shouldn't be like them". He seems to be somewhat soft while nitpicking Digby (although she seems to have fallen off his radar lately) - but then she is not all that successful.

    1. Exactly, and as Isquith noted, the only difference between Paul Ryan and Cliven Bundy's speeches on government dependence is that Bundy used the words "Negro" and "slaves" while Ryan used "inner city."

    2. Both Bundy and Ryan seem to fit the Romney definition of "takers."


    3. Anonymous @10:13A,

      Let me recommend that you apply the program below to your next comment. Try to ignore your justified and petulant irritation at the condescending and slightly contemptuous tone.

      1. Accuracy is an important habit. Get into it. The DiD* shorthand is mine, so writing "DiDe" for "DiD'" is my mistake. Ignore the half-snarky half-excuse that I should have checked your spelling. The proper response isn't "shish!"; it's "I should have checked too."

      2. Read for comprehension. Nowhere do I state or imply that you approve of DiD'. In fact, I note that the results of his "indignation gap," his announced method of mind reading, should have made you gag. That's my reaction to the execrable anyway. But, in any case, it didn't even slow you down in your rush to adopt his method.

      3. Stop reading people's minds. Adopting point 2 will reduce the opportunities to do so, but stop doing it at all. See if you can address what people write without guessing that they're dishonest or asserting that you know what they pretend, how smart they are, where their real allegiances lie, whom they hate, and what excites their passions.

      I'll admit point 3 is hard to do, especially when you don't much like what and how your correspondents write. I don't make it easy and neither does TDH. Suppose TDH has flipped. Does that mean it's a good idea to be like them?

    4. deadrat,

      Are you this much of a boring, bloviating twit in person? Do you wonder why people slowly walk away from you?

    5. Lessons heeded! Results not as perhaps predicted although we don't know.

    6. Rat -

      " it didn't even slow you down in your rush to adopt his method."

      Thats just a plain lie. I merely borrowed the term "indignation gap" from him and for all I know, he may not have originated it. It filled a long-felt gap in my vocabulary to describe this particular form of hypocrisy.

      Its of course amusing that you think your performance here entitles you to adopt a "contemptuous tone" - but if it floats your boat......

    7. Anonymous @2:02P,
      I'm perhaps not the best judge, but the answers to your questions are in order yes and no. And now two questions for you: 1. can you trust my two answers? (Let's take it as a given that your first impulse is to believe you can, but that's not the question.) 2. Supposing I've answered truthfully, what difference does that make to the discussion?

      Anonymous @2:41P,
      Your definition of "heeded" may differ a bit from mine.

      Anonymous @3:07P,
      I'm sorry, before I published my comment posted @1:57P, I re-read it, and it seemed slightly contemptuous to me. Certainly, your responses to the blog entry have been slightly contemptible. I wasn't aware that I needed more "entitlement" than that.

      But I see you've gone zero for three.

      1. DiD' accuses the left of excoriating the WPE for say, his murderous policies, while ignoring the murderous policies of Al Qaeda. This is not hypocrisy but selective outrage. Hypocrisy is doing one things while saying the opposite, for instance, protesting Bush's murderous policies while indiscriminately killing people.

      2. You haven't merely borrowed a term from DiD'; you've taken up his method of criticism. DiD' found the left guilty of culpable support for Al Qaeda because those on the left reserved their criticisms for the WPE while ignoring the sins of Al Qaeda. You have found TDH guilty of culpable support for the right because his criticism falls disproportionately on the left. Since you seem to be having trouble with this item, let me say that I don't think you're in sympathy with any conclusions that DiD' reached.

      3. And you claim to know that I'm lying. And what I think of my performance. Emphasis mine.

  25. OMB (Cooking With Socrates)

    "Yesterday, Bundy offered some rather under-baked thoughts concerning forty million of his fellow citizens."

    Today, we’re recalling the classic, decade-and-a-half long decline in a once valiant crusade against stupidity in the media.

    Troll world finally noticed this nonsense . By that time, BOB had been using false equivalence to stoke tribal doubt on a regular basis for years.

    Rereading BOB last night, we thought of the many years of food for thought provided by perspiring pimps, keister kissers, and almost murderers. And we thought of the ancient master of intellectual culinary inquiry:

    To what extent would pitiful Cliven Bundy's thoughts be improved if they were properly baked?


