PEEPING TOMS WITHOUT END, AMEN: Goldberg, haunted, says she believes!


Part 3—We don't exactly believe her:
Last Tuesday morning, Michelle Goldberg revealed herself as one of the great woman-haters.

Goldberg is the New York Times' newest hapless columnist. In her column that day, she stooped so low as to say that she actually doesn't "believe the accusers," not even if they're women:

"[W]e can't treat the feminist injunction to 'believe women' as absolute."

Believe it or not, she said that! In fairness, we should probably present Goldberg's fuller statement, in which she reveals that her thought were triggered by the tweet heard round the world.

Dramatic headline included, here's how Goldberg's column began. The tweet in question had come from Chris Hayes, with whom Goldberg has erred in the past:
GOLDBERG (11/14/17): I Believe Juanita

On Friday evening the MSNBC host Chris Hayes sent out a tweet that electrified online conservatives: ''As gross and cynical and hypocritical as the right's 'what about Bill Clinton' stuff is, it's also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.'' Hayes's tweet inspired stories on Glenn Beck's The Blaze, Breitbart and The Daily Caller, all apparently eager to use the Clinton scandals to derail discussions about Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in Alabama who is accused of sexually assaulting minors.

Yet despite the right's evident bad faith, I agree with Hayes. In this #MeToo moment, when we're reassessing decades of male misbehavior and turning open secrets into exposes, we should look clearly at the credible evidence that Juanita Broaddrick told the truth when she accused Clinton of raping her. But revisiting the Clinton scandals in light of today's politics is complicated as well as painful. Democrats are guilty of apologizing for Clinton when they shouldn't have. At the same time, looking back at the smear campaign against the Clintons shows we can't treat the feminist injunction to ''believe women'' as absolute.
Hayes had tweeted out an exciting thought, one he doesn't seem prepared to discuss on his "cable news" program.

That said, we agree with Hayes too, up a point. We'll discuss this matter on Friday, with reference to Lawrence's treacly propaganda from last Monday night.

Goldberg's fuller statement may persuade us that she isn't the world's most heinous misogynist. It's true that she doesn't believe all accusers of President Clinton, but she says she does at least believe one.

She even says she's "haunted" by that accuser. We don't exactly believe that statement, and we think her column was sad.

At the New York Times, it has always been good politics to believe the worst about both Clintons. Along the way, the paper's stars also spent several years inventing claims about Candidate Gore.

This sent Candidate Bush to the White House. Of one belief you can feel certain—pseudoprogressive careerists like Goldberg and Hayes will never discuss such facts.

Triggered by Hayes, Goldberg joined the latest stampede, the one in which the children say we should thrash back through the accusations directed at President Clinton. Again, we don't exactly disagree, as we'll discuss in Part 4.

Goldberg joined the stampede last Tuesday morning. Five days later, Ross Douthat followed, having "skimmed" some yellowing news reports and "leafed" through several books.

In our view, the IQ level of Douthat's column was extremely low. In the main, he said that he's sadly come to think that President Clinton "deserved to be impeached."

Does Douthat know that he was impeached? He never quite made that clear. He principally focused on Monica Lewinsky. Along the way, he clanged several gongs, in passages such as these:
DOUTHAT (11/19/17): [W]ith Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, we know what happened: A president being sued for sexual harassment tried to buy off a mistress-turned-potential-witness with White House favors, and then committed perjury serious enough to merit disbarment. Which also brought forward a compelling allegation from Juanita Broaddrick that the president had raped her.

The longer I spent with these old stories, the more I came back to a question: If exploiting a willing intern is a serious enough abuse of power to warrant resignation, why is obstructing justice in a sexual harassment case not serious enough to warrant impeachment? Especially when the behavior is part of a longstanding pattern that also may extend to rape?


[The Democrats] had an opportunity, with Al Gore waiting in the wings, to show a predator the door and establish some moral common ground for a polarizing country.

And what they did instead—turning their party into an accessory to Clinton's appetites, shamelessly abandoning feminist principle, smearing victims and blithely ignoring his most credible accuser, all because Republicans funded the investigations and they're prudes and it's all just Sexual McCarthyism—feels in the cold clarity of hindsight like a great act of partisan deformation.
We'll make a sad admission. We've spent much more time than most other folk exploring these old episodes. Despite our painful experience, we're not entirely sure what Douthat means in various parts of those passages.

Is Lewinsky the "mistress-turned-potential-witness" Clinton tried to "buy off with White House favors?" If so, was she a "potential witness" in the Paula Jones matter?

We'll be honest. We don't understand what Douthat means—but then again, neither does anyone else who read his excited column. Meanwhile, was Clinton a "predator" in the case of Lewinsky? Did he really "exploit a willing intern" in their sporadic affair, which extended over several years?

It's thrilling to use such exciting language. Also, to describe Lewinsky as Clinton's "most credible accuser," if that's who Douthat is talking about in that somewhat fuzzy passage.

That said, has Lewinsky ever "accused" Clinton of anything? We refuse to waste our time parsing back through this exciting sexy-time story, but hasn't Lewinsky made it clear that she doesn't regard herself as a victim, and that she hasn't ever "accused" The Big He of anything?

Douthat's column was exciting for the peeping Tom crowd, but it was hard to parse. He seems to have been somewhat selective in the books he chose to "leaf" through last week, though it may well be that's he's never heard of some of the volumes he missed.

He also excised one whole element of these accusations—the extent to which this era's various accusations were intertwined with "the smear campaign against the Clintons" to which Goldberg refers.

Goldberg's aware of that crackpot campaign. In the column in which she proclaimed her selective belief, she was even prepared to describe it:
GOLDBERG: The Clinton years, in which epistemological warfare emerged as a key part of the Republican political arsenal, show us why we should be wary of allegations that bubble up from the right-wing press. At the time, the reactionary billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife was bankrolling the Arkansas Project, which David Brock, the former right-wing journalist who played a major role in it, described as a ''multimillion-dollar dirty tricks operation against the Clintons.'' Various figures in conservative media accused Bill Clinton of murder, drug-running and using state troopers as pimps. Brock alleges that right-wing figures funneled money to some of Clinton's accusers.

In this environment, it would have been absurd to take accusations of assault and harassment made against Clinton at face value.
That's all true. It's also true that the existence of that crackpot "right-wing conspiracy" doesn't mean that every accusation against Bill Clinton simply had to be false.

An accusation can be true even if it's being pushed by people waist-deep in The Crazy. As she continued, Goldberg—reasoning like a 10-year-old child—explained why she doesn't believe one accuser, but does believe another:
GOLDBERG (continuing directly): On Monday, Caitlin Flanagan, perhaps taking up Hayes's challenge, urged liberals to remember some of what Clinton is said to have done. ''Kathleen Willey said that she met him in the Oval Office for personal and professional advice and that he groped her, rubbed his erect penis on her, and pushed her hand to his crotch,'' Flanagan wrote, recalling the charges Willey first made in 1998. It sounds both familiar and plausible. But Willey also accused the Clintons of having her husband and then her cat killed. Must we believe that, too?


Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick.
The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we've heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her. Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It's true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones's lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn't want to go public but couldn't lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her.
Goldberg says she doesn't believe Kathleen Willey. She vastly under-reports the challenges to Willey's credibility, including the time that a blatantly false accusation by Willey almost got a journalist killed.

Goldberg skipped past much of that. But then, she's trying to assess an entire, crackpot decade in just 800 words.

