BREAKING: More things a person can see on Fox!


Carlson scores mammoth huge win:
As the fury of TonedeafGate subsides, we think Glenn Kessler's participation deserves being noted.

Long ago and far away, we declared that Kessler might possibly be "The Man." On this basis of this appraisal, he was named the Washington Post's FactChecker—but it seems to us that he may have succumbed to the mainstream press corps illness, Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

When TonedeafGate took shape this week, Kessler swung into action. His appraisal appears beneath this screeching headline:
Fact-Checking Bill Clinton’s meltdown on NBC’s ‘Today Show’
Did Clinton stage a "meltdown" on Today? Especially in a "fact check" report—especially given the sliced-and-diced nature of Today's editing of its interview—that strikes us as a giant overstatement.

The fact check itself was worse. Kessler went to remarkable lengths to fact-check, or pretend to fact-check, a tremendously tangential claim.

At enormous length, he fact-checked, or pretended to fact-check, the tangential matter now known as "the $16 million question." We'd have to say that he may have succumbed to the disease called CDS.

Has Kessler also succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome? Yes, there actually is such a disease. You can see corporate stars in its grip on "cable news" every night.

We'd say that Kessler was exhibiting symptoms in his recent treatment of the Spygate matter. This is the way his report began:
KESSLER (5/25/18): President Trump, in a continuing effort to discredit the criminal investigation into his campaign’s possible links with Russia entities, has now seized on “spygate.” This refers to the news that the FBI obtained information from an informant—Stefan Halper, an emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge—who met with at least three members of Trump’s campaign staff suspected of having links to Russia.

As an informant, Halper openly asked questions; a spy uses tradecraft to obtain information. So far, there has been nothing to indicate that there was a “spy” mandate as part of Halper’s assistance for the FBI, which apparently started after the agency opened a counterintelligence probe. But that has not stopped Trump from trying to fan the flames with often inaccurate information.
Truly, that's just awful. A tiny hint of derangement may be in the air

For starters, we'll note the way Kessler massaged the facts in this "FactChecker" post. According to Kessler, Halper "met with at least three members of Trump’s campaign staff" and "openly asked [them] questions."

The use of the word "openly" there strikes us as baldly deceptive. Beyond that, Kessler's attempt to describe the semantics of "informant v. spy" is straight outta third grade.

Kessler's own Washington Post keeps reporting a full set of facts about what Halper did. Even in a "fact check" report, Kessler seemed to massage them, with semantic silliness serving as the frosting on the cake.

Alas! Lunatic as Donald Trump is, his opponents can be deranged too. You see this pattern on "cable news" all night every night, where the various corporate stars operate under the self-defeating rubric, No Bait Left Behind.

Whatever bait has been offered that day, the corporate stars rush to consume it. This leads us to Tucker Carlson's program this past Thursday night, as does Kessler's treatment of Spygate.

Alas! During the midnight hour on Thursday night, we felt we couldn't watch another minute of Rachel's latest harangue, and so we flipped over to Fox. Upon arrival, we watched Carlson stage three successive segments in which he mocked the recent behavior of the No Bait Left Behind gang.

Politically, we thought he went 3-for-3, scoring political wins every time.

In the second of these three segments, Carlson massacred the animatronic Richard Painter concerning the facts versus the semantics of SpyvInformantate. Painter was utterly, totally hapless. But in his third segment, Carlson's political triumph was even greater.

Good God! Rudy Giuliani had made rude remarks about Stephanie Clifford that day. Given the mandates of No Bait Left Behind, this led our "liberal" corporate stars to author all sorts of heartfelt remarks about Clifford's moral greatness.

Carlson opened with tape of Giuliani, then played tape of four of these thousand remarks. He then ridiculed the authors of those comments.

Warning to all Democratic voters—the worst was yet to come:
CARLSON (6/7/18): That was Rudy Giuliani, saying what's been obvious to pretty much every living person for a couple of thousand years, that someone is more deserving of respect if they don't have sex with strangers on camera for money.

But this is 2018. We don't live in a normal America, but in a liberal carnival version of it instead. A version in which pornography isn't degrading, it's dignifying and empowering to women, just like Haiti is a beautiful country with functioning sanitation and MS-13 gang members are great people.

Well, today, the press scrambled to praise Stormy Daniels' illustrious career.


STEPHANIE RUHLE: You just heard Rudy Giuliani's reaction, which in essence is "Porn stars aren't people too."

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: We've always had women who worked and worked on the street. A lot of them have put their kids to college.

SAM STEIN: She is one of the most successful porn stars in recent history. A lot of people have "just looked at her." Honestly. You can question her career choices, but I think she's made a successful career for herself.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI [stricken, as alwayss]: She's a mother and she's a woman with a voice. And she's going to use it.


CARLSON: These people are beyond—they're literally beyond parody.
Our view? On the politics of this matter, Carlson was already ahead on points. But then he introduced Mark Steyn and the rout was on.

Below, you see the start of their colloquy. Forgive us, but we'd have to say that Steyn produced one the greatest comedic frameworks we've ever seen on TV:
CARLSON (continuing directly): Author and columnist Mark Steyn joins us.

Mark, I should just say that I actually, by temperament, am pretty non-judgmental. I'm not mad at Stormy Daniels or anything. But I notice—I can't help but notice—the impulse on the left is always to elevate and celebrate anything that is repulsive, degrading, bad for you. Anything that is low and ugly, they deify. What is that about?

STEYN: Yes. I think there's an element of—I would say—I thought originally it was confusion, but I think it's actually intentional because— On the one hand, you have Miss America saying we're not going to have a swimsuit round anymore, because that's demeaning to women.


