Also, there was no Professor Reade!

SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2020

Donald Trump as his state's greatest baseball player:
When the New York Times reported on Tara Reade's apparent misstatement, they cited CNN as the original source of their report.

Reade had always claimed to be a graduate of Antioch University. But, as CNN had reported, the university has now said that it just isn't so.

As we noted yesterday, this is emerging as a rather familiar pattern. But when we read CNN's lengthy report, the problem seemed to be even worse:
LEE AND KAUFMAN (5/19/20): Reade has said that she changed her name to Alexandra McCabe and fled from her ex-husband [in 1996]. Some details of Reade's personal life are hazier after that.

Reade told CNN that she received a bachelor of arts degree from Antioch University
in Seattle under the auspices of a "protected program," personally working with the former president of the school to ensure her identity was protected while she obtained credits for her degree. She also said that she was a visiting professor at the school, on and off for five years.

Presented with this, Karen Hamilton, an Antioch University spokesperson, told CNN that "Alexandra McCabe attended but did not graduate from Antioch University. She was never a faculty member. She did provide several hours of administrative work."

An Antioch University official told CNN that such a "protected program" does not exist and never has.
Oof! According to Antioch, Reade doesn't hold a degree from the school—and she was never a professor there!

For whatever reason, CNN didn't start discussing these problems until paragraph 17 of its largely ho-hum report. When they did, they only said that the facts here seem to be "hazy."

We can't swear who's right about these matters, but in this morning's Washington Post, the story seems to get worser. In this passage, the reporters are discussing assertions by Reade in her work as an alleged "expert witness" in various court proceedings:
VISER AND SCHERER (5/23/20): While Reade told the court she had worked as a legislative assistant to Biden, she actually held the job of staff assistant, a more junior role, according to Senate records. And while her résumé, shared with the defense by the district attorney before she appeared in court, said she worked in Biden’s office from 1991 to 1994, records show she was there only eight months, from Dec. 2, 1992, until Aug. 6, 1993.

A spokeswoman for Antioch University said that, contrary to Reade’s claim, she did not graduate from the school
, as first reported by CNN. The spokeswoman also said that Reade never worked as an “online visiting professor,” as she claimed on the résumé shared as part of the court proceedings.

In testimony that she gave in December 2018, she was asked if she was licensed to practice law in California, and she responded that she had not taken the bar exam.

But Reade herself published a blog in 2012 documenting her third attempt to pass the California bar exam.
The blog was titled “California Bar Exam: Three Times A Charm.”
Oof! According to the Post's report, Reade misstated the nature of her job with Biden. She misstated the length of time she worked for Biden, turning eight months into three or four years.

She falsely claimed to be a graduate of Antioch. She falsely claimed that she had been a professor at the school.

Beyond that, she claimed that she'd never taken the bar exam. Earlier, she'd apparently said that she had taken the exam three times.

We can't straighten out these various contradictions. But we can recall the headlines on Professor Manne's highly instructive essay:
I Believe Tara Reade. And You Should, Too.
We already knew that Biden is the type. Had we as voters and had the Democratic Party taken this seriously, we wouldn’t be in this mess now
Professor Manne believed Tara Reade. She said that you should too.

Why did she believe Tara Reade? In part because, as the headline explained, Biden is "the type!"

Appallingly, Professor Manne is a ranking philosophy professor, at Cornell. Her essay appeared in The Nation.

Each of these facts should tell us something about the way our absurdly self-impressed tribe has been contributing to our failing nation's breakdown in intellectual order. Concerning Reade, the pattern which seems to be emerging is quite familiar.

As we tell you every time, none of this can possibly prove that Reade's claim about Biden is false. But, for whatever reason, some people do make false accusations of this type. At this point, does Reade really seem like someone you'd be inclined to trust?

(For the record: Natasha Korecki's report about Reade stressed her endless money problems. Could Reade be on the Putin payroll? Yes, of course she could! She's written at least one crazy essay about the sexy Russkie hunk. Also, everything's possible, and it always has been!)

Does Reade seem like someone you can trust? Instead, might she be a person who "has problems," as Emily Bazelon suggested at Slate way back in April, speaking to a pair of hopelessly scripted male colleagues?

In the the words of the embarrassing Manne, does Reade seem like someone you should believe? Sadly, Professor Manne is a real professor, and she's part of our own failing tribe!

This brings us to the question of President Trump, whose statements are generally semi-coherent but rarely seem to be accurate.

This morning, perusing the Washington Post, we were struck by the headline above Colbert King's weekly column. We became even more intrigued when we saw the way King began:
KING (5/23/20): All the president's lies

When President Trump announced this week that he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, I was working my way through The Post’s new book, “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth,” written by the newspaper’s Fact Checker staff.

The thought that Trump would ignore warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and deliberately ingest a drug that could have serious side effects was disturbing. Equally upsetting, however, was the thought that the president may have taken to the airwaves to tell a flat-out lie. Why should we believe he’s taking the drug? After all, America has come to this: a president of the United States whose word cannot be trusted.
As a general matter, it's certainly true that President Trump's "word cannot be trusted." President Trump emits bogus, false and misleading statements in much the way dark storm clouds will toss off showers of rain.

That said:

If Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine, that would seem to indicate that he actually hasn't been lying when he's said that he thinks it's safe. If he thought the drug was going to kill him, we'll guess that he wouldn't be taking it.

Is he actually taking the drug? There's no way to be sure. But that headline talks about the president's "lies," and the Washington Post's Fact-Checker site has never used that term.

Playing by older, sounder rules, the site continues to tabulate the president's "false or misleading claims." And, as everyone used to know, a false statement isn't a lie if the speaker believes the statement is true.

The Fact-Checker site has bowed to that old understanding. Until today, when King proceeds to quote Glenn Kessler, the site's major player:
KING (continuing directly): Fact Checker editor and chief writer Glenn Kessler labels Trump “the most mendacious president in U.S. history.” And the 344-page book backs up that charge.
Mendacity is a form of lying. It may be that Kessler is held to one set of rules in the Post itself, but has been able to state a different judgment in this new book.

We haven't seen the new book. We do recommend the possibility that Trump is disturbed and disordered—that the fellow "has problems."