    1. Your question is easy to answer. If his thoughts were properly baked, the words wouldn't be so raw as "Negro" and "slaves" and "picking cotton."

      He would instead used proper euphemisms as "inner city culture" and "safety net becomes a hammock."

      It is the difference between burning a cross in front of the White House and waiving a Confederate battle flag. If you only do the latter and somebody point out the racist undertones of such an act, Bob will get the vapors as he rushes to your defense.

    2. Yeah - after "baking" he would sound like the Sunshine President - Ronald Reagan


      "Reagan’s bogus tales of food stamps chiselers and welfare queens tended to employ racial imagery and often outright racist references to blacks (e.g., in telling a tale about food stamp fraud to a Southern audience, Reagan referred to a “young buck” (“buck” is a derogatory term used in the South to denote an African-American man) using his food stamps to buy T-bone steaks and to northern audiences he spoke of the apocryphal story of the “Cadillac-driving” Chicago welfare queen (Reagan's anecdotes were a wild distortion of the welfare fraud case involving a Chicago woman named Linda Taylor. These bogus stories were a double whammy: 1. They worked to break off a significant chunk of the white working class (the “Reagan Democrats”) by appealing to their worst instincts and fears; and 2. They served as a justification for Reagan’s economically regressive policies (also see the addendum)


      From http://reaganandracism.blogspot.com/

    3. Please remember that in Bob's World, racial division is never caused by those who use dog-whistle language such as "Cadillac-driving welfare queens," "food stamp T-bones" and "lazy, inner-city culture."

      Instead, Bob blames racial division on his preferred targets who actually see this language for what it is and push back against it.

  26. "It’s easy to find the world’s biggest kook and create a sense of peril, excitement and justification. It’s good for ratings and tribal fervor.

    It may not be all that great for the human brain or the soul."

    Yeah, that's what this is all about. Liberal cable news and bloggers attend to the likes of Bundy just for the tribal thrill. There's no reason really to be worried about this guy or the militia and who rallied to him or the politicians from one of our two major national political parties who expressed support for his lawlessness or the rightwing bloggers and cable news folks, especially Sean Hannity, who were not only supporting that lawlessness but coming dangerously close to fanning violence. No siree, the problem here is with liberal tribalists.



  27. Well, I guess the Cliven clan has been E-Clippered today.

    1. Yes, we wonder what "sterling" culinary adjectives are in store for us concerning the oven time and temperature these thoughts were given.


      Whose attack on Sterling will be the first to remind Chef Somerby of intemperate tribal tempura?

  28. rat-person

    since you keep harping falsely that I am using DiD''s methods - let me state my views on DiD''s opinion on liberals and 9/11:

    Only the black-helicopter crowd could possibly believe that we were attacked "for our freedoms". Chomsky practically CELEBRATED 9/11:

    'Q: “The world will never be the same after 11.09.01″. Do you think so?

    Chomsky: The horrendous terrorist attacks on Tuesday are something quite new in world affairs, not in their scale and character, but in the target. For the US, this is the first time since the War of 1812 that its national territory has been under attack, even threat. Its colonies have been attacked, but not the national territory itself. During these years the US virtually exterminated the indigenous population, conquered half of Mexico, intervened violently in the surrounding region, conquered Hawaii and the Philippines (killing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos), and in the past half century particularly, extended its resort to force throughout much of the world. The number of victims is colossal. For the first time, the guns have been directed the other way.

    Lesser liberals may feel that cruel US foreign policy is partially to blame but cannot say so for fear of being accused of treason and it may well be that their condemnation of 9/11 was indeed perfunctory.

    DiD' is an extremely smart person (and execrable) and the indignation gap he perceived was almost certainly real - except that he twisted the natural conflict between patriotism and universal morality within liberals into something ridiculous.

    You may think you are being condescending and contemptuous, but it must be awfully subtle since I am not feeling it (schoolyard taunts don't count) and also the written record above shows the absurdity of it.

    You say

    "You have found TDH guilty of culpable support for the right because his criticism falls disproportionately on the left."

    This is such a massive flunking of reading comprehension - my complaint has almost always been that criticism of the right by blogger is pro forma - but visceral and vehement when it comes to the left.