STEYN: So you can't have a swimsuit round. But if you take off your swimsuit and you have sex with 37 different guys on screen in one motion picture, then people will hail you.

CARLSON: I want to make sure I get the correct quote here. "One of the most successful porn stars ever." That's a really great thing to be!
Good God! Steyn had authored one of the most successful comedic frameworks we've ever seen. Given the rules of our "no bait" approach, we hate the swimsuit competition, but we take numbers and stand in line to praise Clifford's greatness.

We apologize for saying this, but that's a one-punch knockout. Trust us! You simply can't hope to defeat a political joke that good.

The political pummeling only got worse Carlson and Steyn continued. Just to be clear, we're speaking here about the politics, not about the ultimate wisdom, which of course, by definition, always resides with Us.

If we're speaking about the politics, we'd better hope that very few Undecideds were watching Carlson that night. In our view, he defeated our No Bait crowd in three consecutive segments—and he left us unconscious, on the carpet, as he spoke with Steyn.

Final point—we don't have an ultimate problem with Clifford's career choice either, especially since it's legal. We did have a problem with the way the cable nets, and the liberals journals, kept flashing her photos around during StormyGate in ways which were blatantly exploitive.

Eye candy over here! Come take a look at Stormy's parts! That's what the barkers at our "liberal" news orgs kept saying again and again.

We also had, and have, a major problem with what Clifford did in 2016. Not unlike Vladimir Putin, not unlike Gennifer Flowers, she tried to interfere in a presidential campaign, in her case by trying to sell her thrilling story about alleged sex, on one occasion, with Donald J. Trump.

She tried to interfere in pursuit of sacks of cash. At some point, we the people will have to decide that we have to stop rewarding that.

At any rate, Mark Steyn scored a one-punch knockout with that comedic framing. We liberals hate the swimsuit stuff, but we rush to praise the porn star!

Given time, your lizard brain will find a way to say that this all makes perfect sense. But out in the world of American voters, our lizard brains had choked on bait.

Our lizards were left for dead.

Final point: Your lizard will tell you not to believe this. Your lizard keeps trying to lose!

Meanwhile, new rankings of greatest uses of humor ever:
Greatest uses of humor ever:
1) The final use of "round up the usual suspects" in Casablanca

2) Mark Steyn's one-punch knockout on Fox this past Thursday night
In truth, we made it easier for Steyn through our tribal adoption of No Bait Left Behind.


  1. Yeah, Tucker Carlson got the best part in this whole sorry goebbelsian spectacle...

    And by the way, Bob: "Bill Clinton’s meltdown" is nowhere near a derangement syndrome. TDS is very much a real thing that we observe every hour of every day. And CDS, I'm sorry to say, only exists in your imagination.

    1. Hardly. It's the original.

    2. Sure, there was a period, ~25 years ago, when part of the establishment hated Bill Clinton and his psycho-partner 'wife'. But certainly not now, not these days, occasional "meltdown" comment notwithstanding.

    3. Yet Trump is the one who kissed Establishment asses in the form of a huge tax break.

    4. Mao is not a serious commenter, Mao does not believe any of his/her comments, they are drenched with irony and sarcasm. Mao is a laugh for progressives and liberals. Mao provides entertainment for Democratics. Mao's act is old and stale. Mao's lack of creativity indicates despondency.

      Mao gets additional pay for every response Mao generates.

      Enjoy a dinner out on me, Mao. Or a pee hooker if that floats your boat.

  2. And pigeon milk, contains higher levels than mammalian milk. That lobular marcipal, on the scrubfowl is really what got me to put that salt lick out there. The response has been mixed. And I’ve attracted, actually, scorpions, and unrelated creatures. And the honeysuckle has attracted all kinds of other mammalian creatures. And I noticed their quills, and their howlicks, also changed the sheath of their plumage. So, can the dorsal ridge of an insectivore develop an egg shell, like an incubated chick?

    1. When your daughters decide to get into porn, please be sure to tell us how happy you are about it.

    2. 12:20,
      When did the porn business crash the economy through an epidemic of fraud?
      When your kids decide to get into banking...

    3. Trump seems to be proud of Melania's nude photos, taken for other men's pleasure. He married her, so he must have been happy about them. He also must have had great respect for Stormy Daniels, since he had sex with her despite being with a different woman at that golf tournament and also married at the time. Would a man like Trump, who could be with anyone he wanted, choose someone who is being so thoroughly denigrated now? And the criticisms of her are not because of her business dealings or her desire to get out of the NDA, but because of what she did on screen before she met Trump. So the very things that people are demeaning her for seem to be what attracted Trump to her. So is she very bad or very good? You can't have this both ways. Good before sex, bad afterwards -- oh, wait, that's the essence of how warped men think about sex!

  3. I agree with you Bob, and it got even worse this morning on Joy Reid.

    Lisa Bloom's "But Stormy Daniels IS a career woman!" was the topper. Bloom also neglected to mention that most if not all of these "outrageous" payoff deals are initiated by the women, not the men. And with the help of attorneys like Lisa Bloom.

    If there's nothing wrong with porn, then why aren't they themselves doing it? Stormy Daniels' version too is especially demeaning -- unless you think that MILFs being coerced into throat gagging on the floor is a good example of sexual vitality and health.

    The inanity of these people. And it WILL backfire on the Dems.

    1. Just because Daniels hasn't bankrupted her businesses multiple times, doesn't mean she's not a smart businessperson.

    2. 12:16,
      NRA hero, Bob Marley, fought the "tyranny of the government" by shooting that Sheriff.

    3. "NRA hero".
      You do know Bob Marley was black, right?

    4. "Bob Marley was black".
      You do know in a post racial society all rockers look alike, right? See #4 here LINK for the source of 1:47 PM's confusion.