Consider two apparent misstatements by Trump. Just this week, at a public event, he claimed, apparently falsely, that he was honored as Michigan's "Man of the Year" a few short years ago.

It seems quite clear that there is no such prize, and that Trump wasn't so honored. But was Trump lying when he said that? Is it possible that he's so delusional that he believes that claim?

In asking that question, we refer you to another absurdly swollen claim Trump has made down through the years. Linking to a fascinating report in Slate, Tyler Lauletta summarized the lunacy here:
LAULETTA (5/6/20): President Trump's recollections of his career as a high school baseball player have come under scrutiny.

Trump has claimed that he was a standout player, capable of making the big leagues had he desired.

"I was captain of the baseball team," Trump said in a 2010 interview with MTV. "I was supposed to be a professional baseball player. Fortunately, I decided to go into real estate instead. I played first base and I also played catcher. I was a good hitter. I just had a good time."

In a 2013 tweet, Trump went as far as to say that he was the best player in the state of New York in his high school days.
Actually, Trump only said in that 2013 tweet that he was said to be the best player in the state. Exaggerations and misstatements are part of the human condition!

That said, was Trump the best baseball player in the state of New York during his high school days? Asking a slightly different question, was he any darn good at all?

Wonderfully, Leander Schaerlaeckens decided to check it out! In his lengthy, detailed report for Slate, it becomes fairly clear that Trump wasn't an especially good high school player at all, let long the best player in the state.

Question: When Trump made this ridiculous claim, was he actually lying? Or could it be that he's so disordered that he thought his false claim was true?

If he knew his claim was false, he was lying. If he actually thought it was true, does some larger problem exist?

Is Donald J. Trump a liar, or might he simply "have problems?" We think that question is worth exploration. This seems to put us in the minority in our own infallible tribe.

Like all tribes in all of human history, our tribe likes to make the sweeping moral denunciation. We tend to opt for the simplest accusation against the other or others.

You can't believe a thing Trump says, but how often is he actually lying? We'd like to see medical specialists tease that question out, if they can be nonpartisan in their discussions.

Concerning Reade, it seems that a certain familiar pattern has emerged. Our big news orgs are actually discussing that pattern this time. They were never willing to do so in the history-altering cases of Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey, who never stopped being regarded as the most credible people on earth.

An unfortunate pattern has also emerged among some of our tribe's professors. Recent essays by Professors Hirshman and Manne constitute an embarrassing indictment of one branch of our own failing tribe.
.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our self-impressed species is deeply tribal. At times like these, we aren't inclined to be real bright—and that cab even be true Over Here, among our most brilliant sachems.

100 comments:

  1. "Does Reade seem like someone you can trust?"

    Whoa, dear Bob. Nice hatchet job. Going through all this poor lady's underwear drawers, just to admit in the end that it's all utterly irrelevant to her being finger-raped by Rapist Joe. Jeez.

    "That said, was Trump the best baseball player in the state of New York during his high school days? Asking a slightly different question, was he any darn good at all?"

    One must be completely, totally insane to care about something like that, dear Bob.

    Anyone, outside of Our Beloved Commander's family and His closest friends, who spent 2 milliseconds wondering about it must have serious, serious problems.

    Sadly, you appear to be one of the unfortunate few, dear Bob. Oh well...

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  2. "In the the words of the embarrassing Manne, does Reade seem like someone you should believe? Sadly, Professor Manne is a real professor, and she's part of our own failing tribe!"

    Manne stated her opinion about Reade, as she has the right to do, as a human being. She was not talking about her area of expertise, philosophy, so her opinion about Reade was not a professional opinion and not a statement made in any capacity as a professor. Professors are people and they have as much right to an opinion about any topic, as anyone else, including Somerby.

    When Somerby expresses an opinion, is he doing so on behalf of all standup comics? Is he talking as a teacher? He is talking as Somerby, a person and a blog writer. No one would take him as speaking for standups or teachers, or even liberals.

    Professors of philosophy are not experts on sexual assault. Neither was Reade. When Manne says that Biden is "the type" she is making a comment as a person, not a professor. I personally agree that Biden invites such suspicion by his relentless failure to respect the bodily autonomy of women and children. It does make him a type of man. It is fair to ask whether he respects personal boundaries in sexual contexts, if he does not respect them in very public ones. Just as it is fair to ask whether Reade is being paid to lie about Biden, given her many other proven lies and her need for money, and conservative's past history of paying women to lie about things for political purposes.

    Somerby cannot leave it at that -- he has to go a step too far by accusing professors in general of making statements he considers unwarranted. Remember that Manne has done nothing beyond saying something Somerby disagrees with. She hasn't broken any vows as a professor or told any lies herself, or done anything wrong except state an opinion about Reade that Somerby does not support. But Somerby thinks that somehow degrades all professors.

    And then he poses as someone who can teach others about critical thinking! And he isn't any kind of liberal, despite claiming once again to be one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manne stated her opinion about Reade, as she has the right to do,….

      Don’t deflect, professor. No one disputes Manne’s right to write. It’s the propriety of what she wrote and her judgment in writing that’s the target of criticism.

      She was not talking about her area of expertise,….

      Then maybe she should have been more circumspect.

      …[H]er opinion about Reade was not a professional opinion and not a statement made in any capacity as a professor. Professors are people and they have as much right to an opinion about any topic, as anyone else, including Somerby.

      Again, no one, including TDH, disputes her right to express her opinion.

      When Somerby expresses an opinion, is he doing so on behalf of all standup comics? Is he talking as a teacher? He is talking as Somerby, a person and a blog writer. No one would take him as speaking for standups or teachers, or even liberals.

      Bad analogy. TDH is a vanity blog written by someone nobody knows and read by nobody. Manne got space in a national publication precisely because of who she is and the position she holds.

      Professors of philosophy are not experts on sexual assault. Neither was Reade.

      But that didn’t stop either of them from acting as though they were.

      When Manne says that Biden is "the type" she is making a comment as a person, not a professor.

      Maybe when she’s talking to a friend as they meet via Zoom.

      I personally agree that Biden invites such suspicion by his relentless failure to respect the bodily autonomy of women and children. It does make him a type of man.