She ends up saying that she rejects Willey's story because of the craziness concerning the alleged dead cat. Heroically, she proceeds to say that she does believe Broaddrick.

She even says she's "haunted" by Broaddrick. We aren't real sure we believe that.

Is Goldberg haunted by Broaddrick? When Norman Maclean was "haunted by rivers," he wrote an autobiographical novella about it (A River Runs Through It).

Has Goldberg been haunted by Broaddrick all these years? If so, where's the beef? Has Goldberg ever written about the person who has her haunted? Or have we possibly captured Goldberg in a bit of a pose?

People, we're just asking!

Down through the many long years, posing and faking have been endemic among our corporate pseudoliberal journalists. Is Goldberg posing and faking here?

We can't answer that question.

That said, is Goldberg really able to say whether Broaddrick's story is true? We'd have to say that she pretty much isn't. We can think of several "credible" novels in which Broaddrick's claim would either be knowingly false, or would represent an unfair assessment of an actual encounter.

How does Goldberg know what's true? We're inclined to suggest that she doesn't.

Is it possible that Broaddrick's story is accurate? Yes, it certainly is.

It's also possible that it isn't! With that point in mind, we'd also say that people older than ten years old know how to write sentences like these:
I'm inclined to believe Juanita.
On balance, I tend to believe Juanita.
I can't really say that I disbelieve Juanita.
I can't be sure of course.
Grown people, even including upper-end journalists, are willing to traffic in nuance. Under-skilled people like Douthat and Goldberg have produced death all over the world in the past twenty-five years.

Having said these things, we'll say it again! We don't exactly disagree with the highly explosive tweet from the morally upright Hayes.

He won't discuss the tweet on his show. On Friday, we'll limn it right here.

Friday: Lawrence's latest fine pose


  1. People older than ten years old also repeat the same phrases over and over again and exagerate events like "almost got a journalist killed."
    Bob Somerby is posing and faking here.

    1. And for those of us who don't remember the labyrinth of detail about this 20-year-old story, Somerby simply makes the allegation without providing any citations or links.

    2. "She vastly under-reports the challenges to Willey's credibility, including the time that a blatantly false accusation by Willey almost got a journalist killed.

      Goldberg skipped past much of that. But then, she's trying to assess an entire, crackpot decade in just 800 words."

      Bob admits Goldberg is limited in each column. He is not. He is describing an event in which a deranged right winger invaded a garage in a home owned by a journalist implicated by Willey. The deranged man slashed tires. When confronted by guests, the deranged man pulled a gun and fled without firing. The journalist was not home. He was not "almost killed."

    3. The people who were there could have been killed, given that the man was deranged and fatal accidents happen around guns.

    4. First of all @Anon 11:05pm, you owe Anon 10:16 a thank you for providing the information that Somerby failed to provide.
      Secondly, Somerby would have lambasted someone from here to Sunday if they had misrepresented the truth this way. But apparently Bob doesn't have to adhere to his own standards.

    5. I was around and read Somerby’s previous post, so I didn’t need the recap. I believe most others here were too.

  2. Hayes is quoted as tweeting: "As gross and cynical and hypocritical as the right's 'what about Bill Clinton' stuff is, it's also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him."

    We had that reckoning back in the day. The right went after Clinton with a vengeance. It was all aired ad nauseum. Kenneth Starr investigated all of the claims of all of the women and found only Lewinsky's to be worth pursuing. Broaddrick refused to repeat her rape claim under oath to the FBI, suggesting that she understood the consequences of lying to them and was not telling the truth when she accused Clinton on other occasions. There is no reason to believe her and even Kenneth Starr did not believe her.

    Why does Somerby agree with Hayes that there needs to be a reckoning? Somerby was around the first time and he knows the fullness of the reckoning then and that there has been a vendetta against both Clintons since then. And yet, he joins Hayes (who should know better) in calling for Clinton to be harassed some more.

    I watched the clip of Clinton on Conan's show (11/8) last night. Conan asked Bill what the Global Foundation is doing these days. Clinton explained that they are trying to help reduce deaths from opioid use. He said that most users don't understand that mixing alcohol with opioids can be deadly because it depresses breathing when people fall asleep. He warned those in the audience to keep their friends awake if they are in that state. He said they are providing as much education as they can about this danger in order to reduce the accidental deaths that occur each year.

    This is the man Somerby thinks needs to go through the reckoning AGAIN. Meanwhile, what is Somerby doing with his spare time? How is he improving the world with his presence? Writing crap like this.

    1. 11:18 AM writes:

      [QUOTE] Broaddrick refused to repeat her rape claim under oath to the FBI, suggesting that she understood the consequences of lying to them and was not telling the truth when she accused Clinton on other occasions. [END QUOTE]

      That's false.

      Here's a summary of the matter from a page one Washington Post article published Sunday, February 20, 1999 [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] The Clinton legal team has denied her allegation as "false and outrageous" and the president's advisers in the past have noted that Broaddrick once said so herself. When Jones's attorneys first subpoenaed her in their sexual harassment lawsuit against the president, Broaddrick swore out an affidavit and testified in a deposition that Clinton did not make unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the late 1970s.

      "Any allegation that the president assaulted Ms. Broaddrick more than 20 years ago is absolutely false," Clinton's personal attorney, David E. Kendall, said in a statement released by the White House yesterday. "Beyond that we are not going to comment."

      Broaddrick later recanted her sworn testimony in the Jones suit under a promise of immunity from Starr, saying she lied initially because she did not want to be drawn into the case against the president. Only in recent weeks did she agree to allow reporters to quote her account. NBC News last month conducted an interview that has yet to air. The Wall Street Journal printed a lengthy piece on its opinion page yesterday. And The Washington Post was granted permission yesterday to use interviews conducted off the record starting last April.

      Hers has been a story hidden in plain sight since last March, referred to in vague terms in Jones's court filings and Starr's impeachment report yet never explicitly a part of the now-concluded congressional debate over whether Clinton should be removed from office for trying to cover up his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky. Few in official Washington who have been privy to the Broaddrick story have been entirely sure what to make of it.

      Starr investigated briefly but dropped it after determining that it did not fit the pattern of obstruction of justice he was investigating because she stated Clinton never tried to influence her story. House Republicans urged wavering colleagues in December to read the sealed records of Broaddrick's FBI interview to shore up support for impeachment. And the House managers secretly contacted her to say they might summon her as a witness, yet quickly decided that her allegations were not relevant to the articles of impeachment they were prosecuting in the Senate....


    2. [QUOTE] FBI agents working for Starr then approached Broaddrick and after being promised that she would not be prosecuted for perjury she disavowed her previous sworn testimony without getting into details, sources have said. Starr made note of her change of heart in a passing reference in an appendix sent to the House along with his Lewinsky impeachment referral. The FBI interview, which deemed her account "inconclusive" according to the sources, has never been made public, although a variety of House Republicans read it in a sealed room before voting to impeach Clinton on Dec. 19.

      The House Judiciary Committee Republicans who would handle Clinton's prosecution in the Senate first got in touch just after Thanksgiving. Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), who knew Walters from GOP political circles, met with Broaddrick, focusing not on the alleged assault but on whether anyone tried to silence her.

      The House team later sent two investigators to meet with her. And another manager, Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), had "a five-minute conversation" with Broaddrick but also told her she would not be relevant to the trial.

