ENDLESS SUMMER: Inconvenient history lesson!


Kakutani at war:
Even as we summered in chic southern Maine last week, we continued to behave like award-winning citizens.

In that role, we watched the bulk of CNN's hour-long "Town Hall on Climate Change," which aired last Tuesday night.

Anderson Cooper's guest for the hour was Al Gore. We were impressed by what we saw, and also somewhat saddened.

We were very much impressed by the continuing depth of Gore's knowledge. It seemed to equip him to discuss every topic which arose.

Within our impoverished pseudo-discourse, you rarely see a politician, or anyone else, display so much knowledge of any subject. We were very much impressed by the way the much-maligned Gore has kept up.

We were saddened when we compared the remarkable state of Gore's knowledge to the array of ludicrous claims which have steadily emerged from the current occupant of the Oval Office, a fellow named Donald J. Trump.

Gore didn't get there, but Donald Trump did! How in the world did that happen?

Long ago and far away, Candidate Gore didn't get there. Last Tuesday night, he displayed an endless array of knowledge about the onrushing endless summer he first discussed in detail in his widely-praised 1992 book, Earth in the Balance.

As someone who knew Gore when he was a teen, we were impressed by the depth of his knowledge. But alas! As we start measuring icebergs in terms of which state they most resemble, we also felt fairly certain that this knowledge will be of little use, that it's too late to avoid the summer which will drown significant parts of the world.

Upon our return to our sprawling campus this week, we've tried to clean our desk of certain topics we hadn't quite gotten around to discussing.

Today, that takes us to this recent piece in Slate, in which one of the youngsters cheekily explored the possibility that Michiko Kakutani, the long-time New York Times book critic, is “the stupidest person in New York City.”

For background, see Thursday's report.

News flash: rather plainly, Kakutani isn't that "stupidist" person, or anything dimly like it. The youngster at Slate was just having some fun with the silliness and snark which now helps define the silly worldview of the new, younger end of the guild.

In the course of enjoying her snark, the youngster listed six reviews for which Kakutani has been name-called down through the years. We were struck by the dog of war which didn't bark—by the absence of the worst review Kakutani ever wrote, a review the snarky youngster at Slate has almost surely never heard of.

Kakutani has been a Times book critic for 34 years. What was her worst review?

It's a piece she wrote at a time of war. It's this lengthy front-page piece from November 1999, in which Kakutani reviewed the books of five White House hopefuls. That included the aforementioned book by the aforementioned Gore.

Briefly, let's be specific. In the strictest sense, this wasn't exactly a review of Earth in the Balance, which had received a rave review in the New York Times when it actually appeared, seven years earlier.

Kakutani's front-page piece was a retrospective on several candidates' books. In the course of the lengthy piece, she devoted about 800 words to Gore's now-ludicrous tome.

Why was Gore's widely-praised book now so silly and stupid? Because, dearest darlings, a war was now on! We refer to the war against Candidate Gore which that well-intentioned youngster at Slate has quite likely never heard mentioned.

In the main, this war was being conducted by the upper-end mainstream press—by the Washington Post and the New York Times—not by the "right-wing noise machine." It was, for example, being conducted by the hiss-spitting columns of Maureen Dowd, who had just been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her work on Miss Lewinsky.

Kakutani has been described as "one of Dowd’s circle of extremely close female friends at the New York Times." There's nothing wrong with that, of course—until you read the 800 words in question.

When Gore's book appeared in 1992, it had been hailed as a masterful, highly knowledgable work. We'll offer you links below.

That was then—but this was now. Now, it was 1999, and Candidate Gore was being chased all around by the mainstream press corps. Rather plainly, this was happening because he was seen as the press corps' last shot at the reviled Bill Clinton, who had escaped impeachment in February of that very year.

The following month, Gore had announced that he was running for president; a poisonous war had started up within days. By late November, the war would be expressed in the first paragraph Kakutani composed about Gore's now-ludicrous book.