      Of course, you agree. But you’re an ignoramus whose opinion matters only to you and whose opinion is expressed on a blog nobody reads.

      It is fair to ask whether he respects personal boundaries in sexual contexts, if he does not respect them in very public ones.

      Possibly. It’s just not fair to answer.



      Somerby cannot leave it at that -- he has to go a step too far by accusing professors in general of making statements he considers unwarranted. … But Somerby thinks that somehow degrades all professors.

      Manne has influenced, or at least tried to influence, the public debate about Biden. She has disgraced herself. TDH has a bad habit of overgeneralizing, but Manne used her position to gain a platform, and she can’t use your excuse that she’s no different from a nonentity like you.

      And then he poses as someone who can teach others about critical thinking!

      And so he can, for values of can equal to “unlikely but theoretically possible” and values of others equal to Manne and you.


      Delete
    2. If you had an ounce of critical thinking ability, deadrat, it wouldn't be up to others here to critique Somerby's misuse of statistics. You are an asshole who confuses sarcasm with logic and has no original ideas to share with anyone. An empty vessel, a waste of time.

      Delete
    3. Deadrat says: "She has disgraced herself." referring to Manne's original essay.

      How is it a disgrace to express an opinion in an op-ed? Whether you agree or disagree, she merely expressed an opinion. There is no disgrace in that. She did it under her own name, which is more courage than you have ever shown here. She showed flexibility by changing her mind when persuaded. There is no disgrace in that either.

      Mockery stifles free thought by making people reluctant to share ideas or to question others. It destroys the atmosphere of free inquiry that leads to creative, innovative progress. No one in their right mind would treat a student or colleague as you do others here, because it prevents inquiry and that inquiry is the goal of academia. Mistakes lead to progress. If you are frightened to make one, you can't learn. So, you are doing nothing helpful here except stroking your ego. That should be embarrassing but I doubt you have any sense of shame about it. You probably think you're scoring points or owning someone or something juvenile like that.

      Delete
    4. How is it a disgrace to express an opinion in an op-ed?

      When the opinion is disgraceful. How hard is this? Do you think that your opinions don’t reflect on you? Or is it only those opinions written in an op-ed that don’t?

      If I said that it’s my opinion that we should repeal the 13th Amendment and force all black people back into slavery using the “one drop” rule of ancestry, do you think I might be disgracing myself?

      She did it under her own name, which is more courage than you have ever shown here.

      Says the Anonymous Ignoramus who won’t even use a nym. Sorry, but I’m not much impressed by the courage to be dumb.

      She showed flexibility by changing her mind when persuaded. There is no disgrace in that either.

      True that.

      Mockery stifles free thought by making people reluctant to share ideas or to question others.

      Would that it were true that mockery stifled the free thinking of fools, who should be, but rarely are reluctant to share their foolishness. I’ve been mocking you for years, and your name is still legion and rings as loud as ever.

      It destroys the atmosphere of free inquiry that leads to creative, innovative progress.

      You’re in the company of fools in the commentariat of a blog nobody reads. You realize that, right? What “creative, innovative progress” are you talking about?

      No one in their right mind would treat a student or colleague as you do others here, because it prevents inquiry and that inquiry is the goal of academia.

      Of course not. For students, because of the power dynamic. For co-workers, because of the necessary veneer of collegiality. But we’re not in an academic setting.

      So, you are doing nothing helpful here except stroking your ego.

      I prefer to think of it as amusing myself, but fair cop.

      That should be embarrassing but I doubt you have any sense of shame about it.

      I don’t see why I should be embarrassed for pointing out the drivel that should but doesn’t embarrass others.

      You probably think you're scoring points or owning someone or something juvenile like that.

      Good heavens, no. I don’t give a shit about anybody here. Isn’t that obvious? The scoring of points would be too easy, and you can’t “own” people who own themselves.

      You realize what you’re saying, right? That commenters here don’t have the intellectual fortitude to stand up for their claims in the face of harsh words from someone with a ridiculous nym whom they don’t know or care about and whose opinion of them couldn’t possibly affect their lives.

      How pathetic is that?

      Your pal @12:22A amidst a burst of incoherence managed to call me an asshole. You don’t see me whining about that. Hell, I used to have my own personal troll here who posted wicked parodies of my comments. I miss him.

      Delete
    5. Deadrat calls an editorial "disgraceful" and so it must be. He has decreed it so.

      Delete
    6. Well, at least he and Somerby are consistent. Anonymouse 24, 2030, 9:38am.

      What’s Manne done other than to give you some sort of quasi-religious redemption by adhering to the “all sexual assault claimants are telling the truth” dogma and then having a come-to-Jesus-Biden purging just in time?

      In the future, Tara Reade may be able to defend herself against these charges, or not. That still won’t change the longest eye roll on the planet when the MeToo rhetoric spouts up again.

      All the chicks here have expressly said they’d vote for Biden if he raped Thrace thrice. They didn’t need or want Manne. Let it go.

      Delete
    7. "All the chicks here have expressly said they’d vote for Biden if he raped Thrace thrice."

      Well, to be fair, only more primitive scripted dembots (albeit, that is certainly a majority) are programmed that way.

      Some others will sill need some sort of 'believe the womyn except Reade' to be elevated to dembot common wisdom.

      ...incidentally, apparently there was dembot a piece published in NYT that 'argued' that "Believe All Wimmin" was a 'conservative' provocation in the first place. Admittedly, I didn't read the drivel itself, only a parody of it.

      Delete
    8. "Admittedly, I didn't read the drivel itself, only a parody of it."

      Why wouldn't your Establishment bosses let you read the actual piece? Were they afraid you might go off script?

      Delete
  3. "An unfortunate pattern has also emerged among some of our tribe's professors. Recent essays by Professors Hirshman and Manne constitute an embarrassing indictment of one branch of our own failing tribe."

    Two people apparently make a pattern for Somerby. I must have been absent when they were appointed leaders of our tribe, or voted "most brilliant". We don't even know what their politics are. And in what respect is our tribe "failing"? Democrats had two successive terms of Obama, won the popular vote overwhelmingly in 2016 but had the election stolen by Russian interference and Republican cheating, and now we are leading in all polls, with a likelihood of retaking the Senate (as we retook the House i 2018) and high probability of turning out McConnell and Lindsay Graham. I don't see an ounce of failure there.