      "From my standpoint, I think it was appropriate behavior on our part," Hutchinson said. They never pressed to include the Broaddrick allegation in the trial, he added, because "it would have been wrong to throw out something pejorative to the president and not probative to the issues involved."
      [END QUOTE]

    3. What you have quoted is not incompatible with what I said. She refused to give her story under oath. She may have recanted her past denial of being raped but that doesn't make her story true. Further, being granted immunity allows her to tell whatever lies she wants, free from fear of prosecution for perjury. She was otherwise careful not to say anything provably false under oath.

      The strategies of the various enemies of Clinton are irrelevant. If Starr had been able to find evidence that Clinton raped Broadrick, you can bet he would have used it. It is ludicrous to think he would pursue obstruction of justice with a rape charge in hand.

      I trust Conason more than the Washington Post.

    4. When students write essays, we try to teach them to avoid excessive quotation. It makes their papers too lengthy. It should be possible to summarize -- to put ideas into one's own words. Quotation is only necessary in rare circumstances where an argument hinges on exact phrasing or precise definition. Students usually use quotations because (1) they don't write well and feel someone else has said what they want, better; (2) they want to distance themselves from what is being said and make it clear it is not their own thoughts or opinion; (3) they are too lazy to put in the effort to use their own language to summarize and they don't care if they waste the time of readers.

      Which is it with you, CMike?

    5. CMike, you know where President Clinton was a few days ago? Puerto Rico.

      Clinton arrived with medical supplies and solar energy equipment donated by the Clinton Foundation, which has already shipped 76 tons of medicine and medical equipment since the storm hit on Sept. 20.

      Clinton also visited health clinics and the island’s largest shelter with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello. He planned to meet with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and other officials later Monday.

      That is not a man who rapes women. That is a man who dedicated his post presidency to helping the most needy and poor people around the world and is responsible for bringing aid and comfort to millions and millions of children.

      So fuck you very much for trying to tear him down over unproven and illogical accusations made over 40 years ago.

    6. Granted, I don't write well and I often feel that "someone else has said what [I] want [to say but said it] better [than I could]. Here, however, the question is what are the facts, so it not the issues you lay out in your (1) that are in play here. The passage I quoted is as authoritative as any I know that are out there as to what Broaddrick told the FBI.

    7. mm,

      I'm no fan of Bill Clinton but I'm not here in this thread suggesting he raped Juanita Broaddrick. Go back and look at the point I contested.

      (Hope Bill Clinton does a little more good with his charity work in Puerto Rico than he did with his efforts in Haiti.)

    8. CMike,

      TDH covered this centuries ago.

      RUSSERT: It was 21 years ago. The statute of limitations in Arkansas is six. So she’s lost that venue. And if this was so serious, why didn’t the Judiciary Committee, why didn’t Ken Starr, try to develop this and present it to the committee?

      Good question. And it turned out that Graham had the start of a perfectly adequate answer:

      GRAHAM: When she was interviewed by the FBI, she broke down and stopped the interview and said, “I don’t want to live this again.” She never gave a sworn statement. NBC was the first organization to get her to come publicly and say, “I was the victim of an assault.”

      So at least we had the start of an answer. No one based an impeachment count on the alleged assault because Mrs. Broaddrick wasn’t willing to speak. In reply, Wexler pointed out that Starr pursued others who hadn’t wanted to come forward with charges. Russert did not ask Graham why no one made a stronger effort to persuade Mrs. Broaddrick to speak.


      Mrs. Broaddrick’s failure to speak to the FBI raises a point we have mentioned before. One can’t help noting: Mrs. Broaddrick refused to make her allegation in any forum where she could be cross-examined.


      So you have an accuser who swore under oath that it didn't happen to her, then reversed herself during the impeachment fandango, then was given another chance to put her story to the test and bailed out. She was not ignored. She was given even chance in the world to make her case.

      We know why the GOP ratfuckers want to keep this going. What I don't understand is why a supposed progressive wants to join the lynch mob parade also.

    9. 4:06 PM,

      People don't speak to the FBI "under oath." All false statements made to the FBI are subject to being prosecuted [LINK]:

      >>>18 U.S. Code § 1001 - Statements or entries generally

      (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully...

      (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation...

      shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

      You can refuse to talk to the FBI, insisting you'll only speak when compelled by court order. But you can never knowingly give false information to an agent.

      Juanita Broaddrick did speak to the FBI and recanted her affidavit in the Paula Jones case wherein she said she the rumors that Clinton had made unwanted sexual advances were false. That would mean she told the FBI Clinton had made unwanted sexual advances. I'm unclear if she told the FBI he had raped her. The FBI was more interested in whether she had been threatened to keep quiet.

    10. mm,

      I'm in no way interested in keeping the Broaddrick story going. I'm only interested in when it is being discussed that the facts put on the table are accurate. You have a problem with that, you shouldn't.

    11. mm and 11:18 AM,

      I had thought it was unknown what Broaddrick said to the FBI. However, given the Graham quote mm has provided, I guess I am wrong.

    12. Why do Bernie supporters believe all the Republican propaganda against the Clinton’s? You are parroting stuff from the hit pieces about their work in Haiti. You ignore the debunking of that crap. It makes it hard to talk to you because I’m too busy grinding my teeth.

    13. Here's what must be a Republican hit piece which appeared in the Nation. Turns out Amy Wilentz has been a long time undercover party operative, I guess [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] The “five-star” Royal Oasis is a violation of human decency. Not because it’s big and luxurious in a desperately poor country, although it is that: it has 128 rooms, five restaurants, five bars, a conference center, an art gallery and an upscale shopping mall. But the indecent, depraved thing about it is that—amazingly, astoundingly—its construction was financed in part by grants from organizations ostensibly providing post-earthquake reconstruction funds: $7.5 million from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation went to the Oasis project, as well as $2 million from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the recovery group headed by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. (Having funded the Oasis, among other enterprises, the Clinton Bush fund announced that it was ceasing operations at the end of 2012.) The Royal Oasis is one of the few post-quake projects that have come to fruition, unlike dozens of housing and school construction projects.

      Let me underline this: these funds were given to a project that was intended to erect a luxury tourist hotel in a country that for the past thirty years has not had a serious tourism industry. And in a country that has suffered a catastrophic earthquake—one that razed several cities, killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people and left more than a million homeless. Many sidewalks in the capital remain strewn with rubble. The people of the St. Anne camp are among the approximately 358,000 Haitians still living in unacceptable conditions in camps around the capital and outlying areas. PS: There’s also an ongoing cholera epidemic.

      Some have suggested that the World Bank was simply underwriting a place where its employees could stay comfortably and sip espresso at meetings while trying to figure out why Haiti remains so poor. But the Oasis is not the only post-quake tourist accommodation: according to the tourism ministry, a new boom in construction will leave Port-au-Prince with almost twice as many hotel rooms as it had before the earthquake. But as you can probably imagine, there will not be twice as many tourists to occupy them. Some have suggested that many of the new hotels are sophisticated money-laundering operations for drug traffickers, where no one is expected to stay....
      [END QUOTE]

    14. Here's Chelsea Clinton on the state of relief efforts from all international entities in Haiti five years after the 2010 earthquake:

      [QUOTE] To say I was profoundly disturbed by what I saw - and didn't see - would be an understatement. The incompetence is mind numbing.... If we do not quickly change the organization, management, accountability and delivery paradigm on the ground, we could quite conceivably confront tens of thousands of children's deaths by diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and other water-related diseases in the near future.