It had been a critically-praised best-seller. Now it was peddled like this:
KAKUTANI (11/22/99): Vice President Al Gore emerges from ''Earth in the Balance'' (Plume), his 1992 book about the environment, as the quintessential A-student who has belatedly discovered New Age psychobabble. Like his speeches, his book veers between detailed policy assessments (predictably illustrated with lots of charts and graphs) and high-decibel outbursts of passion, between energetically researched historical disquisitions and loony asides about ''inner ecology'' and ''spiritual triangulation''—asides that may help explain his curious affinity with his feminist consultant, Naomi Wolf.
Gore's book was now marked by its "loony asides," loony asides which may help explain "his curious affinity" with his feminist consultant, who was being trashed all over the press corps that month in a savage, misogynistic orgy which every good liberal chose to permit and many good liberals helped author.

Gore's book was now marked by its loony asides—and, of course, by its "psychobabble," along with its "high-decibel outbursts of passion." You may as well know that, at this point, the upper-end press corps was building themes which questioned the mental health of Gore, so strange were the many misstatements they were pretending he had made, so suspicious were they of his "affinity" for that good-looking feminist consultant.

In 1992, Earth in the Balance had been described as a work of erudition. Now, it was a compendium of looniness and outbursts of passion, some of which may have involved his curious affinity for "that woman, Ms. Wolf."

Astonishingly, Brian Williams was asking, night after night, why Gore was wearing those polo shorts, which seemed to be some sort of troubling sexual signal to female voters. The lunatic Matthews was asking lunatic questions about Gore's extremely troubling three-button suits, and about his troubling status as "today's man-woman."

Meanwhile, Wolf was being slimed within an inch of her life. How could you tell the conservative press from the mainstream press at this point? In the conservative press, you were allowed to say that Gore might be having an affair. In the mainstream press, you were only allowed to suggest it, as Kakutani kinda sorta maybe possibly did.

Ten days after Kakutani's worst review graced the Times' front page. the newspaper's Gore reporter, Katharine "Kit" Seelye, joined forces with the Post's Ceci Connolly to invent the latest troubling misstatement by Gore—a savagely ballyhooed alleged misstatement which was, in point of fact, a flat-out misquotation of what Gore had actually said.

Some high school students proved that fact. Our star reporters quickly got busy, finding a way to ignore them.

This is the war which was underway when Kakutani's worst review appeared. The slightly snarky youngster at Slate has likely never heard this.

Why has that youngster never heard? Because of the code of silence! Because of the agreement by the Dionnes, the Alters, the Chaits and the Marshalls that the history-changing events of this war must never be discussed.

This war was staged by the upper-end press, not by the right-wing machine. People like the ones we've named earn their glorious lucre within that guild, whose conduct must not be discussed.

We discussed Kakutani's worst review in real time (links below). In 2007, we discussed it in more detail. For today, we'll only say this:

In the course of her 800 words, Kakutani managed to mention Naomi Wolf on three (3) separate occasions! Wolf had nothing to do with Gore's book, and she wasn't an environmental adviser. But Wolf was the focus of the War Against Gore during that astonishing month. Kakutani, on page one, chose to take part in that death-dealing war, which was breathtakingly stupid.

People are dead all over the world because the Dowds, the Riches, the Kakutanis behaved in this prehuman fashion. Between their work and the code of silence, the dumbing-down of the American discourse picked up a great deal of steam.

This was Trumpism long before Trump. It was Matthews who was name-calling Hillary Clinton at this juncture, not the talented builder. This early Trumpism played a vital role in creating the world we now inhabit—a world in which Gore was too "loony" to go to the White House, but Candidate Trump was thoroughly enabled, by your favorite corporate liberal stars, until it was much too late.

That kid at Slate has never heard this. The generation preceding her has kept her barefoot and clueless.

The endless summer Gore discussed is now bearing down upon us. On the brighter side, Trump is about to start a war as a way of changing a hundred such subjects.

Last night, a certain major cable news was busily selling the car. She told us to pop some popcorn so we could watch "the great Joy Reid" filling in for Lawrence, followed by "the great Brian Williams."

We're quoting what she actually said. And yes, it's the very same Brian Williams, the one who obsessed about Gore's deeply troubling shirts. Meanwhile, on The McLaughlin Group, Lawrence was still pimping Gore as a liar in October 2000! People are dead all over the world because these idiots did this.