    Why does Somerby keep calling us failures when it is manifestly Trump and his government that has been failing on all fronts, especially coping with this pandemic. Maybe the word "fail" does not mean what Somerby thinks it means?

    Does he think that if we feel bad about ourselves we won't vote? Does he think that Bernie will have a chance if Somerby can convince us that Democrats are a failed party? That's nonsense too. And can someone be part of a group while relentlessly attacking it as failed and self-impressed and tribal (as if that were a fault and not a sign of community cohesion). Somerby is being an ass again, chasing his favorite targets: uppity women, professors, liberals, people who notice when Trump tells lies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Professors aren't a branch of liberaldom. There are many conservatives professors found in universities all across the country. Many are in fields such as engineering, economics, business, mathematics, computer science, not as many in the liberal arts or social sciences (from which Somerby apparently has formed his stereotype of professors).

      In this, Somerby repeats the complaints of the right. Every attack on professors as a branch of "our own failing tribe" is an echo of the conservative attack on knowledge and expertise. It supports Trump's Know-Nothingism and gives approval to his proud ignorance, enabling Republicans to disregard science, enshrine anecdote and do whatever they want as they loot our country.

      Somerby's tribe is the MAGA-hat wearers who venture out without their masks because they think that a doctor telling them to stay home is repressing their freedom. That is the failed tribe he never talks about.

      Delete
  4. Professor is an actual job title, not an honorific. (Someone with an honorary doctorate is called Dr., not Professor, because you can have a doctorate without a position as a professor at any university.) Reade was not a professor anywhere at any time. She did earn a law degree from Seattle University. She did not earn a Bachelor's degree from Antioch.

    Those who work part-time teaching courses are generally called lecturers, not professors (except by misguided students). They may or may not have doctorates. They are called adjunct faculty. Three fourths of academics work as adjuncts, off the tenure track, in temporary or part-time positions, or full-time "visiting" and permanent teaching positions (without research or service obligations). They are the gig workers of academia. So, it is a big deal to be an actual professor because it is not only highly competitive but requires a great deal of sustained hard work, at any university, much less the top ones. That's why when Somerby denigrates professors, he is showing not only ignorance but disrespect for what is equivalent (in effort and accomplishment) to being first-chair violin in a major symphony orchestra, publishing a string of best-selling books, reaching the major leagues in sports, or becoming CEO of a corporation. And that's also why Reade's pretensions are pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A professor is a person holding an academic position. The word professor is an honorific when it precedes a person's name. Reade was never a professor; Reade was never entitled to use professor as an honorific. That didn't stop her from pretending otherwise.

      TDH doesn't denigrate all professors, just those he thinks are unworthy.

      Delete
    2. You just said the same thing I did, but in less detail.

      Somerby usually links professors to liberals (our tribe, he says) and excoriates the whole bunch.

      "Professor" isn't an honorific. It is a specific job title at a university. It does not refer to any person holding an academic position because that could be true of the librarians or counselors or even the admissions clerks and cashiers, none of whom are professors. It is a job title in the same sense as "officer" may refer to a policeman or "doctor" refers to a physician.

      This is a subtle distinction. Honorific is defined as: "a title or word implying or expressing high status, politeness, or respect"

      This might be true of the word "sir" or "your honor" but Professor is not an honorific (accorded to anyone, regardless of qualifications, who happens to be respected or treated politely). It refers to someone who holds a specific position at a university, the job of full professor. Students tend to use it as an honorific and will call anyone who stands at the front of a classroom "professor" but they are incorrect to do so. They are oblivious to rank. Assistant and Associate professors are also called "professor" because it is shorter and convenient, but when someone publishes a paper or gives talk at a conference or gives testimony in court, their actual title is used, and that is Professor (for full professors), Associate Professor (for a professor with tenure but not the highest rank) or Assistant Professor (for someone hired on the tenure track but who has not yet gained tenure, a probationary professor). None of those titles are honorifics. None of these are courtesy titles. They are earned job titles.

      So, deadrat, you did a pretty good job of pretending you know what you are talking about. The rule at a top university is that an Asst Professor must have acquired a national reputation in his or her field in order to gain tenure, plus a certain number of publications and proven ability to attract grant funding. That leads to promotion and tenure and the titles of Associate Professor. Then they need an international reputation to be promoted to Full Professor. This is attested to by soliciting letters of evaluation from top researchers in one's field, usually 5 of your own chosing and 5 that your Department chooses. These evaluations plus continuing evidence of scholarship in the form of more publications, continued grant funding, and service to the university are necessary to become a Full Professor. Of course, teaching must be of high quality throughout, assessed by student evaluations and peer (faculty) evaluations. When a Professor retires, he or she can gain emeritus status only with another evaluation and vote of the Department followed by approval by dean, provost and President of the university. So none of this is attained via seniority.

      Somerby shows no respect at all to professors but he couldn't begin to do the job. I doubt he would be much of a lecturer, the lowest rung on the teaching ladder.

      I am explaining this to you, deadrat, because you think it is fun to call me names and to mock professors generally, using the term sarcastically.
      Whatever you might think of me, it is wrong to mock Professors because not only do they teach people's kids and make it possible for them to have good lives, but professors conduct the research that is at the heart of many technological innovations, improvements in our lives and make possible progress in a variety of fields. It is where new knowledge comes from. In the middle of a pandemic where people are eagerly awaiting vaccines and new treatments, people should remember that the beginning of the research chain originates in universities where professors work with students to develop new approaches. Ideas go from the universities to companies.

      Delete
    3. No, I didn’t just say the same thing that you did. You claim that “professor” is not an honorific. I say that it is. That’s because you can’t distinguish the thing (a person with a particular academic job) from the label (the title used when addressing such a person).

      You call the word professor a title, which means that when applied to say, a vocative, it’s an honorific by definition. You say that students use the word as an honorific. And then you deny what you just wrote.