      Haitians want to help themselves and want the international community to help them help themselves - this sounds obvious but wasn't to some of the UN and International NGO (INGO) folks I ran across. The UN people I encountered were frequently out of touch (e.g., would not have been off Logbase in days - or ever), anachronistic at best and arrogant and incompetent at worst (e.g., one woman from the UN - UNDP I think - told me she was waiting for the Haitians to "demand their political rights" - when they're asking for tents, latrines, soap, food and not getting that....)

      In fact, Haitians in the settlements are very much organizing themselves, in part to help define their needs and then articulate them to the UN/ INGO community. Fairly nuanced settlement governance structures have already developed. The largest settlement I visited in Parc Jean Marie
      Vincent (40k and counting) had an overall governing committee with a head of the governing committee (voted on by the governing committee); a women's committee; a security committee; a sanitation committee (with a soap subcommittee), etc. Women comprised 50% of each committee. One of the most illuminating anecdotes from my trip was talking with the head of the security committee and a few other settlement residents, including 2 women from the governing committee. The security committee wanted 100 tshirts - at least though I think they'll need at least 2-3x that - so that the security volunteers could wear them when patrolling so that people, particularly women, would feel safe when they saw them approach in groups of 2 or 3. They also ideally wanted flashlights to also use on night patrol.

      Finally, they wanted to be able to pay the security team (though this was less important than the first two 'asks').
      IF that option were not feasible, their second choice was for the US Army to come into the settlement and patrol at night. Not the Haitian police (unreliable) and not the UN (dismissed). They wanted to help themselves, and they wanted reliability and accountability.

      The settlements' governing bodies - as they shared with me - are beginning to experience UN/ INGO fatigue given how often they articulate their needs, willingness to work - and how little is coming their way. Tents and latrines / sanitation remain the largest urgent needs - obvious to anyone with a minimum knowledge of public health and the settlement residents themselves [END QUOTE]

      Guess that long gone $2 million could have been better spent.

    15. And then there's that industrial park in the middle of no where, a neoliberal wet dream of an idea, a brand spanking new compound of sweat shops [LINK]:

      Both Bill and Hillary Clinton attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly after the factory opened in 2012.

    16. See, you could have used a few sentences to say what you think Hillary did wrong in Haiti. She attended a ribbon cutting and Amy Willentz said Haiti needs more help. How exactly did Bernie help?

    17. If you read all of Chelsea’s memo, you should see it is about NGO’s and govt activities and remaining needs and how to adjust the foundation’s activities to address what Haitians think needs doing. It says only Unicef did a good job. And it suggests ways for the foundation to change. I don’t see what’s terrible about it. I also don’t see Hillary in it. The earthquake was in 2010 when Hillary had no association with the foundation. Reading it increased my respect for Chelsea.

      I saw nothing to suggest you didn’t get your slam of Hillary from the right wing, since you couldn’t have gotten it from that memo you quoted, apparently because it had the words Clinton and Haiti in it.

    18. 10:19 AM, you say:

      See, you could have used a few sentences to say what you think Hillary did wrong in Haiti....,

      First off, what I said at 6:25 PM on 11/22 was:

      (Hope Bill Clinton does a little more good with his charity work in Puerto Rico than he did with his efforts in Haiti.)

      And second, if you find me too wordy to read then don't do it. I'm here for my benefit, I enjoy organizing my thoughts and sentiments and writing them up in a comment. If you don't like my writing style- too bad for you. (By the way, you're at the wrong place to begin with if you're looking to read a blog host who is ever concerned with being concise.)

      "How exactly did Bernie help?" I don't know if he did anything to facilitate Haitian relief efforts, but, at least, he didn't offer to collect and manage multiple millions of dollars in charitable donations that he then didn't make efficient use in the service of that cause.

      10:50 AM, you say:

      I saw nothing to suggest you didn’t get your slam of Hillary from the right wing...

      Did you get that "I am never wrong" disorder from watching Trump or have you always been afflicted with it?

    19. People intent on attacking Bill Clinton and the foundation (using Chelsea’s analysis, as if) are not liberals or progressives. You don’t belong here. You are a troll. Put your quotes somewhere else.

    20. 10:12 PM,

      Is that you Bob? Go ahead and block me.

    21. CMike: the perfect representative of the Bernie cult. The Bernie Revolution distilled to its rancid corrosive essence.

      CMike, a whiny little bitch full of criticism following a bag of hot air that hasn't done shit compared to President Clinton or Secretary Clinton. Those who can, do. Those who can't, whine and criticize, nothing is ever good enough, nothing meets their lily white standard of purity and perfection.

    22. Something’s wrong when you find yourself quoting Trump tweets.

    23. Trump coined that word? No matter, it was apropos for my purposes.


    24. At least commend CMike for expressing some lachrymose self-awareness.

  3. Tsk. That swamp really does stink.

    1. There are services you can hire that will come and help you clean up your place.

    2. Amen. Worse than ever.

    3. Relax, Mao. The Establishment are getting their tax cuts, just like everyone said they would.

    4. St. Petersburg is indeed built on a swamp.

  4. Somerby is right to try to correct the record about Clinton. But the way he does it...

    "It's also possible that it isn't! With that point in mind, we'd also say that people older than ten years old know how to write sentences like these:"

    For example (to quote Somerby):

    "one he doesn't seem prepared to discuss"
    "Goldberg's fuller statement may persuade us"
    "We don't exactly believe that statement"
    "Of one belief you can feel certain"
    "Again, we don't exactly disagree"
    "He seems to have been somewhat selective"
    "We don't exactly disagree"
    "We aren't real sure we believe that."
    ...speaking of trafficking in nuance.

    Then there's this:

    "Is Goldberg posing and faking here?
    We can't answer that question."

    ...while of course insinuating that very thing.

    Goldberg: "Michelle Goldberg revealed herself as one of the great woman-haters." but "Goldberg's fuller statement may persuade us that she isn't the world's most heinous misogynist"

    Then there's the name-calling and/or mind-reading.
    Goldberg is: "hapless", "pseudoprogressive careerist", "child", "reasoning like a 10-year-old child", "posing and faking", "Under-skilled".

    Of course, all or part of this blog may be satire. (Maybe even the defense of Clinton?) The hapless reader is left to decide for him/herself which parts.

    1. I think the word "satire" has been misused lately.

    2. Speaking of nuance again: Somerby's use of the royal ( or editorial) "we" is a distancing technique, a weasel word.
      It creates a level of deniability that allows the real Somerby to hide. It's the creation of a fictitious "collective", a "character".

      Is it cowardly? We can't answer that question.

  5. Somerby says: "That's all true. It's also true that the existence of that crackpot "right-wing conspiracy" doesn't mean that every accusation against Bill Clinton simply had to be false."

    Somerby might consider for a moment the possibility that Clinton was not a womanizer, that he did not sleep around at every opportunity, that he was a monogamous married man in love with his wife.

    The only claims ever proven against Clinton were Lewinsky's odd "affair" in which she gave him blow jobs and called him on the phone for cloying conversations. Clinton testified that he didn't consider any of that "having sex" or "having an affair." Lewinsky testified in a sworn deposition that she stalked him and was the aggressor. That's the only extra-marital activity with any support. It was not accused by Lewinsky but revealed by Linda Tripp who wire-tapped Lewinsky talking about her relationship with Bill Clinton, in what she considered to be a private conservation. Lewinsky never complained against him. She felt betrayed by Tripp and abused by the Starr investigation.