We thought Gore was impressively knowledgeable last Tuesday night. But hustlers like that unnamed star don't notice such things, and that well-intentioned youngster at Slate has never been told how we got here.

Kakutani's worst review appeared on page one of the Times. People are dead all over the world, with millions more to follow.

Their deaths will come in Donald Trump's war, which may help him rid himself of that meddlesome special counsel. After that, their deaths will come in the endless summer your cable stars largely ignore. It's not entertaining enough!

Make no mistake. In large part, this is an artifact of our corporate liberal world. As part of the cultural dumbing-down which let Donald J. Trump ascend to office, that youngster at Slate has never been told these things.

Because of her elders' code of silence, she likely hasn't heard the first word. Because she's a good person who's still rather young, she's likely to see endless summer.

Visit our incomparable archives: In real time, we discussed Kakutani's worst review in a four-part series.

To state the obvious, we were talking to the hand! At any rate, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/1/99. After that, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/2/99.

Early in 2007, Gore's documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, was about to win an Oscar. We revisited Kakutani's review, offering examples of the way Gore's book had been reviewed when it appeared in 1992.

We were talking to the hand! At any rate, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/23/07. Scroll down to "Special report: Global dumbing!"

That kid at Slate has never heard this. What happened in the msm has stayed in that guild's gruesome heads.


  1. "Gore didn't get there, but Donald Trump did! How in the world did that happen?"

    Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire discusses the possibility and evidence supporting the idea that voting machines were not only hacked but malware was installed and tallies were manipulated to put Trump into office.


    Powerful people really didn't want Hillary to win. All those stupid interviews with purported Trump supporters, all that agonizing over how the Democrats cannot win elections (except for 2008 & 2012), means nothing if we are dealing instead with foreign interference in our electoral process, aided and abetted by Trump and the alt-Right and a craven Republican party.

    Crickets from Somerby on any of this, though. The major political event of our lifetimes is unfolding daily but Somerby is focused on the past. Why?

    1. "Why?" you ask? If you have to ask, and can only see that Bob is focused on the past, then you are plainly hopeless, and any attempt to explain it to you would be like pissing in the wind.

    2. Please piss away. I do not understand how Somerby can conceivably believe that what he is writing these days about the past is going to help us to deal with Trump, Russian hacking, resisting Sanders attack on the Democratic party, or any of the other pressing political problems we are facing today.

      Kakutani is retired. Somerby isn't going to reform her. The intern would not have wanted to embarrass her as she leaves her job. What end would that serve?

      Who is the new Hillary/Gore? Is it perhaps the entire Democratic party? Who is unfairly saying Democrats cannot win elections? Dems are obviously being mocked using fake news, just as Gore was. Why doesn't Somerby make that connection? Instead, he seems to be joining the attackers. Again, I do have to ask why?

    3. Alas, Bob Somerby is not only focused on the past, he also fiercely focuses in the present on defending Donald J. Trump from the overly harsh accusation of “lying”, as long as any other explanation (however flimsy or implausible) can be found for the deviations from truth. Like the enabler for an alcoholic and abusive head-of-household, Somerby protects the guilty at the cost of the innocent, while attacking those who would do the reverse.

  2. Dowd had friends? Who knew?

  3. " Kakutani's worst review appeared on page one of the Times. People are dead all over the world, with millions more to follow"

    All due respect, but your analysis seems kinda myopic. Establishment media clowns are just small cogs in the machine; they don't, by themselves, cause people to die. Neither do figureheads like Gore or Bush. You might want to develop a view that is more systemic than that.

    1. Disagree. Bush started the Iraq war for personal reasons related to his father, not because Iraq was complicit in 9/11. It would have been different had Gore been in office instead. Those people on both sides who died in the Iraq war are on Bush's head.

    2. Nonsense. If the last 6 month taught us something, the most obvious lesson is that the preznit can't do pretty much anything the establishment doesn't want him to do. He is nothing but a figurehead, a puppet. The current one is refusing to be a puppet, and now we can all observe what's happening to him.

      Had Mr Gore been chosen, the result would've been exactly the same: the Afghan war, and then the Iraq war. Exept that the so-called 'liberals' would've cheered and the so-called 'conservatives' (in reality, they're all liberals) would've protested weakly.