    To this day I am waiting with bated breath for blogger to let us all know where Coulter, Hannity et al are stuffing the millions they are making - but in fact I don't think he has EVER mentioned the money being made by conservatives.

    1. Anonymous @7:02P

      I said that my comments seemed slightly contemptuous to me. This doesn't speak well of my efforts, so I'll let your final say exonerate me.

      You claim that I'm falsely accusing you of adopting the DiD' method, and then you go on to deny that you've adopted the conclusions he reached about liberals and 9/11. At least, I think that's what you're doing. I have no idea why you've quoted Chomsky at length. Let me first congratulate you on imputing a falsehood to me and not a lie. In the former instance I might be mistaken (a not uncommon occurrence) without being deceitful (which I hope happens a good deal less often).

      But you're talking past the close. I have no reason to believe that you reached the same conclusion that DiD' reached, and such a conclusion isn't part of my thesis, which is that you can't reliably reach into a person's mind to measure his allegiances because you've discovered an indignation gap in his responses on some issue. DiD' decided that liberals are traitors based on the gap between their expressions of distaste for the WPE and Al Qaeda. You have decided that TDH is a right-winger (or a right-wing apologist) based on the gap between his reactions to Ann Coulter and Rachel Maddow.

      You say that TDH's criticism of the right is "pro forma" light, variable winds and his criticism of the left is a visceral, gale-force storm. If there's a difference between that and my "disproportionately" phrasing, it's one without a distinction. You've found an indignation gap and used its width to measure TDH's position on the political spectrum. DiD' found another indignation gap and used it to weigh liberals on the patriotism scale. I don't see a difference in methodology.

      It never occurred to me to hold my breath until TDH commented on right-wing bloviators spouting nonsense for money. It's how they roll. You must be waiting for an overnight comment from TDH on which direction the sun will rise from tomorrow.

      In passing, I note that I can see no evidence that DiD' is a smart person at all. Given his conclusions on various matters from Obama to obeying campaign-finance law, he seems an absolute dolt.

  29. Rat

    your dissembling is getting seriously annoying. Its not just money - blogger had fits about "he was told to stay in his car" as if was the equivalent to child-molestation - but the right's initial flirtation with not-so-harmless crowd behind Bundy hardly drew a peep out of him (Bundy turns out to be "pitiful" and Hannity merely "played the fool").

    You are probably the blogger himself because you always find yet another not to pick to prevent closure of a discussion.

    1. Anonymous @9:50P,

      It's hard to know which Anonymous is addressing me. I'm assuming you're not the same Anonymous who commented @7:02, but my paragraph about money was in reply to a part of that comment.

      But aren't you quite the buffoon. No, I'm not TDH, and no matter who I am, how would it be possible for me to prevent "closure of a discussion"? And why don't you see if you can rely on the strength of your argument instead of accusing your correspondent of lying?

      Of all TDH's endless loops, you can't let go of Zimmerman-toId-to-stay-in-his -car. Do you not understand that claim was untrue? Or do you not understand how it would have changed the legal landscape of the case? In either case, look it up. I"m tired of explaining it. And while you're investigating things, ask your therapist why child molestation popped unbidden into your head.

      As TDH makes incessantly and poundingly clear, his is a blog about the failures of the press corps in general and liberal journalism in particular. If you need to hear Hannity taken down a peg or three, watch Jon Stewart. Maybe you'll understand it this way: you're angry that TDH isn't jumping up and down and yelling "Bingo!" But that's because he's playing checkers.

      Have ya got any comments on checkers?

    2. As TDH makes incessantly and poundingly clear, his is a blog that rants about MSNBC, NYT op-ed writers, and Salon. In the most viscious personal ways possible.

      As deadrat makes incessantly and poundingly clear, he is too stupid to see how Somerby is playing him for a fool.

    3. Rat,

      I can't get past your essential dishonesty in characterizing what blogger is doing with respect to libs versus wingers.

      "he was told to stay in his car" is faulty human memory - absolutely nothing to obsess over. BUT BLOGGER HIMSELF READS WHAT HE WANTS TO READ

      July 19 2013 from the incomparable archives

      But during the recent Zimmerman trial, the best eyewitness testified that the unarmed teen was pummeling George Zimmerman MMA-style just before he was shot. Zimmerman sustained injuries before the shooting, the unarmed teen did not.