    5. Perhaps zombie-dembot @1:47 meant to complain about Eric Clapton?

    6. I guess this means you're under fifty Mao, otherwise you wouldn't have bothered with the link.

  4. These statements are only "knockouts" if you agree with conservative perspectives on things. Otherwise, they are just more of the noise manufactured on that network to please its viewers. Name calling the left has been going on forever.

    And then Somerby recites his own untruths about Clifford. You really can't complain about other people's fact-checking and then turn around and make false statements yourself.

    1. Clifford tried to interfere in a presidential campaign. How? By not saying anything when offered money to keep quiet. Seems to me she would have interfered more if she had refused the cash and made a public statement about her affair with Trump -- before the election.

    2. She tried to interfere in pursuit of stacks of cash. She would have made more if she had sold her story to a tabloid but her attorney then convinced her to take Trump's offer instead (he seems to have been working in collusion with Cohen). She has since offered to return the money. Her lawsuit now is not about money and specifies no damages. She wants her NDA lifted. She makes more money on her films than Trump paid her and is not hard up for cash.

    3. She trying to sell her thrilling story about alleged sex. Trump has now admitted his affair with her. This isn't alleged, it happened. She has refused to share details that would make her story more "thrilling," such as how Trump was in bed. Trump talks more about his sexual exploits than Daniels has done.

    4. Eye candy over here, come look at Stormy's parts. I've never seen Daniels in any low-cut or tight outfit that emphasizes her parts. She has the kind of parts that make her good at her job. Like many actresses, she has had surgery. It goes with the territory. But she has not flaunted those parts in the context of this lawsuit. The idea that this is about her body parts is in Somerby's lustful mind. Is she supposed to wear a burkha? She has been wearing shirt-waist dresses, the kind that would be appropriate in any office. But yes, she does have big breasts -- a word Somerby cannot bring himself to say.

    But, this woman, who is not only an actress but also a writer, director and producer, cannot be anyone worth respecting for Somerby. She acts in simulated sex scenes to produce entertainment that Somerby disapproves of. So she cannot be anyone serious, real, and she cannot have a legitimate grievance against Trump, Cohen, and her former attorney.

    So, today Somerby once again flashes his membership card in the he-man woman-hater's club. He is no better than Guiliani or Trump since he cannot imagine that a woman who is sexual can be anything else but debased. Despite years of hearing about Mary Magdalene in church! The nuns (not Maddow, the fake nun) are weeping.

  5. I'm sorry, but is Miss America a liberal organization? Its current chairwoman is Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News celebrity and famous non-liberal.

    And did they say anything about "demeaning to women" when announcing the elimination of the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition?

    1. It was, it is, and so is most porn.

      Ever seen Stormy in action?

    2. Sounds like you watch her, a lot!

  6. The way you hypocritical guys (I know you watch it) feel about porn is the way I feel about violence porn, such as Game of Thrones or Westworld. I condemn anyone who acts in such shows. They cannot be serious people worthy of any respect either. They have debased themselves utterly. Nothing they say or do in life matters after such performances and clearly they have no respect for themselves.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a direct link were drawn between Game of Thrones and sex crimes and violence, including these school shootings and other terrorist acts committed by celibate young men full of rage. Their role models are right there on cable news and in entertainment. No need to watch porn to find debasement. It is on prime time. The NRA said so.

    1. Possibly.

      Ever seen some of Stormy Daniels' versions? Unless you think that forcible throat-gagging with huge dicks is empowering, stay away from the woman.

    2. File under "Capitalism, how does it work?"

  7. Deadrat was asking for evidence that Somerby doesn't like women much. Today's post is a good example.

    1. Anonymous on June 9, 2018 at 12:53 PM,

      How is this blog entry an indication that Somerby doesn’t like women “much”? I think we can infer he doesn’t like Clifford much, but that’s because she’s a small-time grifter who he thinks tried to interfere in the 2016 election. TDH spends most of his disdain on the “liberal” media types who (he says) exploited Clifford’s image and weren’t clever enough to counter rightwing idiots like Tucker Carlson.

      As for the former, I can’t tell whether the outrage arises from prudishness or political judgment.

      As for the latter, he’s right. There’s no need to glorify Clifford any more than there is to denigrate her. When Rudy says she has no credibility because she has sex on camera, the counter is that one loses credibility by indulging in mendacity and betrayal. So who’s has more credibility, a porn star or a man who cheats on his wife with a porn star? Whether the porn star is successful or a woman with a voice is immaterial.

      But there’s a lot that puzzles me in this entry. I don’t understand all the hand-wringing about the words spy and informant. I don’t understand why I’m supposed to worry about “undecideds” who take seriously anyone who says the “left” glorifies the repulsive. I don’t understand how a comic can think that “round up the usual suspects” is a ranking use of humor.

      But then I don’t understand how anyone could think that Chekov wrote Lolita.

      Maybe it’s just me.

    2. Since it started making money in a capitalist society.
      Are you new to the United States?

    3. I think a reasonable position can be taken that Somerby does not have the most enlightened view on women, an impression from reading TDH for years. Evidence to demonstrate would require gratuitous research, to satisfy uber literalists like some of the more dull readers would require ESP. However a daily reading will reasonably give some the impression that Somerby suffers from some level of prejudice against women.

      Some fanboys will protest.

    4. In a way that reminds you of Somerby, Jimmy Dore takes twenty-three minutes to make and repeat his central point several times here, but it isn't Somerby he singles out for having an "unenlightened view on women." LINK

    5. Pseudo-babble from another Tucker Carlson fanboy. You're really off the deep end,

    6. Anonymous June 9, 2018 at 8:37 PM

      I think a reasonable position can be taken that Somerby does not have the most enlightened view on women, an impression from reading TDH for years.