    No other accusation has been shown to have any merit whatsoever. But we do have the evidence of Hillary standing by her husband, maintaining an outwardly strong relationship with him even after leaving the white house, leaving public office entirely, and now, after retiring from public service.

    You can consider Hillary to be corrupt and money-driven and claim she stayed with him for profit, but I suspect then their interactions would resemble those of Trump and Melania. They clearly don't. Bill Clinton is a man who loves his wife (rewatch his face during her speech at the Dem Convention). Hillary is a woman who loves her husband, even when she doesn't have to.

    If you take into account the totality of Hillary's accomplishments in public service and have a positive view of her contributions to society, it is impossible to believe that she would stay with Bill if he were anything remotely like the sexual buffoon portrayed in Primary Colors (a hit piece against both Clintons). She was blindsided by Lewinsky, and that tells you all you need to know about both of them. Bill Clinton made a pathetic mistake under the stress of his office, but neither would have reacted as they did if he were the habitual womanizer he has been made into by late night comedians.

    It is time to leave them both alone.

    1. It's time for them to leave us alone.

      Bill Clinton couldn't be nominated dog catcher today because of his track record.

    2. It's ironic that now, when being an admitted sexual predator gets you the Presidency, Clinton already termed-out.

    3. That's the point. Clinton was elected twice and neither time was he a sexual predator.

  6. Is Somerby a progressive? A liberal? A Clinton Democrat? A conservative? A poseur? There are quite a few on the "left" who weren't too happy with Clinton, Gore, or Hillary, or even Obama. They might find Somerby's endless defense of Clinton less than worthwhile.

    1. Let the Bernie Bros speak for themselves.

    2. Is Somerby a Bernie Bro?

    3. I think so, but so are those "few on the 'left'" who are unhappy with the left's stalwarts and past presidents. What kind of liberal disavows the party's past successes and insists on supporting unelectables? Only Bernie Bros do that. For more detail, see the endless quotes posted by CMike, who somehow can never find his own voice here, much like Somerby who never directly says anything and rarely speaks with his own voice. Did he support Bernie? Anything is possible, except that he supported Clinton, apparently.

    4. Ask me a direct question 3:35 PM and I'll give you a direct answer.

    5. Why do you quote instead of using your own words to speak plainly?

      There's a question.

      Sometimes the relation between your quote and other comments is unclear and we are left to guess why you quoted what you did. It would be better to say what you mean.

    6. I think introducing something authoritative is often more useful to a thread than sharing my own, or most other people's, off the cuff remarks.

      Someone, maybe you, has previously indicated they don't know what the relevance of the copied text I paste in my comments are to the topics under discussion. What my point is seems obvious to me and often what I "mean" is that these are the undisputed facts on the subject being discussed when someone else has asserted the contrary. I assume you understand the relevance of those comments of mine.

      However, if you're wondering what my point at other times is you could indicate that in a reply to the particular post. If you don't like the length of my paste jobs, skip them just like you do those "save your marriage" posts that show up here so frequently.

      All this is focused on my style of commentary, do you wonder where I stand on a particular issue?

      (As for supporting "unelectables," Hillary Clinton lost, the Democrats are in the minority in the House, the Senate, and in most state legislatures and in the number of governors in office. That's not the doing of Bernie Sanders or of the Bernie Bros.)

    7. "Someone, maybe you, has previously indicated they don't know what the relevance of the copied text I paste in my comments are to the topics under discussion."

      If history is any guidance, it's usually confirmation bias.

    8. The loss of down ticket races reflects the neglect of the DNC by Obama. Clinton tried to repair it but Bernie declined, not being much of a Democrat. He has since shown that he has no coattails. Clinton is working to help female candidates enter politics, along with many other Dems.

      I personally don’t believe Hillary lost. I consider the election invalid. Bernie helped Trump more than the Dems and he needs to go back to Vermont.

      In pragmatics, the linguistic rules of conversation, listing a pile of facts is not conversation. It is antisocial.

    9. 10:02 PM,

      Spare yourself, my name's at the top of my comments, just skip them altogether. (Hope you go that route, it'll spare me the pedantry.)

    10. So, you are not here to discuss with others any more than Mao is.

    11. its no fun discussing with mentally ill pedants, you and mm are insane partisans and your lack of introspection and understanding is extremely off putting to normies. i imagine you know you're weird and want to make everyone else as miserable as you are. whatever

    12. @ 12:19 is the trollbot equivalent to Robby the Robot.

    13. CMike: As for supporting "unelectables," Hillary Clinton lost...

      Not by popular vote —
      Hillary Clinton: 65,853,516 (48.2%)
      Donald Trump: 62,984,825 (46.1%)
      she won the plurality, which isn't what "unelectable" generally means. You can truthfully say "unelected", yes, but that's not the same thing.

    14. Raven,

      Take a moment to appreciate Hillary Clinton managed all of 2.1% more votes than a candidate with a 37.5% favorable/57.5% unfavorable rating on election day. Clinton out polled Trump by 4,269,978 votes in California, in the rest of the country Trump out polled her.

      The legacy of sixteen out of the last twenty-four years of neo-liberal Clinton/Obama/Clinton leadership is to have left the Democratic party in shambles. They rejected New Deal/Great Society liberalism, signed on to Reaganism (albeit a "trust us, we care about you" version) and then got left holding the bag when the whole thing blew up. Voilà- Trump.

    15. Take a moment to appreciate that CMike, a self identified progressive socialist, and his hero the Senator (Ind) from the great state of Vermont, wanted Donald J. Trump to win and did everything they could to ensure that their desired outcome happened.

    16. Everyone appreciates the delicious spectacle of the old witch and her ilk being trampled and reduced to bitter impotent hate-mongering. Mm-mmm-good!

    17. CMike: “... in the rest of the country Trump out polled her.”

      By dint of the GOP suppressing Democratic votes, e.g. closing 868 polling places in largely African-American and Latino districts across the Deep South and Southwest, using Kris Kobach's interstate "Crosscheck" to selectively kick that same demographic off the voter rolls, and using Voter ID laws to block remaining legally registered voters from actually being allowed to cast ballots... some 300,000 voters (again "disproportionately African-American and Latino voters") in the case of Wisconsin, where Trump's margin of victory was only 22,000.

      But hey, a "progressive socialist" doesn't care about systematic disenfranchisement of the electorate, as long as it lets you gloat about blocking a candidate you dislike, right?

    18. Any more horrifying 'narratives' from your zombie-herders? What happened to the Putin-mind-control excuse?

    19. Could you run that through a different computer translator into English?

    20. Raven,

      Scandals around voter suppression and, I'll add, paperless ballots have long been well known and unaddressed by the Democratic elite. These egregious problems seem to be a fixture of our democracy that aren't going anywhere. Sure, after a loss you can call for a whambulance- but that doesn't change the fact that, in this, reality Hillary Clinton was the loser.

      The time to challenge these issues, to put them on the front page, to get all eyes on them, is in the months leading up to an election. Instead, this is what we got from the "most qualified" candidate

      [QUOTE] Wallace: Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question in this topic. You've been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you. Your running mate Governor Pence pledged on Sunday that he and you, his words, will absolutely accept the result of this election. Today your daughter Ivanka said the same thing.