      Do you think that an honorific must be polite form of address not connected with one’s job? Do you think that I believe that academic titles are unconnected with earned positions? Do you think I’m unacquainted with the ranks of US academics?

      Why are we even discussing this?

      More importantly, why am I discussing this with someone who thinks that attaining the rank of Professor requires an international reputation? Ever heard of Jacqueline A. Conley? Full professor. Of psychology, no less, at Edward Waters College. Does she have an “international reputation”? Do you?

      Your usual sloppiness obtains as you say,

      When a Professor retires, he or she can gain emeritus status only with another evaluation and vote of the Department followed by approval by dean, provost and President of the university. So none of this is attained via seniority.

      Perhaps where you teach or even more generally at US universities. It took moments in the google to find that at University College Oxford, emeritus status is awarded for sufficient tenure upon retirement or resignation.

      To be fair to you, professor, you do explain,

      I am explaining this to you, deadrat, because you think it is fun to call me names and to mock professors generally, using the term sarcastically.

      So let me correct you. I am not mocking professors in general. I am mocking you.

      I am not using the term (dare I say “honorific”?) professor sarcastically in general. Only when I’m being sarcastic about you.

      Clear now?

      You may, if you choose, build a case that my derision for your comments here is undeserved. Given what you write, I think you’ll have a difficult time making that case. But please don’t include yourself in worthier company. My remarks are aimed at you, individually for what you write specifically.

      Delete
    4. You are dishonest deadrat.

      I clearly said I was talking about top universities, but you dredge up Edwards Waters college.

      I am clearly talking about American universities (and said so) but you dredge up Oxford.

      You claim you are solely mocking me, not all professors (just as you claim Somerby is specific in his attacks on professors) but others here can read for themselves.

      You are a waste of time.

      Delete
    5. Up to your old tricks, eh professor?

      I can’t be mistaken. I have to be dishonest.

      OK, you were talking about top schools. I gave an example from one of the worst. So let’s pick a large state university at random — the University of Kansas — and a department at random — Social Work — and an assistant professor at random — Meredith Bagwell-Gray. I’m sure Assistant Professor Bagwell-Gray is a perfectly competent academic. But the google finds she has no national reputation. But you can always object that she hasn’t gotten tenure yet. So let’s pick Associate Professor of Finance Gjergji Cici. No national reputation. Now you’ll say that KU isn’t a top-flight enough school.

      And now I’m arguing just to hear the sound of my own voice. Don’t get me wrong. I love the sound of my own voice, but this is really beside the point. So let’s get to the point.

      I. am. mocking. you. and. you. alone.

      I’m telling you what my own words mean. It should be easy to tell because I make no general reference to professors at large, amongst which crowd you want to hide. But you don’t get to do that. Take umbrage if you wish because I criticize you, but don’t pretend that I’m talking about a class of people to whom you belong. I’m talking about you.

      And I don’t claim that TDH is “specific in his attacks on professors.” He often cites specific professors and draws conclusions about the professoriate. I’ve said on this forum that he rarely backs up his generalizations, which weakens his case. Check out my responses to mh on May 23, 2020 at 11:19 PM and on May 22, 2020 at 10:30 PM

      Please notice that I don’t accuse you of dishonesty. Just more of your incompetence in reading for comprehension.

      And c’mon, professor. I’m not a waste of time. I give you more attention here than you ever get in academic circles. That might make me your biggest fan.

      Delete
    6. deadrat,
      Why the sugar-coating about Sometby's lack of back-up for his generalizations?
      Somerby is a hack, who repeats Right-wing memes.

      Delete
    7. What makes you think I'm sugar-coating TDH's over-generalizations?

      And I don't think you know what right-wing memes are.

      Delete
    8. "What makes you think I'm sugar-coating TDH's over-generalizations?"

      You're calling them "over-generalizations", not the 100% Grade A bullshit.

      Delete
  5. “Each of these facts should tell us something about the way our absurdly self-impressed tribe has been contributing to our failing nation's breakdown in intellectual order. Concerning Reade, the pattern which seems to be emerging is quite familiar.”

    And, like clockwork, Somerby is not up to date. Manne has revised her views and issued an apology. Here is Manne’s recent twitter thread:

    “In a piece for The Nation a few weeks ago, I wrote that "Reade’s testimony is evidence that the sexual assault occurred, though there remains room to disagree on its strength or probative value." There's also room to change one's mind when new evidence comes to light.

    In light of recent evidence that raises serious doubts about Reade's credibility, I no longer feel sure of what/whom to believe. And though I'm sure nobody is awaiting my revised credence with baited breath, and it will anger many people, I wanted to be forthcoming about this

    I stand by my original claim that Joe Biden has behaved in seriously creepy, disturbing ways toward women, and my dismay that he's the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. But I no longer think he should step aside, and apologize for having said he ought to in print.

    But it would be disingenuous for me not to publicly acknowledge that there are far more serious problems with Reade's word than is typically the case with victims--who of course do not have to be perfect, but do have to be credible.”

    https://twitter.com/kate_manne/status/1264006448821960710

    Will this make it into TDH?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well spotted, MH. I hope it does make into TDH. But if it doesn't, at least you caught it and shared it. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. It will be interesting to see how and when journalists revise their views and apologize for their misleading mania regarding Trump and Russia and the railroading of Flynn by the FBI. There was an op-ed in the NYT today it. About
      the government seeking
      to prosecute the people it dislikes by hiding exculpatory evidence, using deceptive methods, relying on outdated laws or threatening them with financial or familial ruin.
      and the administration’s inveterate critics having a hard time conceding that the theory in which they were politically and emotionally invested — that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to steal the election — was built on a shaky foundation.

      Delete
    3. Yes, thank you!

      Delete
    4. Bracket, an op-ed is opinion. Another conservative has written an opinion piece. That doesn't change the Mueller report or Flynn's guilt.

      Delete
    5. You're damn right, Bracket, I will never forgive Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, for humiliatingly firing Flynn only weeks into his term. What's this world coming to when we can't have Turkish undercover agents infiltrating our highest level of national security. Sheesh, those damn republican FBI directors trying to railroad that poor traitor.