      Ooh! I love impressions! Which ones do you do? Aside from clueless commenter, I mean.

      Evidence to demonstrate would require gratuitous research

      So what does that mean, Sparky? That you have no evidence, I expect. If you want to demonstrate your claim, you need evidence, and if that evidence requires research, then that’s what you have to do. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. And how hard can it be for someone who has been reading TDH “for years” when all of TDH is available with a few clicks of a mouse?

      to satisfy uber literalists like some of the more dull readers would require ESP

      Dull readers like me. But as dull and literal as I may be, I’m not wrong. It’s hard enough to detect the feeling behind words when you’re face to face with a speaker and have facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and other extra-verbal cues. Much harder when all you’ve got is words on your monitor.

      However a daily reading will reasonably give some the impression that Somerby suffers from some level of prejudice against women.

      Let me fix that for you: “My daily reading will idiosyncratically give me the impression that Somerby is a misogynist.”

      There. Improved the phrasing and made it unassailable.

      You’re welcome.

    7. CMike,

      Couldn’t make it through all 23 minutes. The pain became too much when Dore asked why Obama didn’t intervene in Wisconsin to save the teacher’s union. When I say I want ignorance to be painful, I meant that the ignorant should suffer, not his audience.

    8. deadrat,

      Dore misstated his point but what he frequently refers to in this matter is that Obama reneged on an explicit campaign promise by never showing up and participating in any demonstrations, like the 2011 Wisconsin protests, during his presidency LINK.

      LINK: The legislation... [t]he 2011 Wisconsin Act 10... primarily affected the following areas: collective bargaining, compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of public sector employees. In response, unions and other groups organized protests inside and around the state capitol.

      LINK: The 2011 Wisconsin protests were a series of demonstrations in the state of Wisconsin in the United States beginning in February involving at its zenith as many as 100,000 protesters opposing the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, also called the "Wisconsin Budget Repair bill."

    9. When Somerby talks about Maddow shoving cash down her pants, it is safe to assume he has a problem with women.

      Then there was his argument that young girls can date much older men if their mamas approve.

      Then there is his recent abuse of Stephanie Clifford because he thinks porn is icky, calling her a grifter etc. on no basis whatsoever, because he disapproves of women who are "sex positive."

      Then there is his continuous searching out and attack of young women who dare to write for NY Times and such places after getting those ivy league degrees. And his attack on young women who happen to be professors.

      And there was his attack on the woman physicist who dared to write a book he didn't find perfectly comprehensible. And so on.

      And there was his inability to imagine Hillary as President and his continuing excoriation of her flawed campaign, which no doubt arose from her flaws as a politician (her lack of a penis).

      And there was the link to an interview with Somerby in which he discussed his ideas about comedy, where you can see him interacting pleasantly with a male comedian in the green room but utterly ignoring the female comedian who was also there.

      This guy has an obvious problem with women. That is too bad for him since women are here to stay and are not going back into quiet submissive corners so that he can expound on relativity without being bothered by those annoying, grating high pitched voices.

    10. "Eye candy over here! Come take a look at Stormy's parts! That's what the barkers at our "liberal" news orgs kept saying again and again."

      None of the news orgs have been saying anything like this, but Somerby cannot tear his eyes away from Stormy's parts. Just like that tormented soul cannot help commenting over and over about the acts he "accidentally" witnessed when viewing Stormy's porn.

      If you can't see the person because her body parts get in the way, that constitutes a problem with women.

      Somerby isn't married, but how could he have a reasonable relationship with a woman if he cannot see her as an individual, a person, after having sex with her? This is the heart of what it means to objectify women. You see them as their body parts, not as individuals. Somerby is so distracted by Stormy's parts that he cannot see the woman. And he is so suspicious of women that he calls this one a grifter because how could someone with those parts not be? And it is a short step from that to the idea that women use their parts to get what they want from men, and in Stormy's case, to get famous, rich, etc. Because that's what women do.

      That's why Somerby has a problem with women. And it is obvious every time he opens his mouth.

    11. Anonymous on June 10, 2018 at 10:32 AM

      When Somerby talks about Maddow shoving cash down her pants, it is safe to assume he has a problem with women.

      Really? Here’s a quote from TDH on 12/20/16:

      Rachel Maddow serves tribal porridge as she
      jams corporate cash in her pants. For these
      reasons, she's been named Worst Journalist of
      the Year(s) by our panel of judges.

      The problem in TDH’s view is that Maddow is a paid corporate hack who dodges important political issues. Is it pants you have a problem with? Do you think his disdain is reserved for women? If so, you might try typing “Chris Matthews” in the search box.

      Then there was his argument that young girls can date much older men if their mamas approve.

      Is your claim that TDH means underage when he writes “young”? Because that’s not true. Nineteen year olds are considered adults. If even their mamas don’t object to their dating a particular older man, who are we (and by “we”, I mean you) to object? Roy Moore married his wife when she was 24 and he was 38. They’ve been married for over 30 years. If you’ve got a problem with those set of facts, the problem is with you, not Moore and not Somerby.

      Then there is his recent abuse of Stephanie Clifford because he thinks porn is icky, calling her a grifter etc. on no basis whatsoever, because he disapproves of women who are "sex positive.”

      Where does TDH say that porn is “icky”? He calls Clifford a grifter because she is one, not because she works in porn. Can you quote something by TDH that shows his disapproval of women who are “sex positive”? Whatever that means.

      Then there is his continuous searching out and attack of young women who dare to write for NY Times….