      I want to ask you here on the stage tonight, do you make the same commitment that you'll absolutely accept the result of the election.

      Trump: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I'll look at it at the time. What I've seen, what I’ve seen, is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile on is so amazing. "The New York Times" actually wrote an article about it, but they don't even care. It is so dishonest, and they have poisoned the minds of the voters.

      But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they’re going to see through it, we’ll find out on November 8th, but I think they’re going to see through it. If you look --

      Wallace: But, but --

      Trump: Excuse me, Chris. If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote. Millions. This isn't coming from me. This is coming from Pew report and other places. Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote. So let me just give you one other thing. I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people.

      I'll tell you one other thing. She shouldn't be allowed to run. It’s -- She's guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run, and just in that respect I say it's rigged because she should never --

      Wallace: But, but --

      Trump: Chris. She should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with e-mails and so many other things.

      Wallace: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country, in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and no matter how hard fought a campaign is that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and the country comes together in part for the good of the country.

      Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?

      Trump: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?


    21. ...continued

      [QUOTE] Clinton: Well Chris, let me respond to that because that’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things aren't going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him.

      The FBI conducted a yearlong investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus, he lost the Wisconsin primary, he said the Republican primary was rigged against him.

      Then, Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him.

      Trump: Should have gotten it.


      Clinton: This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks, and it's funny, but it's also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works.

      We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.

      You know, President Obama said the other day when you're whining before the game is even finished--


      Wallace: Hold on, folks.

      Clinton:-- It just shows you're not up to doing the job. And let's be clear about what he's saying and what that means. He's denigrating, he is talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

      Trump: I think what the FBI did and what the Department of Justice did, including meeting with her husband, the Attorney General, in the back of an airplane on the tarmac in Arizona, I think it's disgraceful. I think it's a disgrace.

      Wallace: All right. [END QUOTE]

    22. CMike: Scandals around voter suppression and, I'll add, paperless ballots have long been well known and unaddressed by the Democratic elite. ... The time to challenge these issues, to put them on the front page, to get all eyes on them, is in the months leading up to an election.

      Yet you only quote a Trump/Clinton debate snippet, not discussing those particular topics, as though it were relevant. Try these prior events:

      ● Alternet, May 12, 2015: Hillary’s Lawyer Sues Ohio To Thwart Voter Suppression Tactics That Helped GOP Steal Ohio In 2004; The 2016 voting wars have begun.
      ● Slate, June 4, 2015: Hillary Clinton Hits the GOP on Voter Suppression
      ● Democrats: Voting Rights Matter — :

      “As Republicans work to limit voting rights, Democrats are fighting back:

      • While the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the other sections remain intact. We are using every remaining tool in the VRA to combat restrictive laws. Under President Obama's leadership, the administration is already challenging laws in Texas.
      • The President's new Commission on Electoral Administration is finding better ways to expand access to the polls. They are holding public hearings around the country to hear directly from the American people about voting rights violations that have occurred, and proposing solutions to address them going forward.
      • Democratic lawmakers have formed a working group to reestablish the proven protections of pre-clearance — the formula that was used to determine which states would be required to get federal approval before passing any voting laws. This group is crafting amendments to the law that would reinstate the protections.*
      • Democratic leaders continue to pass laws that expand access to the polls. Most recently, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law sweeping voting reforms in Colorado: every registered voter will automatically receive a mail-in ballot, voters will be able to vote at centers across the state rather than just their precinct, early voting has been expanded, and there is same-day voter registration. In Maryland, Governor O'Malley signed into law similar measures: expanding early voting hours and providing for same-day voter registration during the early voting period.”

      * The GOP majority didn’t agree to reinstating pre-clearance. Surprise!

    23. Good stuff, Raven. Some very welcome contributions. It is obvious CMike never bothered to listen to Secretary Clinton, having made his closed mind up before the first vote.

      As a matter of fact, Secretary Clinton addressed voter suppression in her very first speech announcing her candidacy.

      We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people.

      We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, rather than every corporation’s right to buy elections.

      If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

      I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That’s why I’ve proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting.

      I’ll fight back against Republican efforts to disempower and disenfranchise young people, poor people, people with disabilities, and people of color.

      What part of democracy are they afraid of?
      June 13, 2015, on Roosevelt Island

      Further, she continued her attacks on voter suppression and named names, right from the get go.

      In a speech calling for an expansion of voting rights, Hillary Clinton attacked what she described as efforts to restrict voting by Republican governors who also are potential presidential candidates, singling out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

      "In Florida, when Jeb Bush was governor, state authorities conducted a deeply flawed purge of voters before the presidential election in 2000" and "a 2004 a plan to purge even more voters was headed off."

      "Former Gov. Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters."

      "In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker cut back early voting and signed legislation that would make it harder for college students to vote."

      "In New Jersey, Gov. Christie vetoed legislation to extend early voting."

      She was on that issue from Day 1, CMike, a hell of a lot more than anything I ever heard Bernie say, as busy as he was attacking the primary as a "rigged" system, helping greatly to suppress the vote in his own way.

      She had more balls than all of them combined, that's why I was such a strong supporter.

      CMike wasn't interested. He throws some bullshit here posting her answer to an entirely different question, cause CMike in the end has no intellectual honesty.

    24. If you two think Hillary Clinton made voter suppression (and paperless ballots) a centerpiece of her campaign you're living in an alternative reality. She had fifty issues, that was one of her biggest problems.

      If mm thinks most of the voters followed the campaign more closely than I did, that just goes to show how ridiculous his perspective is.

    25. Maybe it wasn't just me, you can find a hundred of these postmortems from sources with no attachment to Bernie Sanders which all reach the same conclusion(s). Here's the Guardian's November 9, 2016 go at it: Why Hillary Clinton lost the election: the economy, trust and a weak message [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] Message vacuum

      It also did not help that what Clinton was selling was mainly herself. The campaign’s strongest message was that she was uniquely qualified to become president. This was largely true, especially when compared with the grotesquely inexperienced Donald Trump, but big ideas took a backstage role.

      There was a cast of a thousand policy prescriptions, from tweaks to the healthcare system to a watered-down version of the Sanders college debt proposals. Few were memorable, even among supporters.

      Campaign slogans are notoriously vacuous. Obama’s “hope and change” turned out to be more of the former than the latter. Yet Clinton’s “stronger together” only really began to take shape in response to Trump’s divisiveness. It was attractive to many Democrats as a symbol of what they felt the campaign was about but it ensured the battle was fought on Trump’s terms. [END QUOTE]

    26. CMike: Maybe it wasn't just me, you can find a hundred of these postmortems from sources with no attachment to Bernie Sanders which all reach the same conclusion(s).

      Of course! There were and are hundreds of Russian trolls and bots, and not all of them labeled themselves "for Bernie".

    27. CMike: If you two think Hillary Clinton made voter suppression (and paperless ballots) a centerpiece of her campaign....

      Upthread you just falsely claimed those "scandals... have long been well known and unaddressed by the Democratic elite." Now, presented with proof they were addressed, you wave all that away because it was not the "centerpiece of her campaign". Oh, move the goalposts just a trifle, why not?

    28. No moving the goal posts Raven, what I said at 5:00 PM about how to tackle the issues of voter suppression and paperless ballots (sixteen years after Al Gore got jobbed) was:

      The time to challenge these issues, to put them on the front page, to get all eyes on them, is in the months leading up to an election.