      Delete
    6. No, the op-ed does not change the Mueller Report or its failure to support any of the fantastical claims of coordination between Russia and Trump. That's why it will be interesting to see how and when the media get around to revising their views and apologizing. Maybe they never will. I know you disagree about the findings of the report. No need to get into that whole debate again. But I was happy to see that people who read the New York Times are at least exposed to a small window of the deep propaganda foisted upon them for these so many months. And I hope now, when you see ex CIA and FBI and counterintelligence officials and ex counterintelligence officials on TV news channels (owned by the world's largest corporations), you don't swallow what they say whole, you consider there is a chance they are dissembling and serving a master higher than the truth which is, after all, something they have done routinly as a part of their job for decades and decades.

      Delete
    7. mm - just say what you want to say directly. Appeals to ridicule are a sign that you don't have anything substantial to offer. The Turkish agent crime was never a part of the investigation and actually, it is routine for Democrats like Flynn to engage in that kind of illegal behavior. It's rarely punished and quite common unfortunately. It doesn't change the underling fact he was railroaded by the FBI. Sorry mm! I know you really want all this to be true !! I feel for you man. It must feel very disorienting.

      Delete
    8. just say what you want to say directly

      I did, you phony.

      Delete
    9. Yastreblansky says:

      "Violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act is a crime. Rick Gates and Paul Manafort, for example, have pleaded guilty to it, among other crimes, and are doing time as we speak. "

      I suppose they were Democrats too?

      Delete
    10. Republicans violate as well as Democrats like Flynn. It's totally common. Washington is full of corruption.

      Delete
    11. No, it isn't. These are unusual cases and these people (Trump's cronies) went to jail because they did something that others do NOT do. You would like to say that lawbreaking is routine so that it seems to excuse what Republicans have been doing. But grifting is a Republican endeavor and normalizing it isn't going to work.

      Delete
    12. The law you cited is obscure and was pulled out of the hat to obtain a conviction against Trump's cronies. "Between 1966 and 2015, the Department of Justice brought only seven criminal FARA cases, and there were only three convictions. The Department of Justice has instead stressed efforts to encourage foreign agents’ voluntary compliance."

      It's hardly used and it's hard to get a conviction when it is. For instance last year Democrat Greg Craig, White House counsel under former President Barack Obama, was acquitted after being accused of violating the statute when he was caught lying about his work for Ukraine.

      Delete
    13. This just makes it clear how blatant the violations were, to have resulted in convictions and prison time for Gates & Manafort and a pending sentencing for Flynn (after a guilty plea).

      Delete
    14. Bracket,
      Welcome back.
      Do me a favor. Cop to the fact that there is no new information that has changed whether the DoJ feels Flynn's discussions were "material" or not. (Like our discussion here last week, when you made the charge and followed it up with nothing.)

      One you've made that good faith conciliation, we'll discuss the rest of what you have to say. Without it, you're just a drive-by troll, tossing around charges , which aren't backed up by facts.

      Delete
    15. "...it's hard to get a conviction when it is."

      Yet, Flynn pled guilty to it twice.
      I wonder who he was trying to protect, if it wasn't himself.

      Delete
    16. 4:10

      Can you cite where I made that charge?

      Are you basing your claim off of anything besides the blog post by Marcy Wheeler?

      Delete
    17. Feel free to view me as a drive-by troll or whatever you want! I often give sources for the claims I make. This claim, I don't even know what you're talking about. You gave the one link to the Marcy Wheeler post which I read but didn't really understand. The information was new to Flynn's lawyers. It doesn't really change too much if it was new or not if the charges are violating the Logan Act.

      Delete
    18. I will try to understand the claim. You are saying it is true no new information has changed whether the DoJ feels Flynn's discussions were material or not.

      Because the DOJ already had the information?

      Are you speaking about the documents released by Jensen? The Pientka memo etc?

      Can you give me anything to go on besides the Marcy Wheeler blog post?

      Also, can you tell me why it is relevant? You think the documents released by Jensen, which were new to the public and his lawyers, hold no value?

      Delete
    19. Brackert,
      Here you go.

      AnonymousMay 17, 2020 at 3:34 PM<
      "There is no account of any new information that has come to light, which could change one's opinion of whether Flynn's discussions were "material" or not."

      BracketMay 17, 2020 at 4:08 PM
      "Yes, you're reading of it is strange because it's explicitly in there.

      And the new information has been reported pretty thoroughly."
      ---------
      I'm basing the claim on the fact that no new information is provided in the DoJ's request to dismiss the charges against Flynn due to his discussions being "immaterial', than was known by the DoJ when they charged Flynn due to his discussions being "material".
      --------
      So, where were we?

      Delete
    20. Do you claim to have backuped all your charges with facts?

      Delete
    21. "The information was new to Flynn's lawyers."

      But not to the DoJ. What was new to the DoJ to make them change their minds about whether Flynn should be charged?

      So far, you, and the DoJ have provided nothing.
      Am I not supposed to notice that because of "both sides"?

      Delete
    22. 4:50

      I am not making the claim! They are making the claim.

      Sorry, I can't engage further someone who can't recognize that difference.

      Delete
    23. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/05/19/kinky-russia-throws-zoom-orgies-to-overcome-coronavirus-quarantine-a70297

      Good times, eh Babushka?

      Delete
    24. Bracket, or Leonid, or whatever your name is, you invite ridicule. It would be impolite not to accept.

      Delete
    25. mh,

      Manne has taken to twitter to mitigate the damage done from a national platform. Color me unimpressed.

      This ignoramus can't even get the term "bated breath" correct. She should have held it from the get-go.

      Delete
    26. @deadrat
      Her initial article in The Nation was ill-advised, in my view. Somerby can have a field day with it.

      But he did claim that our “sachems” don’t allow any discussion or deviation from their “tribal” views. Manne’s tweet shows a willingness to look at additional information and admit error. And Hirshman was willing to retweet Katha Pollitt’s opposing view about Reade.

      Delete
    27. "I am not making that claim."

      That's what I was asking for, Bracket. How hard was that?

      Delete
    28. "They are making that claim."

      Correct, and like you last week, they aren't backing it up with anything either.