      Searching out? These women are often assigned to write education stories that TDH finds faulty. Are you claiming that TDH finds fault with the stories because their authors are women? If so, can you point me to one?

      And there was his attack on the woman physicist….

      Do you mean the Harvard physicist Lisa Randall? Because she appears only because TDH is trashing the author Jim Holt (4/25/17). TDH even remarks about Holt’s “tone deaf” description of Randall as attractive. Maybe you have someone else in mind. Did TDH attack the woman physicist because she was a woman? Can you give me a pointer?

      And there was his inability to imagine Hillary as President

      Sorry, can’t find it. Can you provide me a reference?

      … his continuing excoriation of her flawed campaign, which no doubt arose from her flaws as a politician (her lack of a penis).

      No doubt? Clinton’s campaign has been widely criticized on various grounds and by various commenters. Can you direct me to a blog post in which TDH says or implies that Clinton’s flaw is a missing penis?

      utterly ignoring the female comedian who was also there.

      I’d have to see the interview. Do you have the link?

      For all I know, Somerby actually has a problem with women. But all you know is your narrative that he does.

    12. Anonymous June 10, 2018 at 11:03 AM,

      None of the news orgs? C’mon. It took me seconds on YouTube to find an MSNBC report on Cliffords lawyers with shots of the talking heads interrupted by pictures of Stormy Daniels at the Adult Video Awards. It’s TDH’s contention that the news programs are showing pictures of Daniels to drive up viewership. Are you denying this?

      Now maybe as well Somerby is mesmerized by these pictures. But you’ve got nothing but your mindreading skills to support that view. (Is it Somerby who says he “accidentally” witnessed Stormy’s work? I can’t find that.)

      Somerby isn’t married. OK, and how is that relevant? How can he have a reasonable relationship with a woman? I don’t know; perhaps the usual way. Somerby can’t see a woman as an individual after having sex with her. Excuse me? What do you know about Somerby’s sex life?

      TDH calls Clifford a grifter because she is one. Small potatoes, perhaps, compared with the grifter in the White House. But that’s what she is, someone who took money to hush up an embarrassing incident. She’s not even an honest grifter. Those stay bought.

      Are you claiming that women don’t use their “parts” to get what they want from men or that Stormy didn’t use her parts to get rich and famous?

      TDH wants Clifford to go away, and he wants “liberal” news outlets to stop keeping her in the news. That’s because private sexual dalliances should not be a part of our political process, and liberals should be the first to know the danger.

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. Cmike, as far as Dore goes, I was a bit taken aback by his contention that Bernie is "propping up" the Democratic party near the 12:00 mark, because it sounded like an insult.

      Then again, Bernie might do well to jump on the third-party bandwagon. Maybe he will. But pushing the Democratic leadership to the left is politically prudent for Sanders in my view. Too bad it’s not working. But his ideas have wide support.

      Anyway, to take the focus away from Presidential politcs, have a look at this. Very entertaining writer, so much so that I provide a stipend now and then. And his essay falls right in line with Dore’s point about Michelle Obama.

      “You have to show for every election. Every. Single. One. From school board to president. Every single time.

      “And don’t tell me that you do.

      Because you don’t.”

      Stonekettle Station


    15. CMIke,

      Thanks for the first link. (I know about the other two.) Yeah, Obama broke a promise. One he probably shouldn't have made. Presidents don't interfere in matters that are strictly state issues, and Scott Walker's disgraceful actions were exactly that. It's time for people like Dore to grow up.

    16. Leroy,

      First off, those are some impressive HyperText Markup Language skills you put on display to close out your comment.

      But onto the fact that it's obvious why Michelle Obama encourages the commoners to blame themselves for the failures of the Democratic party. She's a spokesperson for her wing of the elite. What's hard to figure is why, if as you suggest Stonekettle Station is the insightful sort, he's distracting his readers with what amounts to pointless chatter, "Voters, get out there and give it 110%."

      For four hundred years after Luther translated a Christian bible written in Hebrew and Greek into the German vernacular rising literacy among commoners had been a key in the rise of democratization in the west. In the twentieth century, however, broadcast communications replaced print as the dominant media giving a capitalist elite an anti-democratic power of feudal times, specifically, being able to control the masses by spreading false and unchallenged beliefs about how society necessarily had to be ordered.

      The broadcast media's fundamental characteristic is that it delivers a one way flow of information and interpretation from a source to passive consumers. Couple that with the high cost of producing and delivering that media's infotainment content in a polished (/slick) enough form to attract listeners and watchers and the result is only the monied class can afford to be its source. This, more than any other reason, is why we see that the political trend in the west is now away from democratization and back towards control by the few.

      Can Sanders overcome this tilted playing field with some sort of whistle stop campaign in 2020? It's unlikely but maybe he can win the presidency and I, myself, am certainly willing to get behind him. Meanwhile, you've read Dore correctly, he's running out of patience with Sanders and wants the senator to launch a national third party challenge to the system. In my opinion, Dore doesn't understand what that would involve including what would be a best case timeline.

      A third party would take a generation to build into an institution that could exercise power through the control of elected office. Meanwhile, Sanders is basically a unicorn. There are no other political figures on the scene all of his potential voters would rally behind in local or federal elections today, even at his direction. And Sanders is 76, he won't be having many tomorrows after 2020.

    17. clueless fanboy persists in protesting attacks on his sweetheart, trying to prove his enthusiasm. at least it shows some depth of humanity and emotion, even while insisting the rest of the world be cold sterile and robotic. dull, because wrong. gathering necessary evidence can be prohibitive, and often not clear cut, that said I did review TDH and found 879 posts that were negative to females vs 212 that were negative to males

      More Than A Feeling

    18. Cmike, I know that reading SKS may seem tedious, therefore, I'm not sure you read the whole thing. He's a gifted writer and science fiction fan like myself. Little known fact, the novel Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein has wide exposure in our military schools. Learned that from “Jim,” as I like to call him. I read Heinlein as a lad, and he seems worth revisiting.