    3. http://p2004.org/gore/gore092302sp.html

    4. "He is nothing but a figurehead, a puppet."

      Trump is a figurehead, a puppet, because he is an incompetent. He is not a leader. Many other presidents have shown independence in the office and led the country, even in directions opposed by "the establishment." FDR comes to mind.

      Being unfamiliar with US politics, Mao, as anyone from your country would be, it is wrong to judge every president by the characteristics of Trump. He is truly atypical as both a politician and as an elected official.

      The only way in which Trump is refusing to be a "puppet" is with respect to his twitter account. In all other respects, he has been unable to do much because he doesn't understand how government works, has no allies, and is being opposed even by his own staff. Because he is appointing outsiders with no government experience to all of his key positions, they too can do little to change anything and are being pushed around by others, reactive instead of pushing any meaningful reforms.

      So, you are correct that Trump is a puppet, but you are incorrect about why that is. Gore would not have been isolated and abandoned by others, the way Trump has been. As a respected and effective leader, with 8 years as VP and many accomplishments in that job, there is every reason to believe he would have been an effective president. But at the very least, he wouldn't have made the egregious mistakes that Bush made. He wouldn't have dismantled FEMA and put it under a disorganized Homeland Security with an inexperienced patronage appointment like Brownie, who didn't know what to do when Katrina hit. Those lives are on Bush's head too.

    5. "So, you are correct that Trump is a puppet"

      Thanks for agreeing, but what I actually said is the opposite: Mr Trump is NOT a puppet of the establishment (at least not YET), which is I believe, should be obvious enough: just check out any establishment media website.

      As for FDR, I agree, he represents another exception. But that was a long time ago. Fewer independent organizations (unions) these days, better population-control technologies.

    6. It doesn't matter who he is a puppet of. My point is that other presidents have not been puppets. Trump is a puppet because he is weak, undereducated, preoccupied with his own needs (narcissistic, etc), and unable to relate to others in a way that would gain their confidence and support. By others, I mean people in government, not pathetic losers in WV.

      FDR rose to meet the needs of the people during a national emergency. Before that, he served Wilson as Navy Secretary and worked in public service, doing an important job well. Everyone knew him and liked him, even those who disagreed with him. He didn't fritter away his family fortune, didn't make a fool of himself publicly, and he knew how to collect smart, hard-working people to fill out his administration. None of that can be said about Trump.

      Trump is a puppet of the people he is financially beholden to, and to those who are blackmailing him. I believe those people are Russian oligarchs and their leader is Putin. Trump has broken many laws and he will ultimately go to jail after making an ugly deal that throws others to the wolves in his stead. Or maybe he'll have a health crisis and escape such trials.

      His biggest crime is that he is doing nothing to address our changing climate at time when action is critical if we are to save lives and keep our planet habitable. His failure is our collective tragedy.

      I don't know whether you are stupid or evil, that you don't realize this and keep writing this crap on the internet. Our planet matters and you should be working for a better cause than the one you are spending your limited lifetime on.

    7. "I don't know whether you are stupid or evil, that you don't realize this and keep writing this crap on the internet."

      I find it curious that y'all 'liberals' immediately switch to denouncing your opponent, for no apparent reason. Oh well.

    8. Sure. And you, clearly, are super-righteous and extremely smart. Everyone can see it. I'm humbled by your righteousness and your incredible wisdom. So enlightening, I feel warm all over.

    9. Its from the solar panels on my roof.

    10. "Nonsense. If the last 6 month taught us something, the most obvious lesson is that the preznit can't do pretty much anything the establishment doesn't want him to do. "

      No wonder Conservatives are making it harder for the citizens to vote.
      Oh well, I guess they won't be satisfied until wall street is in ashes and we sharpen the guillotines.

    11. I'll poop on this blog.

    12. Mao,
      What gave you the idea Trump wasn't a typical politician and would fight for the common man? Be honest, was it him stiffing his sub-contractors for 5 decades?

    13. Like I said already, watching the establishment media gives me the idea that the establishemnt hates Mr Trump. All (or almost all) of the establishment. And it seems real obvious too.

      The establishment is neocon/neoliberal and globalist. Mr Trump appears to be anti-globalist and anti-neocon. What's not to like?