      But thats NOT The testimony:


      The altercation seemed to escalate, according to Good. The struggle moved to the cement pathway, and he said the person in dark clothing straddled the other man in "mixed martial arts position" he later described to police as a "ground and pound." He said he saw "arm movements going downward," though he couldn't be certain the person on top was striking the person on the bottom.
      "The person you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?" asked defense attorney Mark O'Mara. "He was the one raining blows down on George Zimmerman, correct?"
      "That's what it looked like," Good answered


    4. "unarmed teen" in the above passage would belong in any top ten list of exemplars of blogger's demented viciousness.

    5. Anonymous @8:27A,

      Yes, TDH is a blog that has its share of rants about its favorite targets. Some of these rants are both misplaced and over the top, but almost all of them are directed at professional failures both of commission and omission. The "most viscous personal ways possible"? I hope you made it to the fainting couch before you collapsed. From my point of view, the harshest personal criticism TDH levels is the one of dishonesty.

      I await your reprimand of Anonymous @8:33A for his "essentially" vicious attack against me.

      Perhaps I shouldn't hold my breath while I'm waiting, since you your own self see fit to call me stupid and foolish because you disagree with me. Meant in the nicest possible way, I'm sure.

      Anonymous @8:33A,

      Why not try to get past your apparent need to call dishonest those with whom you disagree?

      When a reporter makes a mistake about a material fact, I think that's a problem, even when the mistake arises from "faulty memory." TDH carries on not because reporters have faulty memories, but because they not only didn't correct themselves, they repeated the false statement. You think it's not only nothing to obsess over, it's absolutely nothing to assess over. We disagree. I'm not clear on why that makes me dishonest or what the difference is between dishonesty and essential dishonesty. Unlike you, however, I'm having no trouble getting past your judgment.

      If you don't understand that the statement in question is both false and material to the case, look it up. I'm tired of explaining the law to trolls.

      The incomparable archives: Martin was pummeling Zimmerman MMA-style.

      The actual testimony: Martin was straddling Zimmerman in "mixed martial arts position" and was raining down blows on Zimmerman.

      What difference do you find so important between the two?

      And if I can't see any difference how does that make me dishonest and not merely mistaken?

      Anonymous @9:10,

      Is there something in dispute concerning the shooter and the shot, about which one was armed and which was in his teens? How is getting that correct either insane or vicious?

    6. Rodent

      Thanks for exposing yourself so thoroughly.

      But do give it another shot - read the blogger's take on what the "unarmed teen" did and the witness's actual testimony. Do you see it?

    7. Anonymous @3:06P,

      Please stop pretending that you can read my mind to find what's "exposed" there.

      TDH says "pummel"; the witness say "raining down blows on," although he doesn't see any actually land. Perhaps my eyes are bad, but I don't see any important difference. I blame it on old age. What are you getting at?

  30. What a bunch of bullshit here. Gotta admit though, I am particularly offended by David in Cal, way above, about whom I had entertained a bobesque fantasy of goodwill disagreement:
    The most horrific racist acts of this year were committed by Justices Sonia Sotomayer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who ruled that the citizens of a state have no right to stop discriminating against Asian Americans." What in the fuck are you talking about? Your liberal sister-in-law?

    I used to view you as some sort of well-intentioned other worthy of a listening. What do you have to offer, though, but a veneer of white-man nicety? YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! mch

    1. On reflection, Anon, I was too overwrought. I deserve your criticism.

      However, it was historically the case the colleges had quotas limiting Asian student admission. Affirmative Action also limits Asian student admissions. Some Asian applicants are rejected in order to make room for less-qualified blacks and Hispanics.

      Sotomayor's decision discusses how Affirmative Action helps Hispanics like her, but ignores the Asians who are harmed. Her decision never even mentioned Asians. It's as if they're less worthy of concern than Hispanics.

    2. Dissent, David, not decision.

  31. Rat

    WHOSE WORDS ARE "Raining down blows"?

    Do you know if, in his actual sworn testimony, the witness was able to rule out what he saw was the person on top holding down the person at the bottom?