      Anyway, here was the relevant part, to me, in his essay:

      “Tell me something: local elections, code enforcement officer, county clerk, selectman, elder, town counsel, mayor, school board. The judges on your state ballot, what do you know about them? Wait, are there judges on your state ballot? Are state judges selected the same way across all states? Do you know? Guess what? They’re not. The methodology for selecting judges varies widely between states, partisan elections, nonpartisan elections, legislative elections, gubernatorial appointments, and/or assisted appointments. Quick, which method does your state use? Do you elect your judges or does your state government appoint them? Picture your ballot, are there judges on it? Is the candidate judge’s political affiliation listed or not? What do you know about those potential judges? How can you find out? What do those judges judge? Family court? Traffic court? Property court? Criminal court? Are they city or municipal courts? County courts? Circuit courts? Regional courts?
      “Name a judge on the bench of your local circuit court. No? Okay, how about just the Chief Judge for your district?

      “Do you think it matters? Judges are impartial, right? Non-partisan.”

      And it goes on from there to good effect. People show up every four years for the Presidential election, but are nowhere to be found when it comes to local (and arguably more important) elections.

      Now I’m going back to your post. I skimmed, read the last and penultimate paragraphs, but I need to read the rest. And respond if necessary.

      And thanks for teaching me the rudiments of html. I think I got some tips from Raven too. Impressive? Hardly.


    19. Thanks for the link, 5:51. Great tune!

      All of us here seem to have an obsession with this website, though yours seems a bit unhealthy. Some of us agree, some of us don't, and at times we learn things from one another. Sometimes we learn from Bob too.

      I'm not a misogynist myself, I could better be described as a misanthrope. But I enjoy the company, yours included.


    20. CMike, having read your response, and my drivel, I realize I went far afield from the initial point of Bob’s post.

      When you write about the one-way direction of media consumption, you’re definitely speaking to the choir of course. And I’m no Martin Luther scholar, but your inclusion of him to make a very important point seems a bit arbitrary. His fight against the Catholic church is to be admired, especially given the pre-scientific society in which he lived. But apparently, due to his insane (sic) religious beliefs, we seem most fortunate that his views never occupied the realm of one-way media.

      Here’s a link to something entirely relevant to Dore’s broadcast. You’ve probably seen it already. I’m not going to be fancy this time.

      And I’ll try try try to stay on point at this website. Jesus, I even annoy myself sometimes.


    21. Chiming in, Leroy, clearly 5:51 was referring to someone else, and their point was the same as yours, that the referenced person has an unhealthy obsession with this website leading to snarky comments devoid of meaningful discussion.

    22. Leroy writes:

      Cmike, I know that reading SKS may seem tedious, therefore, I'm not sure you read the whole thing.

      Oh I did read everything in that one post SKS, himself, wrote. As for the embedded tweets, I did skim through a chunk of them, and his link to that one lengthy twitter thread, where no doubt the text was easier to read, came too late for me to want to use it.

      It seemed to me SKS's point was that the citizenry was failing the system, that we voters had no one to blame but ourselves, as opposed to our problem being that our culture is failing to produce any effective left populist leadership/movements. I think there's more progress to be made by trying to understand and address that last issue.

    23. Leroy,

      I wrote my 9:17 PM comment having missed yours at 8:23 PM somehow.

      I did read that Greenwald article, he linked to it in his twitter feed.

      The point about Luther was that by translating the bible into a living language he empowered followers to study and come to their own conclusions about their sacred texts. This and the development of moveable metal type printing introduced by Gutenburg led to a steady rise in literacy and free thinking across Europe.

    24. almost offhandedly the commenter mentions that other thing, the printing press, lol

    25. CMike 9:17. I think you're right. At least, Jim Wright should have addressed the fact that our our educational system has completely failed at providing basic civics lessons. I went to a good school, but ended up having to learn most of what I know on my own. Education is key to a robust represenative democracy.

      As you often do, you pointed me to interesting topics in history, thanks.


  8. Somerby: "On the politics of this matter, Carlson was already ahead on points"

    One of those "points", perhaps the main one, was this:

    Carlson: "the impulse on the left is always to elevate and celebrate anything that is repulsive, degrading, bad for you."

    Of course conservatives believe that. (We won't ask whether Somerby actually believes it's true; at least he never explicitly says he does.) Thus, when they hear "liberals" defending Stefanie Clifford as an individual against the charges and insinuations offered up by Mr Moral Greatness himself, Rudy Giuliani, of course Carlson's viewers see the defense of Clifford as an elevation of pornography, which of course they view as vile and degrading. It's also true that porn is quite a big business, and certainly in red states. One can't overlook a fair degree of hypocrisy in conservatives' moral outrage over this. Certainly, some are sincere. (Rudy doesn't "really" look at porn!)

    What other examples can be brought forward of things liberals elevate that are "repulsive, degrading, bad"? Environmental protections? Working to solve climate change? Workers rights? Health care for all? Yes? No?

    Included among Carlson's list, probably, are abortion, gay marriage, and transgender support, since conservatives feel that those are purely "liberal" issues (though that is incorrect). The pro-choice and pro-gay marriage positions presumably offend conservatives, and thus are political losers with conservatives.

    Should liberals abandon these issues, or simply not discuss them so as not to lose conservative votes?