    14. He's also anti-women and anti-minorities and anti-progressive and anti-liberal and anti-science and anti-education and anti-culture. What's not to like?

    15. What's not to like? Lack of competency.

    16. He got himself elected, spending half of what the establishment spent on their puppet. This does seem to indicate competence; exactly the kind of competency required to become the chief executive. It appears that you have a problem with the political system in America, which is fine, but then your frustration is misdirected.

    17. He's an incompetent president, not an incompetent demagogue. I have a problem with you and your ilk. Why are you here? You are just annoying people and wasting space. I am going to take hardindr's advice and ignore you from now on.

    18. Competence in presiding.

    19. This political system does not envision dictatorship of the experts. Rather, it's trying to achieve balance and stability by allowing periodic signaling from the lower strata to the top.

      The blue collar/low wage/high unemployment segment in PA, IL, WI, and other places does not, in general, care about the liberal ("anti-women, anti-minorities", etc.) bullshit.

      They care about their paycheck.

      They want their paycheck to have at least as much purchasing power as their parents', and, hopefully, more, according to the increase in productivity.

      They wait, and wait, and wait, for decades - and then they send a message. The Donald is the message. The fact that the establishment (and commenters here) keep foaming at the mouth denouncing Trump, the person, indicates to me that they haven't received the message, and that it's likely to get worse.

      Bob, the blogger, sounds like he understands that it was a message. But he still doesn't seem to understand the meaning of it. Oh well.

    20. Everyone knows Trump was the message. The point is he is incompetent to do anything about the message. He can't even run the West Wing with competency so the message was wasted and those voters just screwed themselves further as Trump, a massive incompetent, gives away and diminishes our country's power. It's like installing a baseball team's mascot as manager to send a message about how poorly the team is managed. The mascot sends a message but is worse that even the worst manager of the team.

      The people you described and you were played for fools by a game show host. And their wages aren't going anywhere. Quite the opposite. And it's a bit of a false premise as Trump
      voters were college educated and well off.

    21. You don't affect the kind of change of what you speak by walking into a ballot booth and pulling a lever. Especially for the first promise-making charlatan billionaire that comes along and tells you something that feels good. Haha. The message they sent was they are gullible. Now we all reap the whirlwind.

    22. Snake: “And their wages aren't going anywhere. Quite the opposite.”

      Oh yeah, with Right-to-Work[-for-less] laws, their wages are going places all right, just not where they hoped.

    23. "The point is he is incompetent to do anything about the message."

      That's most definitely NOT the point.

      And talking about fools - fools are those who get obsessed with any bullshitter in chief persona. Speaking about unions: where's that card check/majority sign up law your hope-change-yes-we-can charlatan was promising in 2008?

      And anyway, there is, actually, something this one can do, and he does it well - rocking the boat, stressing the neocon/globalist atrocity of the establishment, exposing its rotten core. And that's great.

    24. I made the point jackass. Anyway - good luck to your president and your efforts for change.

    25. Thanks, dear. And good luck to your Madam Secretary, and to your effort to spread human rights and democracy all over the world too.

    26. Trump, the "law and order" candidate is anti-establishment. Trump, whose SoS is the former CEO of ExxonMobil, the very definition of a "globalist". Trump, who boasts at least 5 Goldman Sachs alumni in his cabinet is anti-neocon.

      Trump defended his pick of economic adviser Gary Cohn, who was president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2017. Cohn became a senior adviser despite Trump’s attacks on his rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election for getting paid for speaking gigs at the investment bank.

      During the primaries, Trump accused the bank of having “total control” over his rival Republican Ted Cruz, “just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

      On Wednesday, Trump’s attitude was different. “When you get the President of Goldman Sachs,” he said, “this is the President of Goldman Sachs! Smart! Having him represent us, he went from massive paydays to peanuts. The peanuts, the little tiny…These are people that are great, brilliant business minds.”
      Trump has the richest Cabinet in history with a combined net worth of at least $13 billion. President Barack Obama’s Cabinet were worth far less, but still had net worths of millions of dollars each.

      Bwahahaha!!! You would be comical, Mao, if you weren't so fucking stupid.