      In other words to make those issues a centerpiece of the campaign. What's with you?

      But you're right Raven, in May of 2016 "Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and voting rights activists... sued Ohio in federal court to overturn a half-dozen Republican-created barriers that could suppress 'hundreds of thousands' of likely Democratic votes in 2016." So I guess that took care of everything, seeings how Hillary was the candidate that "gets things done." And all the these months after the 2016 election I'm sure you can find examples where leading Democrats have made comments complaining about the last round of Republican voter suppression efforts- so I guess they really have addressed the issue after all. Win for you.

      By the way, are you familiar with the investigative reporter Greg Palast? He's long been the person most on top of this voter suppression issue [LINK]. He says he can't find any organized effort on the part of Democrats to address or even publicize the issue. Won't he be embarrassed to find out how on top of this issue the Democrats have been, what with Clinton's top lawyer having been a complainant in a suit against Ohio in May of 2016.

    29. So many words, so much bullshit grieving over non-existing 'voter suppression', when half of the country doesn't vote and has no interest in voting whatsoever.

      Two bullshit 'parties', both sponsored by global capital; vote for either one, or don't vote at all, same result.

      Except, not this time - thank god for the Trump miracle.

    30. Mao's right, about Trump's bigotry sounding far too sweet to the ears of his voters, to let them even think about voting for anyone else.

    31. ".. thank god for the Trump miracle."
      That's not a "miracle". A "miracle" would be a Trump-supporter who has a problem with a candidate sponsored by global capital.
      Can you even imagine what kind of country we'd be living in if a Trump voter got mildly upset that trump handed the economy to Goldman Sachs? Don't answer. it's a rhetorical question. There isn't a soul on Earth enlightened enough to imagine anything so ridiculous.

    32. Voter fraud is nearly non-existent, voter suppression is abounds. (It's uncertain just how widely corrupt the vote counting processes are.)

    33. It wasn't a rhetorical question. It was the usual zombie drivel.

    34. 'Voter fraud' and 'voter suppression' are exactly the same bullshit. Giving each group of morons a comforting 'narrative' and a way to get outraged.

    35. CMike: Barack Obama and Eric Holder have been heading the redistricting (anti-gerrymandering*) fight, which got oral arguments at SCOTUS in October, and this New Yorker article last week, but I guess that's under your and Greg's radar, isn't it?

      * When asked why North Carolina’s electoral map gives 10 seats to Republicans and 3 Democrats despite a close popular vote a Republican lawmaker replied: “Because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.” — which very selectively prevents the representation of some voters (Democrats). You're fine with that, right?

      Mao Cheng Ji: “half of the country doesn't vote and has no interest in voting whatsoever”

      Voter suppression was a factor in many people actually not voting. I doubt the GOP would have spent so much time, energy, and above all money on that project if they really thought those voters “had no interest in voting whatsoever” — and Trump would not have put Kris Kobach, of Crosscheck infamy, in charge of the federal “Commission on Election Integrity”, preparing for the next step.

    36. Sorry, but I won't click to read your bullshit narratives for idiots.

      Anyone who wants to vote can manage to do it. But why would they want to do it?

      Sure, if they brought the ballot box to everyone's living room and begged, there would've been a higher turnout. But not doing it is not called 'voter suppression'.

      The political system with no real alternative does it.

    37. You won't look at evidence. You think “Anyone who wants to vote can manage to do it” — even if their polling places have been closed, their voting registrations improperly revoked, or nowadays ID required that was not previously required and which (because they do not own cars and now the DMV offices in their districts have closed anyway) they don't have and can't get.

      Further, you shift footing to “But why would they want to do it?” — Why not? The long long lines at limited polling places showed they did want to. Why ask why? Why spend all this effort blocking them from voting?

    38. Raven you write:

      Barack Obama and Eric Holder have been heading the redistricting (anti-gerrymandering*) fight, which got oral arguments at SCOTUS in October, and this New Yorker article last week, but I guess that's under your and Greg's radar, isn't it?

      Don't want to burst your bubble but I had detected that case a while back. Whereas gerrymandering does effectively disenfranchise voters it's not quite the same thing as the types of voter suppression which I thought we were discussing.

      Take the following two issues, voter fraud and voter suppression. The former bad act rarely occurs, the latter seems to be a constant occurrence in some localities and an occasional occurrence at other places when a close race is being decided.

      One type assault on the legitimacy of democracy does not occur, the other does occur. Which of the two would you guess is the type that is most discussed, alleged, and complained about in mass media? Actually, it's the type of assault that does not happen. The Republicans (no doubt aided by a corporate media that promotes certain interests) have made voter fraud a celebrated concern and used that manufactured controversy to facilitate their organized plans to suppress the vote.

      Meanwhile, sixteen years after the 2000 debacle, in the face of Republicans going low the Democrats continue to go high. Up thread I quoted the oh so adult Hillary Clinton who, at one of her four most watch appearances in Campaign 2016 right after Donald Trump had said his presidential bid might become a victim of massive voter fraud, decided to take the high road and defend the Establishment:

      [QUOTE] We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections.... He's denigrating, he is talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position. [END QUOTE]

    39. CMike: As “gerrymandering does effectively disenfranchise voters”, is that not sufficient reason to fight it? Even if “it’s not quite the same thing” as other dirty tricks also being pulled? Must each and every fight be the "centerpiece" or else be discarded entirely?

      > “Up thread I quoted the oh so adult Hillary Clinton...” — who was at that point quite properly debunking Trump’s mendacious twaddle about “voter fraud” (as distinct from “election fraud” e.g. tinkering with the vote-counting systems). And you wanted the subject changed?

    40. Raven at 7:50 PM,

      That's a silly response.

    41. Ah, what a substantive argument. How persuasive!

    42. "You think “Anyone who wants to vote can manage to do it” — even if their polling places have been closed, their voting registrations improperly revoked, or nowadays ID required that was not previously required and which (because they do not own cars and now the DMV offices in their districts have closed anyway) they don't have and can't get."

      Answering your points ad seriatim:
      - Find out where the polling place is and go there. Don't be an idiot.
      - Go to the townhall in advance and check your registration. If it was indeed improperly revoked, restore it. And
      - Everyone can get an ID. There is a two-year interval between elections, you can spare two hours.

      Your bosses aren't just sponsored by the global banksters, they are also sponsored, to a significant extent, by the lawyers. Every time there's any modification (deemed unfavorable to them) of electoral practices - they immediately start legal challenges and go all the way. Thus, your bosses have no reasonable grounds whatsoever to make a stink about 'voter suppression'.

      Like I said, if they want to see the suppressor, they should look in the mirror.

      Last year their (already crowned) queen was beat by a guy with no money, no apparatus, no field organization, who was demonized non-stop by the mainstream media and by every establishment clown.

      'nuff said.

    43. Mao,
      Trump's running interference for the neo-liberal globalists in their fight against the American consumer.
      I just wanted to send you this as a reminder to make believe that Trump isn't really a racist, grifter, and admitted sexual predator, but instead is really, really, anti-establishment.
      "Last year their (already crowned) queen was beat by a guy with no money..."

      This might be the first time there was a scintilla of truth to something you wrote here. All the money-laundering and fraud (Trump University), that he's perpetrated, and still the fat-assed, small-handed, phony doesn't have two dimes to rub together.