    Should liberals stand by as individual citizen Clifford is attacked and demeaned by powerful people at the highest levels of government as being "beneath" Trump, when Trump's and Giuliani's moral character are erased from consideration by Fox News' Tucker Carlson?

    Ultimately, it isn't clear whose votes liberals lose by defending Stephanie Clifford anyway, other than die hard religious conservatives who wouldn't bother to vote Democrat in any case.

  9. The Daniels stuff is ripe for satire. Pointing out that the other side (from you) found a bit of it is not a wholesale endorsement by this blog of every remark Tucker made in that segment.

    I like Tucker very much, but not so much that I'm inclined to think Somerby is making a point about Tucker's superior wisdom or insight or balance.

    I think the takeaway is don't fall for infantile memes. They cloud your thinking to the point where you can't fathom that you're turning off people who aren't firm partisans or extremists.

    I don't think tha...or...for goodness sakes...a sense of irony... will kill you.

    1. There is no meme involved in defending a person from disingenuous attacks launched by a cabal of powerful people.

      Speaking of infantile memes, it would certainly be great if conservatives wouldn't fall for them so hard, and had their own sense of irony about supporting a man who proudly sleeps with porn stars being defended by a man who denigrates porn stars. (Who by the way doesn't "really" watch porn.)

      Do conservatives ever do any introspection?

      And Somerby is completely unironic in suggesting that Steyn provided a great comic routine or that Carlson scored political points by repeating an ancient conservative meme about liberals.

    2. I expressly said that I wasn't silly enough to think that Tucker's wisdom, insight, and balance were being commended and that there are voters who not aligned and not religious who will be influenced by your party playing into stereotypes about it.

      I'll leave it to you to disdain and dismiss those points whenever you encounter them.

    3. There are too many sad things happening these days to indulge in satire or irony regarding politics. This is real and it is tragic for many people who are bearing the brunt of Trump's ignorance and many personality faults.

    4. Maybe you should write Colbert or that other one.

    5. "I think the takeaway is don't fall for infantile memes. They cloud your thinking to the point where you can't fathom that you're turning off people who aren't firm partisans or extremists."

      Without evidence your assertion is empty.

      Tucker is not watched by "people who aren't firm partisans or extremists", Tucker has no influence on such people.

      Throughout every week of Trump's presidency he has had the lowest number of approval in history. Gallup has Trump approval 40% disapproval 55%; however, his approval with independents is even worse.

      Trump's moderate approval is historically low at 15%, showing that his support amongst "people who aren't firm partisans or extremists" is incredibly weak.

      Those that strongly disapprove of Trump are near historic highs, beaten only by Nixon and W. Even amongst red states (which have the highest rates of violence against females) Trump's approval is above 50% in only low population states like Idaho, the Dakotas, WV, etc. In all the states that drive the country - CA, NY, TX, MD, VA, MA, IL, WA, OR, etc - Trump is below even 40%.

    6. This has a familiar ring. Where have we heard this before...

      That it’s not just rightists watching Tucker Carlson who can be turned off by the Stormy as role model meme, was the point.

    7. Yeah, wrongists can be turned off by Stormy as role model meme, too.

    8. And some know loving her is wrong, and don't want to be right.

    9. Rightly so!

    10. CeceliaJune 9, 2018 at 9:24 PM

      Thanks for clarifying your point is meaningless. Democratics have lost zero votes over Stormy.

  10. We should abandon supporting destructive and demeaning clowns like "Stormy Daniels."

  11. Mark Steyn is the guy who said anyone wrong about the Iraq War should never be listened to by the public again.
    Needless to say, Mark Steyn was 100% wrong about the Iraq War.

    1. Yeah, but he's the 2nd-greatest user of humor in the World ever. No matter that he's a consummate hack and Tucker - I never read a 4chan comment I didn't like - Carlson provided the perfect setup for Steyn.

      Who says the Howler never comments about Fox?

    2. I think all that uncharacteristic effusiveness must have a point.

      Like your mama singing the praises of your cousin.

    3. You're right.

      And when you're right, you're right.

      I don't know what I could've been thinking - perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

      And that part about "uncharacteristic", what insight - even though you couldn't possibly have known how I would normally offer praise.

      You're RIGHTeous!

    4. But you're so wrkng.

      I meant Bob was being effusive in order to make a point.

  12. "Steyn had authored one of the most successful comedic frameworks we've ever seen."

    Somerby knows what successful comedy is. Too bad his audiences didn't agree with his judgment.

  13. Since Somerby was so impressed by the Comedy Stylings and Political Brilliance of Steyn and Carlson, perhaps he ought to spend more time over at Fox. He would find them repeating many of the points he makes, including contempt of liberals.

    Somerby has finally found some elite media types he can believe in.

  14. How much money is Carlson stuffing down his pants?

  15. OK, Clifford appears in pornographic films. Stipulated.

    That the President of the United States entered into a secret agreement to buy her silence (not her body) is undeniable at this point. Giuliani’s assumptions about her veracity aren’t really what’s important.

  16. Some secret agreements are more important than others.

    -- Donald Trump, before he was President, apparently entered into a secret agreement to buy Clifford's silence about extramarital sex.

    -- Barack Obama, while he was President, apparently secretly "granted Iran a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system."

    1. You are right, Obama's deal was to keep us safe from nuclear weapons whereas Trump's deals are abusing the system through corruption to get elected and enrich himself and Russia.

  17. From "The conversion to dollars, it turns out, never took place. And there is no claim that the license broke U.S. law."

    Why do I even bother?

    1. deadrat, as you well know, actions can be improper without being illegal. If Donald Trump had secretly given Russia a financial boon potentially worth billions of dollars, don't you think people would harshly criticize that?

    2. "If Donald Trump had secretly given Russia a financial boon potentially worth billions of dollars, don't you think people would harshly criticize that?"