    27. You forgot 'evil', my friend, it's 'stupid AND evil'.

      FDR was a very rich guy too; an aristocrat, for all intents and purposes. I don't know how this thing will progress and develop, but if, ineed, a former Goldman guy works againt the banksters - so much the better, more power to him.

      And while on it, why didn't you accuse them of being men and white? You're betraying your liberal cause...

    28. You make no sense, jackass. This is what decades of affirmative action for wingnuts gets you. You are incapable of thinking clearly.

      Why would the former CEO of ExxonMobil represent anti-globalist to you? Why would former Goldman Sachs executives work against the bankers? I wait here why your brain fries. By the way, your mom is calling, she needs to take you back to school shopping. Don't forget your #2 pencils. Why don't you come back when you finish 6th grade.

    29. Sorry to say, but I seem to detect some fuzzy-thinking patterns on your part too. 'Former CEO of Exxon' is not the destiny, it's a job. Today, the CEO of Exxon, tomorrow, perhaps, a cabinet member in an anti-globalist goverment. Different day, different job. Is this too complicated for you, my permanently aggravated friend?

    30. This is why i'm against capital punishment. You never know when someone might find their way, and become one of this nation's greatest statesman.
      In fact, I'm shocked Trump hasn't found a rapist or mass-murderer to put in his cabinet yet.

    31. Well, arguably, Bill Clinton would be the case in point.

      But anyway, according to Mr Chomsky and many other observers, every post-war American president is a mass-murderer. So, your observation is rather trivial.

    32. Thanks hardindr. What a different world we would have had with Gore taking his rightful place.


    33. Raven:

      Well, not really a fan of epic poetry. I’ve put off reading the Iliad up to this time, though I understand it’s well worth the effort.

      The epic, if you could call it that, to which you’ve linked seems to take aim at Gore as well as Bush, Cheney and all of those evil players. And indeed I agree, he should have been much more forceful in contesting the election. But I see no mention of Scalia and his cohorts in this particular piece, though I may have overlooked it.

      As well documented by this site, Gore was trashed unmercifully by our mainstream press corps. I think he decided, wisely, that attempting to run for office again (grinding his sword) would have led nowhere. If he had remained in politics, all of the tropes that existed at the time would have been resurrected.

      I’m glad he made the decision to focus his energy elsewhere. To this day, he presents a message of optimism in the face of darkness descending.

      Thanks for the link.


  4. Al Gore is very erudite and his efforts to combat climate change are very noble. However, he is probably not the right messenger for the movement to combat climate change, and, apparently, his new movie will not convince those who deny climate change they are wrong.


    1. Nothing will convince the climate deniers they are wrong. It doesn't matter if Al Gore is the messenger or someone else. The message will be diluted by the "both sidism " of the mainstream media.

    2. People are rejecting the science because the predictions arising from it are scary. It doesn't matter who is saying it. Gore is trying to encourage action by showing progress that can foster optimism. Hope may enable more eople to listen to the truth. He's on the right track with that strategy. Both sidism will be moot if we focus on progress, as Gore is trying to do now.

    3. To do "rejecting the science" you'd have to be a scientist. Otherwise, what you're rejecting is something you've read in newspapers.

      There's a huge crisis of trust right now; most people don't believe anything they read in the establishment media - and for a very good reason, see this blog.

      I suppose the climate thing is just one manifestation of this phenomenon...

    4. Taking temperature data and adding "adjustments" until you get the trend line you want isn't science, it's bs.

      Also 40 years of gloom and doom predictions being flat out wrong doesn't help much either.

    5. Too bad that isn't what's hapening. Do you think any scientist wants what's happening to our planet?

    6. "Do you think any scientist wants what's happening to our planet?"

      Dear anon, you sound like by 'scientist' you're imagining some ascetic genius sitting in a lab. In reality, in this modern world science is an institution, with offices, HR, budget, and other usual authoritarian corporate features. In many cases sponsored by the Pentagon. And, like everything else these days, it's extremely politicized. So, anything is possible.

    7. Do you think any "politician" wants what is happening to our planet?

    8. "In many cases sponsored by the Pentagon."