    1. Anonymous @4:06P,

      The words "raining down blows" are from O'Mara, the defense attorney. Good, the witness, agrees with that characterization. The prosecution made three futile objections to O'Mara's questioning but none specifically about "raining down blows." Probably because Good's police statement, which was introduced as evidence, uses the term "throwing down blows."

      I'm still missing your point.

      I'm having a hard time parsing your second question. Good testified that he saw a black person in a black hood straddling a lighter-skinned person who was wearing a red shirt and who was yelling.

      Is there some dispute about who was trying to hit whom?



    If you come back with sloppy shit - bye already.

    1. Anonymous @ 7:34P

      Would you kindly get to the point, preferably WITHOUT SHOUTING AT ME.

      There is no testimony from Good about what the arm-movements could have been. For the obvious reason that such testimony would have been disallowed. Good's testimony was that the man on top was straddling the man on the bottom making arm movements that looked to him like "throwing down blows" (from his police statement) or "raining down blows" (from his agreement with such a characterization on cross examination). He also testified that he couldn't actually see any of the blows land.

      Maybe what Good saw was Martin repeatedly pushing Zimmerman back to the ground. Maybe what Good saw were attempted blows that never landed because Zimmerman blocked them. Neither of these seems very likely given the bruising to Martin's hands and Zimmerman's injuries. Both of these considerations might have been important had it been Martin who was charged with a crime.

      Is it your contention that it's more reasonable to conclude that Martin was trying to hold Zimmerman than hit him?

      We have no sworn testimony about what precipitated the fight, only Zimmerman's self-serving statements to the police. Nothing in Florida law precluded Martin from defending himself from a threat he reasonably found credible, even if after the fact, he was found to have been mistaken. And that includes his throwing the first punch. But it's impossible to know the circumstances because that's what often happens when the defendant kills the only rebuttal witness.

  33. Rat

    you are going on and and on and on = all I want to know is blogger stating case facts/testimony or holding a brief for Z when he says

    "unarmed teen was pummeling George Zimmerman MMA-style just before he was shot".

    And also the "MMA style" was ONLY FOR the way the man on top was straddling the man on the ground. THERE IS ZERO ZILCH NADA testimony that the hypothetical blows themselves were "MMA style".

    "Pummeling MMA style" is a pure unadulterated lie - far far far worse than "he was told to stay in his car".

    1. Anonymous @10:53P,

      Here's the testimony from the trial

      O'Mara [defense counsel, reading wtiness' statement to the police]:

      "…. and then one guy on top in the black hoodie was pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style.”
      Is that the context in which that happened?

      Good [witness]: Yes.

      What word in the witness statement does the phrase "kind of MMA-style" modify? I'd have to say it was "blows." I'm not interested in mixed martial arts, so I had to look up the term "MMA-style." Apparently, the word "mixed" means that the fighting style combines grappling techniques (e.g., from judo) and striking techniques (e.g., from karate).

      So, sorry, I just don't understand why you're convinced that "MMA-style" as used by the witness or as used in general cannot apply to the blows. But even supposing you're correct that "MMA-style" mischaracterizes the blows, what material difference would that make? From a legal point of view, the blows either constituted battery or they were self-defense. Whether they were MMA-style or not makes no difference in making that determination, which is impossible since we're missing crucial information about the fight.

      For me, "holding a brief for Z[immerman]" would at the least require characterizing Martin's actions as illegal, which TDH doesn't do.

      This all seems fairly straightforward to me. What am I missing?

  34. FUCK, rat - there is the slimy endless beating around the bush with the obligatory "what am I missing"? at the end.

    Do you understand what "sworn testimony" is?

    Since you are obviously prepared to go on endlessly defending your god with misdirection and obfuscation - I m done here.

    1. Anonymous @4:47A

      Given my style of commenting here, I do understand that you might not take this exchange at face value, but It's this simple: I don't understand your objection.

      Yes, I understand what sworn testimony is. I even quoted an exchange between the defense attorney and the witness Good.

      At 7:34P, you ask whether Good ruled out the possibility that Martin's arm movements could have been employed just to pin Zimmerman to the ground. The answer is no, he didn't. Likely if he had been asked, the prosecution would have objected to his making a conclusory response. Generally speaking, non-expert witnesses are restricted to reporting what they know first-hand. Good reported that he saw downward strikes that reminded him of MMA-style fighting. He didn't see any blows land, so he couldn't testify as to their effect, but the movements looked like attempted strikes to him.