      That's why you looked foolish calling others fools for listening to propaganda, while citing Bill Barr, a well-known propagandist.

      Delete
    29. Point taken, mh.

      Manne's grudging tweet just managed to make it over the finish line as an apology. And for something no reasonable person would have done in the first place.

      TDH's weakest arguments are that the people he cites are as influential as he claims and there is some kind of conspiracy of silence cum incompetence that keeps disallows competing views.

      You do a service when you marshal evidence in rebuttal.

      Delete
    30. I'm not listening to propaganda. The new evidence is previously classified and sealed documents from the FBI. It's the opposite of propaganda. It's hard evidence. I don't think you've researched this matter very thoroughly, if at all. Did you read the article from Lake linked to in the New York Times op-ed I cited?

      In terms of Russia gate, liberals have been propagandized by the CIA and FBI. That is far beyond dispute. You have been deeply propagandized in this matter. That is far, far beyond dispute.

      Delete
    31. Bracket,
      So your theory is that the FBI and CIA had it in for Trump, but they let him win the Presidency, why again?
      You, my friend, need to troll harder.

      Delete
    32. "It's the opposite of propaganda. It's hard evidence."

      Welcome back, Bracket. Ready to make another go, showing me the not at all propaganda, but actually hard evidence the DoJ learned of, which made Flynn's discussions no longer "material"?

      I'm looking forward to seeing it. Maybe third time will be the charm for you. Good luck.

      Delete
    33. Just read the article by Lake. You haven't researched this at all I guess.

      https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/eli-lake/michael-flynn-gets-railroaded-by-the-fbi/

      I also mentioned it earlier in the string. The documents released by Jensen. The Pientka memo etc.

      This is very boring for me because you don't even do basic research and, respectfully, I don't care what you think.



      Delete
    34. I guess you don't even read mainstream media about this issue.

      The newly uncovered documents mentioned here are the hard evidence.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/24/politics/justice-department-michael-flynn-william-barr/index.html

      Delete
    35. All of these new documents and notes made about the case in real time by the FBI we're feature prominently in the news about this issue. So I don't know what to tell you. Why you wouldn't know they exist doesn't make any sense.

      Delete
    36. You have to understand, you will always, always lose this argument and any argument about Russia and Trump coordination. You have always lost any and every argument about it and you always, always, always will. There's no question. This game has been over for a year now!

      You want to know what the new evidence is? That's just a total joke. Take 2 minutes and Google it.

      Delete
    37. The newly unsealed documents mentioned here are the new documents. Why that wouldn't be obvious to you, I don't know other than just assuming you don't take any time at all to read about the case.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/documents-are-newly-unsealed-michael-flynn-seeks-withdraw-plea-n1195906

      Delete
    38. One of the pages is a handwritten note, apparently from an FBI official, about the bureau's interview with Flynn. "What's our goal? Truth/Admission or get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"

      That is from a note taken in real-time by the FBI when they were on their way to interview Flynn. Those are newly unsealed documents. That is not any kind of propaganda but hard evidence, from the FBI. Rightly or wrongly, Barr is introducing that newly unsealed evidence that he claims make Flynn's lies not material.

      But all of this was in the news ad nauseam at the time so ... I understand there's a blogger who feels like it's not new and therefore not material, I guess?

      Delete
    39. Am I wrong? Is that not the not at all propaganda, but actually hard evidence the DoJ learned of, which made Flynn's discussions no longer "material"?

      Do you want me to show you where they are mentioned in Barr's filing?

      Delete
    40. Are those handwritten FBI notes propaganda by Barr? Did Barr fake them himself and plant them in the FBI's files?

      Delete
    41. Would you like me to provide you with a link to all of the newly released FBI emails and handwritten notes that Barr is using as evidence that Flynn's lies are no longer material so you can read them for yourself? (It's only one page of notes.) I have the links right here and can shoot them right over to you if you like.

      Delete
    42. Bracket,
      Yes. Send me the ones Bill Barr's DoJ hadn't already seen, when they decided Flynn's discussions were "material".

      I read the DoJ's petition to drop the charges against Flynn, but they weren't included, for some reason. Just some notations about things the DoJ already knew.

      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    43. No problem!

      This is the letter announcing the release of the documents

      .https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592.180.1.pdf

      These are the documents

      https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592.188.0_8.pdf

      https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592.181.1.pdf

      https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592/gov.uscourts.dcd.191592.181.2.pdf

      I understand it's hard to get that from reading the filing. It is a little byzantine. But the information is there in black and white. You have to read it very carefully and then look at the supplemental filings. I admit it's very confusing

      But may I ask, you knew about the handwritten notes right? That's not news to you, right?


      Delete
    44. I'll go ahead and find for you where in Barr's filing where they are mentioned because it is confusing.

      But, I don't understand your point. You're basing everything off that one blog post? You do know that that blogger is not a lawyer, right? What are you trying to say exactly? You're trying to say that the Justice Department already had the handwritten note that suggested that the FBI was considering an option of getting Flynn to lie? Please state directly what you're trying to say.

      Because, if it was new or it was not new, isn't really the question. The question is are the new documents, like the handwritten note that proves the FBI was considering getting Flynn to lie, evidence that makes the reason for the FBI's investigation different from what it had previously stated, and hence makes his lies in material?

      Come on, let's face it. You don't know what the fuck you're talkin about. Lol.

      Delete
    45. It's sad goddamnit. Liberals used to be the smart ones. Now we are just as stupid as they are.

      Delete
    46. Now you can tell me. How are those documents "Barr propaganda" and not "hard evidence"?

      Delete
    47. "Now we are just as stupid as they are."

      "we"
      I'm fooled. anyone else?

      Delete
    48. I'll post the rest of the new documents later today.

      Delete
    49. I could furnish you with literally hundreds of examples of propaganda that has been rained down in your heads in this Russia matter. And yet, it still persists. You people are not to blame, you're the marks. The interesting thing will be when the journalists admit it. And of course the sad thing is all the time lost that could have been used examining how Democrats could get better and better serve Americans as the myriad crises born out of technological advances and 20th century corruption and disenfranchisement begin to assert themselves in earnest.

      And yet we were talking about a Trump Tower meeting arranged by a British music publicist.