      Trump is against the Pentagon, because he's not part of the establishment. That's the reason he wants to flex the muscle of our military and provide them an even greater chunk of the budget. Those increased dollars will go there instead of to the people, who Trump is really looking out for, I swear.
      "Conservative logic", or what the rest of us call "bullshit".

    9. "Do you think any "politician" wants what is happening to our planet?"

      For one thing, no one really knows what exactly (if anything) is happening to 'our' planet.

      But more importantly, it doesn't make sense to analyze, on this scale, what individuals want or don't want. It makes more sense to analyze institutions. In a capitalist system, it's all, naturally, about capital, profits. Financial institutions. You need to start from there, not from 'what politicians want'.

    10. You said scientists were distorting their data. You didn't say institutions were. You specifically said scientists. I said why would they do that and you still haven't answered.

    11. Anon at 11:32 said it, not me. To me, scientists have very little to do with any of it.

  5. The Palmer Report is saying that the situation in Charlottesville may be Trump's "Katrina."

    "And so while today’s violent and deadly Nazi and white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was largely a result of Donald Trump’s two years of pushing an overtly racist agenda, it’s not clear whether moderate Americans – or those in the center right who have only ever supported Trump with the very least amount of enthusiasm – will figure out that this attack was Trump’s fault. What they will see, however, is that his response was inept. He merely called it “sad” while refusing to condemn these racist hatemongers for being what they are."

    "You and I know that it’s because these white supremacists are Donald Trump’s base, and he’s afraid of crossing them too severely. Moderate Americans are simply seeing this as Trump being totally incapable of showing any leadership during a crisis in which actual Nazis carried out a deadly terrorist attack against American citizens on American soil. Moderates generally either don’t understand or don’t care about liberal vs conservative policy. But whenever things hit the fan, they despise a lack of leadership. That alone may mean that today’s incident ends up being Trump’s Katrina."

    1. > “What they will see, however, is that his response was inept. He merely called it ‘sad’....”

      Sort of buries the lede there: he said worse — “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

      He repeated himself for emphasis. No accident.

    2. Trump Now Explicitly Condemns Extremist, White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi Groups At Charlottesville

      “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” a White House spokesman said Sunday. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”

    3. Trump didn't say this, a flack did. Where is the tweet disavowing white supremacist terrorism?

    4. Here is a pretty good explanation of why the "both sides" argument is not a condemnation of white supremacist extremism:


    5. As Josh Marshall points out:

      "In addition to going out of his way not to denounce the white supremacist and neo-nazi marchers yesterday, for those primed to hear it (which is the point) the President made a point of calling out and valorizing the marchers. In his at length on-camera comments, in addition to bromides and calling for people to love each other, Trump noted that we must “cherish our history.”

      So, not only did he not explicitly condemn white supremacist violence, he sided with their march to preserve Lee's statue. The statement about history was buried in language about valuing everyone, but the emphasis on history is a dog whistle to the right, support for their cause -- rolling back the results of the Civil War. There was nothing valiant about the Southern cause, just tragic.

    6. Quoting the Financial Times Editorial:

      "To the extent that it is the role of the president to provide moral leadership, the White House is unoccupied".

      Some anonymous WH flunky puts out a statement to clean up the mess the horse's ass made yesterday, and Comrade DinC rushes on over to let us all know. Great, you want a cookie?

    7. Whoa. A shameless moment even for David in CA!

    8. "even for David in CA"?

      Where you been?

    9. Take it easy on the fake outrage, dear mm. It sounds like if you try any harder you'll poop you pants...

    10. Finally, proof that Mao is fake Greg!

    11. Why should Trump repudiate an event he has been advocating since he hit the primary campaign trail? Didn't he promise to make bail for any of his supporters that beat up protesters at his campaign rallies?

      The Charlottesville march and inevitable violence is right in the orange jackass's wheelhouse. To expect Chump to do and say the right thing - the decent thing - is ludicrous.

    12. NYTimes 8/15:Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides’:
      “I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
      Mr. Trump accused people he called the “alt-left” of “swinging clubs” as they “came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right.” He said some of the right-wing members of the crowd in the Virginia park were “bad.” But he added that the other side came “charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”
      [end quote]

      Note in the article that even Republican politicians stepped up and called Trump out on this point. Will David in Cal? Will Mao Cheng Ji?