      At 10:53P, you claim that Good's description of "MMA-style" must apply only to Martin's straddling Zimmerman and not to striking at him. That's not the plain meaning of the sworn testimony "throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style," and it's not the usual meaning of "MMA-style," which includes grappling and striking.

      Assuming that your characterization is right, TDH should have said, "attempted pummeling and grappling MMA-style." I asked at 12:47A, and I'll ask again: what difference do think this error makes in describing the events in question? Do you think it unfairly makes Martin out to be the aggressor? Because it doesn't. Martin had every right to defend himself against a reasonably-perceived threat. Do you think TDH's phrasing is some perverse twisting of the language? Because it isn't.

      I have responded directly to the points you bring up. I'm sorry you think that's "misdirection." I have explained what I think after looking at the actual testimony, and I have quoted the law. I'm sorry you think that's "obfuscation."

      If you can't correct me where I'm wrong, and if all you've got is accusations about my ulterior motives, perhaps you really are done here.

  35. sigh, Rat, against my better judgement:

    You have lied a fuck to suggest that Good agreed under oath IN THE ACTUAL TRAIL that he saw a MMA style beating. If you follow the testimony you cited a few more lines, you can see

    "O’Mara: OK. And do you stand by that today, that what you saw is was a Ground-and-Pound event?

    Good: It looked like that position was a Ground-and-Pound type of position, but I couldn’t tell 100% that there were actually fists hitting faces.

    O’Mara: But you did see [reading] “the guy in the top in the black hoodie pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style.”

    Good: Meaning arm motions going down on the person on the bottom. Correct.

    O’Mara: You’re’ not going to tell the jury here today that you saw fists hit flesh or face if you didn’t actually see it, right?

    Good: I wouldn’t tell them that anyway, because i didn’t actually see it.

    O’Mara: Great, thanks very much , no further questions.



    O'Mara led him enough to ARGUE that he saw hitting - BUT THATS NOT WHAT THE WITNESS SWORE HE SAW. he might have said things to the police, but that does not have the force of sworn testimony.

    So O'Mara whose DUTY IT WAS TO CARRY A BRIEF FOR Z (put the most favorable light for his client on the testimony) can say in his closing argument that 'Good saw the TM pounding Z MMA style". THATS NOT FACT = THAT IS USING THE LICENSE ALLOWED IN CLOSING ARGUMENTS TO TRY TO SWAY THE JURY TO INFER THAT.

    But for blogger to say that is lying propaganda.

    1. Anonymous @4:20P

      he might have said things to the police, but that does not have the force of sworn testimony.

      True, a statement to the police is not sworn testimony. But defense counsel read the witness' statement back to him and asked him to confirm what he'd said. And that made it sworn testimony.


      Okay. Let's pause for a moment and wait for the self-awareness pixie to tap you with his wand. How do like your style of responding now? It wouldn't hurt for the irony fairy to drop by, but just in case she doesn't, I don't actually think you're lying.

      Let's pick up the TRAIL, if you will. I've listened to the part of Good's testimony when O'Mara walks him through what he saw of the fight. At no time does he speculate that Martin's arm movements could have been intended to hold Zimmerman down. When O'Mara tries to get him to speculate that Martin used his knees to pin Zimmerman's arms, the judge sustains the prosecution's objection. Speculating is out, period.

      Good testifies that he saw Martin's downward arm motions in what looked like an MMA-style "ground and pound" (emphasis mine), but he couldn't actually see (or hear) any blows landing. He doesn't say that he saw arm movements that looked like a restraining action, and it's unclear to me how you restrain someone by letting go of him.

      Good saw Martin brings his arms down in the manner of a blow in a "ground and pound" movement. Martin's hands were bruised, and Zimmerman sustained injuries to his face. Are you seriously trying to tell me that Martin didn't punch Zimmerman in the nose during their fight or that such a conclusion is so outrageous that it constitutes "lying propaganda"?

      Now try to answer the two questions I keep asking:

      1. The witness clearly describes attempted blows during an altercation. TDH has left off the modifier "attempted." What possible difference do you think that makes to the case against Zimmerman?