      Still, no one reading this read about that episode in the Meuller Report. Not one of you.

      Delete
    50. All kidding aside on this Flynn matter, it must be conceded how it is a real time lesson in how our justice system has been perverted by a partisan hack AG. Just look at the extraordinary lengths he is taking this to spring traitor Flynn, now forcing the trial judge to hire his own lawyer in order to defend himself in front a federal appeals court, even before the matter before the trial court has been adjudicated. Just stand back and look at the big picture. How there now seems to be a separate system of justice for Trump's band of liars, beggars, thieves and traitors, versus the rest of us. Has anything remotely like this ever happened before. Investigations of the investigations of the investigations ad infinitum.

      . . . "Let the jury consider their verdict," the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

      "No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first–verdict afterward."

      "Stuff and nonsense!" said Alice loudly. "The idea of having the sentence first!"

      "Hold your tongue!" said the Queen, turning purple.

      "I won't!" said Alice.

      "Off with her head!" the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

      "Who cares for you?" said Alice. (She had grown to her full size by this time.) "You're nothing but a pack of cards!"

      Delete
    51. Bracket.
      Please do.
      I wasted too much time reading that red herring by Eli Lake you posted. What a joke. That genius thinks Flynn was working for inovo, not Turkey.
      Similarly, a week ago you posted a link purportedly showing the new information, but that turned out to be a post saying new information has come to light, without providing what the new information is.

      Delete
    52. "I could furnish you with literally hundreds of examples of propaganda that has been rained down in your heads in this Russia matter."

      If it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.

      Delete
    53. "The interesting thing will be when the journalists admit it."

      I wouldn't get too excited. They doubled down on "economic anxiety" of Trump voters, after it was shown Trump voting was based on white backlash.

      Delete
    54. Good luck sir(s)!

      Delete
    55. The biggest flaw in the Russiagate theory, is that somehow it would take a foreign power using sinister methods to get white Americans to vote for a bigot as their President.

      Damn Russians with their mass hypnosis.
      LOL.

      Delete
    56. It really is extraordinary watching the AG get into a dick measuring contest with a Federal District Court Judge. And all for a flaming asshole coward like Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President. Of course that judge happens to be black and didn't attend the elite preppy boy schools that Beerbong Brett attended, so it's understandable that Billy the Fixer Barr would treat him with such contemptible disrespect.

      It's going to take a lot of work to clean the stables after this crowd gets thrown out.

      Delete
    57. Barr auditioned for the job, by signaling that anything done by the President isn't illegal.
      He put that in Op/ Ed, not written in the margins of a document, so you can't question question whether he's on the up and up.

      Delete
    58. And do you (guys) know his dad's connection to Jeffery Epstein?

      Hey, how come you (all) are not interested in the Israeli Trump collusion from 2016?

      Delete
    59. No interest in Israeli Trump collusion because you only eat what is fed to you. Anything outside the lines is conspiracy or doesn't exist. It's more evidence to help you understand how deeply you are propagandized.

      Delete
    60. Huge interest in Israeli Trump collusion.
      Do you agree that is something that Trump can be charged with? Is Bill Barr's "unitary executive" theory (that the President is not subject to laws) a fight, you feel, is worth taking on?
      We already saw Barr misrepresent the Mueller Report. Why do you think he wouldn't go to bat for Trump and the GOP as he has his entire life, legalities be damned?

      Delete
  6. From Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog:

    "But I suspect that Trump appeals to his base not merely because he hates the same people the base hates. I think he appeals to his base -- particularly men -- simply because he hates. He's a bundle of rage. He wakes up every morning and expresses anger, on Twitter and in press conferences, and he gets away with it. He's succeeded in structuring a life in which he doesn't even have to pretend that he cares about most people's feelings -- he just says what he want to say and offends whomever he chooses to offend. In other words, he's completely selfish and unsocialized.

    To a very large portion of the male population, that's incredibly appealing.

    I'm sure social science can give the desire to want to live like this a more high-toned name than "Male Asshole Syndrome," but that's what I'll call it for now. Quite a few women have it, but it's generally a guy thing. I hope someday we'll read a study assessing this as a possible explanation for Trump's persistent appeal, particularly among men.

    I'm not denying that racism and xenophobia are important to Trump's appeal. But he's also selling the fantasy of being able to live a life completely without empathy. And it seems a lot of men are buying."

    https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-much-of-trumpism-is-just-toxic.html

    I would buy this as Somerby's problem too. A lot of his anger seems to be directed at women, and the rest at liberals who seem to have let him down in some way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Meanwhile, Trump is out playing golf today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Bob, while your reproducing goebbelsian CNN smears is undeniably important task, might you be interested, perhaps, in interrupting this activity (if only for a short while) to discuss the following?

    "New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik has joined a chorus of lawmakers calling for an independent federal investigation into Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's management of nursing homes and assisted care facilities during the COVID-19 health crisis because she believes the governor mismanaged his approach, costing thousands of lives."
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/elise-stefanik-cuomo-nursing-home-probe

    Thanks in advance, dear Bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put Cuomo on the Electric Couch, with Trump, and flip the switch.
      Good riddance to bad trash.

      in the meantime, Mao, who do you have on the bench to replace
      these two, who can do the establishment's bidding?
      Inquiring minds want to know.

      Delete
  9. https://digbysblog.net/2020/05/trumps-3-a-m-ramblings-like-a-drunk-girl-in-a-club/

    ReplyDelete
  10. This seems like hair-splitting. I've known pathological liars that really believe the stories they tell, but they're still liars. Does Trump know he's making shit up? Who cares! Normal people shade the truth and say false things occasionally; they do not invent crazy boasts like "As a kid I played baseball better than anyone in my giant state". As Bob says, this guy suffers from some affliction, but he knows whether or not he, in fact, played baseball better than anyone else. In normal life, we don't ponder the interior life of someone who told us an untrue thing. We just say, "He lied to me". Really, it's as simple as that, but for some reason Bob wants to exonerate Trump because of his dementia. Why bother? If someone chronically says untrue things, that person is a liar. That's how we operate normally, and we don't need to make it more complicated here.

    ReplyDelete
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