    44. Hillary Clinton?
      She never even parlayed a million dollar gift from her father into 4 bankruptcies and hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.

    45. "...hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt."

      You starry-eyed optimist, you. Our current President is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

    46. Māo Chéng Jì 猫城记: Find out where the polling place is and go there. — (1) The part about 868 polling places being closed seems to have gone past you. (2) This was generally not accompanied by providing information on where else one might go to vote. (3) If one DID find another place to vote, that meant backed-up, extra-long lines at the polls [and typically extra problems like running out of ballots]... meaning this was not a quick, in-out, visit to vote, but turned into a day-long task, on a workday, made more difficult for working people trying to vote during work breaks. Many had to choose between franchise and job. (4) Those long lines were often still going at closing time; blue states held polls open until all voters in line at closing time had voted; not so all red states. As a result, those closed polls and the reroutes to long lines at other polls did manage to prevent voters from voting, despite their best efforts.

      ... check your registration. If it was indeed improperly revoked, restore it. — Here you've missed the point of Crosscheck: that false derogation remains after the revocation, lurking in the system to be checked when the voter tries to register again.

      Everyone can get an ID. — As in Roy Moore's state? In October 2015 Alabama shut down 31 DMV offices, after the state's new Photo ID voting restriction went into effect the previous year. You'll be shocked to learn that the closures disproportionately affected voters in the state's "Black Belt", including the closure of offices in "Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters."

    47. Raven,
      Your not supposed to point out the blatant bigotry of the Right-wing. It makes them feel bad, and leads to concern trolls, like Somerby, telling us that you pointing out their bigotry (and not their actions, which you spelled-out in your reply) is why they win elections.

    48. Anon: [hanging head low]  Me so sorry.


    Net neutrality may be bad for the little guy. But then again it might not be. We're just asking!

  8. "Is it possible that Broaddrick's story is accurate? Yes, it certainly is."

    No, it isn't. Her story has been investigated by Kenneth Starr and found to be baseless. She herself would not swear to it when asked to repeat it under oath. Her story is incompatible with the character of Bill Clinton and with all of his previous and subsequent behavior. Her own behavior is different than that of women who actually have been raped. And she had plenty of motive to fabricate a story.

    So, no, it is not remotely possible that her story is true. Not even in parallel universes.

    Why then would Somerby leave open the possibility? To smear Clinton? He joins the many who mention rape and Broadrick's name over and over to create an image that cannot be eradicated by any amount of fact.

    And some here call this a defense of Clinton. They're joking, right?

    1. My understanding of the underlying problem with Juanita Broaddrick's rape story — after she'd recanted her sworn affidavit and sworn testimony that called it false — is that the timelines [plural] could not be made to match: her original date-and-time for the event conflicted with where Bill Clinton was known to be at that time, and when she offered a revised date-and-time, so did that. Without the possibility of their both being at that same hotel at that same time, no meeting thus no rape. The FBI had no basis to pursue the case further, neither did Ken Starr, neither did the House Republicans, as much as they would have liked to pile weight on the impeachment — it was, as Republican Rep. Hutchinson said (and you quoted above) "pejorative... and not probative".

  9. Anon 11:41 am made an interesting point about the term "satire".

    Somerby often uses irony to lampoon his targets or to make a point. Sometimes hyperbole. Sometimes ad hominem attacks. Sometimes he seems to be trying to be truthful.

    How should this statement be classified (from a past posting):

    "We can't beat them at the polls, so we pray pray pray pray pray that we can get them locked up! Oh please please please please please please please! Please let us helpless liberals get The Others arrested!"

    Is it ironic? Dramatic irony? Is he satirizing a typical conservative's view of liberals? Is that his honest view of liberals? (Off-topic question: is this media criticism?)

    When he calls Michelle Goldberg a pseudoprogressive careerist, is that ironic? Truthful opinion? Hyperbole? Ad hominem attack? Just another insult in a comedy routine?

    1. My advice for you is to lay back on your fainting couch and reapply the cold compress.

    2. So you can't/won't attempt an answer?

    3. @Anon 7:27pm:
      I guess you're a fan of Somerby's. And that's fine. But why don't you want to defend him? Or even discuss this?

      Do you think he is being effective right now?

      He made something of a name for himself at one time. He had a certain amount of influence then.
      Has he used that position effectively?

      Granted, Michelle Goldberg made a mistake about the Broaddrick thing. Does that make her a "pseudoprogressive?" What does "careerist" mean? That she actually has a career in journalism?

      What if you were Michelle Goldberg or a fan of hers? It's more likely that you would dismiss Somerby's criticism of her factual error because of his willingness to hurl insults. Those readers won't be persuaded; they'll just treat Somerby as a crank with a grudge. That's just human nature. And so Somerby misses his chance to change the media landscape. Why do you think his influence isn't what it once was?

      Of course it's always possible that Somerby thinks humans aren't the rational animal, and therefore are incapable of change, and that everyone in the media is an unrepentant bastard on the make. But in that case, why bother blogging?

      I'm saying this as someone who has admired Somerby, and who hates to see him squander the potential that he once showed.

      To quote from one of Somerby's heroes, Lincoln:

      "when the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maximum 'that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' --So with men. "

    4. 'maxim' not 'maximum'


    6. Plus, no offense, many of your questions are naive.

      You really don't know what he means by careerist?

    7. Has Somerby proven that Goldberg is a "careerist?" It seems to be just a random, reflexive insult. I don't know what Somerby means at all.

  10. What is your basis for the claim that he once had influence? I wasn't aware of that. If it's true that he did it have influence, I think it's clear that it did no good. Nothing changed. He has said explicitly that he continues to blog for anthropological reasons. So there will be a record in the future of the press corps ignorance and nefariousness.

    1. You are correct. Somerby has had zero influence. And that's demonstrable. A pointless blog.

  11. Uh, another case of "whataboutism"? Yes, Bill Clinton was and is a scumbag. Does that excuse Roy Moore? Does that inform the Roy Moore issues? Does that make anything okay? Does anybody getting away with something horrifically illegal justify us copying him?

    If people want to discuss Bill Clinton, please meet in a hotel ballroom somewhere and give it a go. We are talking about the fitness of a candidate for the US Senate, a candidate who broke Alabama's laws regarding sexual misconduct/harassment. The Bible doesn't matter, Bill Clinton doesn't matter, stick to the topic folks.

  12. Notice how women looking for justice is a stampede. This is how the wealthy control us. First you dismiss women, then you learn to close ranks on the ACLU. There's a reason Republicans like to do this, they're aware of who is usually leading the fight.

    1. > “Notice how women looking for justice is a stampede.”

      There is some question whether all the accusers are indeed “women looking for justice.”

      The original batch, very likely.

      What has come out in response to them, however, from the right wing, and notably in the case of serial false accuser Leeann Tweeden (who previously had publicly lied about other non-WASP liberal politicians Shirley Sherrod and Barack Obama), appears to be the equivalent of counterfeit money flooding the market to devalue genuine money — that is, while there remains any tendency to believe ALL accusers, a flood of false accusers can be found to harm the innocent — and when that harm is realized and counteracted by an overreacting equal-and-opposite tendency to DISbelieve ALL accusations, why then the original truthful accusers will be dismissed out of hand along with the copycat false accusers. Mission accomplished in both phases!

  13. It's strange seeing people who were alive when Ms. magazine was founded consider themselves world weary experts on women.

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