      2. Why is the contention that Martin punched Zimmerman prejudicial to Martin? He might well have been within his rights to do so. As it turns out, the only person who actually should have been in fear for his life that night was Martin.

  36. I am ONLY talking about

    "But DURING the recent Zimmerman TRIAL, the best eyewitness TESTIFIED that the unarmed teen was pummeling George Zimmerman MMA-style just before he was shot."

    By blogger (capitals mine)

    Blogger is not drawing inferences from bruises etc.

    " At no time does he speculate that Martin's arm movements could have been intended to hold Zimmerman down."

    You must be a frickin' maroon to think that I am referring to testimony elicited by O'Mara while claiming that Good explicitly conceded under oath that the arm movements could have been to hold the person down. Remember another gent, the prosecutor, who was questioning too?

    UNSWORN STATEMENTS ARE NOT TESTIMONY. They can only be used to impeach sworn testimony. If O'mara read something - he read something thats all. THAT IS NOT TESTIMONY (in fact there is a standard objection to that sort of thing - "he is testifying, your honor"). If witness agrees that I said so and so at such and such a time- it does not mean that he IS SWEARING IN COURT to whatever he said earlier. The whole OJ Simpson murder trail prosecution rested on Thano Peratis the nurse repudiating under oath EARLIER SWORN TESTIMONY as to how much blood he had drawn. He is simply confirming the accuracy of what he said earlier. If Good agrees or disagrees IN COURT with the content of what had been said earlier - THEN THAT BECOMES TESTIMONY.

    And in this case, he frikkin' disagreed , softening the alleged "blows" he saw to "arm movements going down".

    THAT HE SAW BLOWS IS NOT SWORN TESTIMONY - got that frikking maroon? If he said he saw "blows" to the police - O'Mara could have used that impeach what he was swearing to in court:

    O’Mara: You’re’ not going to tell the jury here today that you saw fists hit flesh or face if you didn’t actually see it, right?

    Good: I wouldn’t tell them that anyway, because i didn’t actually see it


    Since O'Mars left it at that - THERE IS NO SWORN TESTIMONY THAT GOOD SAW BLOWS OF ANY KIND ( I don't give a flying shit if blows can be inferred from other evidence - because blogger is claiming that blows were directly testified to).

    Blogger who nitpicks everything to death - has lied outrageously. And your "attempted" doesn't rescue blogger at all - because the only sworn testimony from Good is the straddling and downward arm-movements. For fuck's sake don't bring in bruises, whether TM was justified or not - DID BLOGGER LIE OR NOT - thats all I want to discuss.

    1. Anonymous @9:46,

      When the defense counsel hands a witness his written police statement and asks whether it's accurate, I assure you he's not asking the witness if it's true that he wrote it. He's asking whether the events described are accurately described. And when the witness says yes, then he's sworn to the truthfulness of the statement. You can tell because, as happened in this case, the statement is entered into evidence.

      OK, I wasted more time I won't get back listening to the prosecutor's questioning. And yes, Good does concede the possibility that the arm movements could have been to hold down Martin, but when the prosecutor tries to get him to limit his "MMA-style" description to the straddling, he refuses. He includes arm movements, that his later testimony will describe as "raining down." But he doesn't see any blows actually land.

      So let's correct this supposedly outrageous lie that TDH told. And it's true that TDH is a nitpicker, so let's play turnabout. How about this:

      But during the recent Zimmerman trial, the best eyewitness testified that the two men tussled, and that Martin ended up straddling Zimmerman, bringing his arms down in a so-called-by-the-witness MMA-style move, and although the witness did not testify to seeing any blows landed, the forensic evidence introduced at trial clearly showed that Martin had struck Zimmerman.

      Now you're clearly the kind of guy who would go to a baseball game, watch a batter taking a pitch, close your eyes while sneezing half-way though the batter's swing, and then claim you couldn't be sure the batter hit a home run. This in spite of the roar of the crowd and the change in the scoreboard. It's not that I don't admire such integrity, but, well, never mind.