      Some might, but they would be drowned out by the denials (Trump never met anyone from Russia"), then a little movement to "he met them, but there was no deal". As more became known, it will move to "he made a deal, but it wasn't the one he wanted", and maybe finally to "sure he secretly gave Russia a financial boon potentially worth a billion dollars, but so what he can do that as (a Republican) President".
      Of course you have to sprinkle in 18 months of calling any investigation into Trump's Russia deal a "waste of time and money".

      But i get your point, that if Trump did something like that, a portion of the citizens of the US (i.e liberals) would criticize him. Who knows, if it was also found out that Trump once secretly gave a black person a fair shake, a majority of Americans might have a problem with his Russia deal.

    3. But don’t worry. No matter the circumstances, David, like Tammy Wynette, will stand by his man.

    4. In your imaginary scenario of downwardly spiraling Trump excuses for propping up Russia, the last one is ironic.

      Actually, Iran's millions in assess that had been frozen since the late '70s, and the interest calculated on it, had been designated as a part of a fund to pay back the Iran hostages (who did finally get a settlement) and millions to other victims via judgments rendered in U.S. courts against a list of countries exporting terrorism. The fund would also compensate future victims.

      This part of the fund, established by congress, was surreptiously over-ridden by the Obama Admin. without the knowledge, involvement, and oversight of congress.

      This was predicated on the fact that presidents may unilaterally impose, and in this case lift, sanctions against other governments.

      As David said, it was a secret deal done under the table and of far more consequence than paying Stephanie Clifford to shutup.

      Donald Trump may well reap what he sewed with Cliffords and Michael Cohen, but conjectures and confabulated scenarios aside, let's do keep in mind that there are more serious deals done in the dark of than that one.

    5. ...far more consequence than paying Stephanie Clifford to shutup...

      There were literally no consequences from the action. The short term conversion from rials to dollars never happened and the Iranians were able to get their frozen money out of the Omani bank converted directly into Euros without the intermediate step of first changing to dollars.

      This part of the fund, established by congress, was surreptiously over-ridden by the Obama Admin.

      Do you have a citation to back up that claim?

    6. The Iranians did manage on their own after the involved U.S. banks were too fearful about repercussions to cooperate.

      Public opprobrium may have been a concern as well as a mistrust of being thrown under the bus down the road.

      It was kept from Congress and there are transcripts out of email speaking of the success with the creation of the license and a statement that they should celebrate by never talking about the matter again.

    7. So Cecelia's one claim is bunk and the other one can't be backed up. Bush did the same thing except it was North Korea and involved counterfeit money, not money that was earned as with Iran.

    8. I'm not sure which claim you're calling which here, but I'll start with the one that addresses the premise that started this topic.

      To say that because the license manuever fell through, there was then no secret deal, is nonsense and misses David's point.

      As to the other point about the funds, congress has stipulated that no money would be returned to Iran until they satisfied prior court judgments against them that had been decided on behalf of their victims.

      Pres. Obama declared the government's obligation in this to be null and void because of the great deal we had received with the 1.7 billion settlement with Iran. He argued that the international court might well have decided that the U.S. owed Iran much more.

      This meant that the fund that had compensated some people would not receive reimbursement and that any restitution to victims would essentially be taxpayer money.

      This came as a surprise to congress.

    9. As to the other point about the funds, congress has stipulated that no money would be returned to Iran until they satisfied prior court judgments against them that had been decided on behalf of their victims.

      It would be nice if you ever provided some evidence to back up your wild claims.

      As part of our agreement with Iran in 1981 (who was president at the time?), the hostages were barred from seeking restitution from Iran through the courts.

      Then, finally in a 2015 budget bill, after the Iran Nuclear Deal had been completed, money was authorized to compensate the hostages and other victims of terrorism.

      Buried in the huge spending bill signed into law last Friday are provisions that would give each of the 53 hostages or their estates up to $4.4 million. Victims of other state-sponsored terrorist attacks such as the 1998 American Embassy bombings in East Africa would also be eligible for benefits under the law.

      The law now stands to bring closure to an episode that riveted the nation and ruptured America’s ties with Iran. The very agreement that won the hostages’ release in 1981 barred them from seeking restitution. Their legal claims were repeatedly blocked in the courts, including an appeal denied by the Supreme Court. Congress tried but failed to pass laws granting them relief.

    10. mm, if you would bother to read my stuff you'll see that I had in one post mentioned that the Iran hostages from the late seventies (who were barred from suing by the '81 deal) had been given some restitution and in another post stated that future restitution for them and for LATER victims (some of whom had won judgments) would come from TAXPAYERS.

    11. The problem is Cecelia, you do not write with clarity or precision.

      Please try to explain this.

      As to the other point about the funds, congress has stipulated that no money would be returned to Iran until they satisfied prior court judgments against them that had been decided on behalf of their victims.

    12. David did not have a point to be able to miss, there was no “secret” deal, no financial boon, no corruption, no access to the US financial system was offered - it was returning money Iran had earned in order to promote denuclearizing. There was no outcry when Bush used the same mechanism to give money to North Korea, except it was worse because it involved illicit funds, unlike the Iranian case. In no way is this analogous to the self serving Trump/porn star situation.

      Neither is the restitution issue. Again, this was in service of denuclearizing, not self serving corruption as with Trump. I can not discern your exact issue with the funds returned to Iran, the funds were justifiably returned, the provisions in the law were satisfied, it was investigated by congress and the report issued by the Treasury found that "the settlement comports with the" law, this makes it pretty clear:

      Was Obama’s $1.7 billion cash deal with Iran prohibited by U.S. law?

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.


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