      For that matter, will Bob Somerby?

    13. I'm not a politician and I'm not into the denunciation game, but you're, apparently. Are you going to condemn those clubs swinging Soros thugs or not? If you aren't, I'm afraid we all are going to be totally disappointed in you, my friend...

  6. Somerby is big on listening to conservatives. Today they are saying the protesters were hired by Soros. Mc Auliffe is to blame for letting protesters disrupt the rally. We should be focusing on Trump's Veterans announcement, not protesters. Melania and Ivanka are pretty, which makes them admirable. Rally attendees brought cameras and body armor because it isn't safe to rally these days. Not a word about the attack, except some poor guy was probably pushed too far and broke. That's the view in comments to an abstract article about how violence is the outcome of conflict at the extreme right/left where personal freedom is infringed. No comment on the actual post at all, although it is a pretty clear disavowal of responsibility for right violence.

    1. Over on the left, comments began talking about the rally, thorougly trashed Trump for failure to cname the white spremacists "terrorists", but quickly devolved into a Bernie vs Hillary fight over whose fault it is that Trump was elected. Lots of speculation about how soon we will become a dictatorship.

  7. Re the belittling of Gore, you can add Margaret Carlson to the list She was on a panel that trashed Gore. When asked why she did it, she smirked and said, "Because it's so much fun."
    When Hillary was running in 2008, Tweety Matthews was so snarky about her that someone set up a watchdog website to monitor the considerable snark.
    Spot on about the denigration of Naomi Wolf. I don't remember her role in the campaign but it was just another arrow used to shoot down gore.

  8. I have no idea why Bob has such a bromance with Gore. In his doing so, he never mentions things like soliciting foreign campaign donations from official federal property while Vice President. Or how he was as fervent for NAFTA as the Slickster. Or many other things.

    1. Maybe it is because he's not a Republican troll like you. No Democrat calls Bill Clinton Slickster.

    2. Well, Bob is analyzing the establishment media. Of course Mr Gore was a politician, just as corrupt as any other politician, but clearly the mindless campaign of mockery perpetrated by media clowns back in 2000 was beyond the pale...

    3. They were college roommates at Harvard, and maintained their friendship afterward.

      Bob discussed the Gore fundraising "scandal" from the 1990s years ago...


  9. Why does Mao like FDR? Because FDR aided Russia.

    1. I think that this person is person whose beliefs are animated by conspiracism and right-wing populism, that sometimes intersects with left-wing positions. For a good primer, visit this website:


      Other than that, I see no reason to engage with this person.

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  11. Over at the conservative blogs, the commenters are saying that Soros funded both sides, or this is a "false flag" operation to make the right look bad. And they are saying the alt-right protesters showed up in body armour and helmets with their flagpole sticks as self-defense.

    They are calling on Trump to blame Maxine Waters for the violence. Mostly they are taking very literally what Trump said about "both sides" and blaming both sides on Soros.

    1. If it's a false flag, then I fail to see the problem. The Left wants the traitorous and racist Confederate statues removed and melted for a better use, and these white supremacists who want to protect the statues are said to not represent the Right. If the Left and the Right agree the statues shouldn't be protected, what are we waiting for to remove and melt them?

  12. I hate to say this but nearly every other liberal blog has made a statement about what happened, but not this one. Is there some law preventing Somerby from an expression of sympathy for those attacked and dismay at Trump's response?

    Somerby needs to say something because (1) he is a Southern guy, (2) it is unclear how he feels about Trump, (3) this is a media issue as much as a political one, since the portrayal of "both sides" as people with legitimate concerns by the media has fallen by the wayside and both sides of the media now seem pretty clearly against the way Trump is handling things. There has been little attempt to portray the alt-Right as anything but white supremacist bigots either. That is untenable given their own behavior, including the non-violent chanting, swastikas, etc. These are not a bunch of civil war enactors upset at the loss of prestige of their hobby. These are mean, ugly guys with a sense of entitlement and animus toward minorities. Dangerous guys. No one in the media wants to be seen abetting them.

    So why has Somerby nothing to say today?

    1. He's busy figuring out a way to make James Alex Fields, Jr. this year's George Zimmerman.