      I finally wondered what injustice to Martin or undeserved support for Zimmerman prompted your Tourettish ALL-CAPS tirades, so I went back to the 7/19/13 blog entry. And not surprisingly neither Martin nor Zimmerman was the subject. Also not, surprisingly, the subject was a journalist (Andersen Cooper) who by TDH's lights had fallen down on the job by not challenging a guest's view that the killing was an open and shut case of illegal homicide. Given several facts, including that Zimmerman shot Martin as the former was losing a fistfight to the latter, TDH says this case was "never anything like" open and shut. Not only did that turn out to be true, the blog entry was never anything like holding a brief for Zimmerman.

      So I'll ask my two questions again:

      1. How do TDH's errors (lies, in your parlance) change the legal perspective on this tragedy?

      2. How does acknowledging the outcome of the fistfight disparage Martin?

  37. your correction

    "But during the recent Zimmerman trial, the best eyewitness testified that the two men tussled, and that Martin ended up straddling Zimmerman, bringing his arms down in a so-called-by-the-witness MMA-style move, and although the witness did not testify to seeing any blows landed, the forensic evidence introduced at trial clearly showed that Martin had struck Zimmerman.


    Because it is a defense brief to exclude the possibility (sworn to by the witness) that all he saw was TM trying to restrain Z. Perhaps TM saw/felt the little shit's gun during that phase of the confrontation and was only trying to stop him from going for it. This whole "MMA style" is a load of crock - straddling a guy and hitting his head is as old as school-yard fights. Real MMA fighters deliver much higher force with their strikes than streetfighters and if what Good saw were "MMA style (bare fisted) blows" Z would have been knocked out cold in a few seconds.

    An improvement is

    " the forensic evidence introduced at trial clearly showed that Martin had struck Zimmerman."

    It is STILL a brief for Zimmerman

    I would further refine that to "its a reasonable inference from the forensic evidence that" to make it an objective statement.

    As to your 2 questions - I give not a flying fuck.

    My only question was and is what gives blogger the right to nit-pick liberals exclusively when he cannot maintain the same standards he expects from others.

    1. Anonymous @5:41A

      To be fair, let me list the things I agree with.

      TDH was wrong when he said that Good testified to pummeling. That would require Good to have seen the blows land, and he denies that.

      I was wrong about that too.

      "MMA-style" is bullshit, and the prosecution could have done a better job to defuse the image. I call it a fistfight, but "school-yard fight" is even better. (I remain amused, however, at your desperate clinging to Good's "anything's possible" response to Martin merely pinning Zimmerman but your instant dismissal of his "MMA-style" characterization as bullshit.)

      I accept your refinement of my statement.

      (As an aside, I don't understand why you couldn't have quoted the trial transcript and made your case in your first response without spluttering in ALL CAPS about what a worthless liar I am. Perhaps when the self-awareness pixie has paid you that visit, you can enlighten me.)

      You ask what gives TDH the right to nitpick whom and how he wants. The obvious (though not strictly correct) answer is the 1st Amendment. Do you mean, "Isn't it unethical for TDH be such a hypocrite?" No, and the reason for that lies in the answers to the two questions you give not a flying fuck for. And I don't blame you for not answering them. Because to do so would require you to face the absurdity of your position.

      So I'll answer my two questions:

      1. How do TDH's errors (lies, in your parlance) change the legal perspective on this tragedy? Not in the least. Not only does the evidence in the trial support by a large preponderance that Zimmerman was getting a pummeling, but it supports TDH's thesis, namely that the trial was never going to be slam dunk for the prosecution. Partly because the US Constitution and Florida statute require that the state bear a considerable burden of proof and partly because only the survivor's narrative, consistent with the forensics, would make it into evidence. As far as I can remember, TDH did not take a position on anyone's actual or legal guilt.

      2. How does acknowledging the outcome of the fistfight disparage Martin? Or alternatively, how does acknowledging the outcome of the fistfight hold a brief for Zimmerman? Again, not in the least. We were bombarded with people -- none was TDH -- with no relevant evidence, trashing Martin to bolster Zimmerman: Martin attacked Zimmerman; Martin did drugs; Martin was a thief; Martin was a troublemaker.

      But Martin had every right to be in a public place. Short of issuing a threat, Martin had every right to challenge Zimmerman. And had Martin reasonably perceived a threat from Zimmerman, he had every right to defend himself, even unto throwing the first punch and even if after the fact, he turned out to be mistaken. But we don't know what happened because Zimmerman saw to it that we have only his own self-serving and unsworn statements to go on.