Bonfire(s) of the inanities: This morning, we had to chuckle.

It was 6:07 A.M. Eastern. Mika was listing the basic provisions of the bill the Senate has now passed in one of its lunatic all-nighter sessions.

She cited the provision which would "invest more than $300 billion" in "climate reform." She said the bill would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time. 

The bill would also impose a 15% minimum tax on large corporations. So she correctly said.

Those were the basic provisions Mika cited. Now, as she prepared to throw to Joe, we had to chuckle at one part of what she said:

MIKA (8/8/22): Joe, I just want to start with how big a win this is. 

The name of this bill—The Inflation Reduction Act. Everything seems to be lining up in a way which has brought this together for Democrats, hopefully ultimately in a way that Americans can understand—that they have been working on their agenda and they got it done.

JOE: Yeah. It's been incredible.

Joe proceeded from there. We had to chuckle at the way Mika cited the name of the bill.

Everybody understands that the so-called Inflation Reduction Act has virtually nothing to do with inflation reduction. That isn't what the bill is about. This basic fact has been explained again and again and again.

Everyone knows that about this bill. But when she mentioned how big a win this new bill is, Mika added a bit of unintentional humor to the mix:

As she started, she stressed the name of the bill. She did this without making any attempt to say what the name of the bill has to do with its contents. 

(You can assess Mika's presentation at this handy link. Once there, just click on "Joe: This has been an extraordinarily successful two years legislatively," then advance to the 3-minute mark.)

Repeat! Everyone knows that the name of this bill has nothing to do with its contents. Unless they're watching MSNBC, where we now get the impression that tribunes are now going out of their way to make us rubes think different.

Are bosses at this particular channel directing tribunes to stress the bill's  misleading name? For the first time, we're seeing behaviors which make us wonder about the possibility of such backstage direction. For last weekend's example, click here

At any rate, so it goes in the tribalized world into which "cable news" has descended. We mention Mika's presentation because it was unintentionally funny, and because we've now descended to the point here we're willing to take our comic relief wherever we can find it.

We're willing to take our comic relief wherever it can be found! That said, the realities of our flailing  "public discourse" are extremely grave. 

We compliment the Washington Post's Dana Milbank for calling attention to the fact that this enormous problem wasn't invented by Donald J. Trump. He does so in (what else?) a new book, The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party.

Milbank cites a list of players who have brought us to this state. We're prepared to suggest that he's omitting one key set of players in this disastrous decline—a decline which dates back more than 25 years.

Alex Jones is currently in the news, where he should have been all along. As one of our craziest "music men [sic]," he belongs in this set of players.

Milbank names several others. We'll try to categorize them this week—and to direct your attention to some players in this deeply dangerous state of affairs Milbank seems to omit. 

Tomorrow: Milbank remembers


  1. Meh. We find "climate reform" far more absurd, far dembot-style loonier than "The Inflation Reduction Act".

    And you, dear Bob, apparently feel that "invest more than $300 billion" in "climate reform" is perfectly fine and dandy?

    How so? Ah, sorry, of course: you are liberal... Never mind, dear...

    1. You sound desperate. Your Establishment bosses must be really sweating it about their taxes going up.

  2. Not only should media be pointing out that the "Inflation reduction" act won't reduce inflation, the media should be blasting the Dems for their dishonesty in choosing this name. They (rightfully) blast Trump dishonesty. They should treat Dems the same.

    1. Good luck getting the corporations, who own the media, to push for higher corporate tax rates, because higher taxes reduce spending, which lowers inflation.

    2. David,
      That seems like something the media would do in non-Capitalist societies.

    3. The media hype inflation to hurt Biden and the Democrats, not to propose the correct solution (higher taxes) for it.

  3. Dems' are using "climate" change as an excuse to giver money to their friends and to criticize Republicans. But, their efforts are doing very little to reduce CO2.

    The only way to make a significant reduction in CO2 is to build a lot more nuclear power plants. This isn't happening today, because it's too easy for opponents of these plants to use legal shenanigans to stop them from being built. We need to change the laws that allow so many impediments.

    1. David,
      You are hilarious. You come here and act as if most business regulation isn't written by industry leaders to stunt competition.
      Were you really an insurance adjustor, or are you really a 10-year old with internet access?

    2. 11:05 it's analogous to the Nectarine School of economics out of the 17th century.

    3. 11:05 -- the opposition to new nuclear plants comes mostly from the greens. It's ironic that the greens have been the worst offenders leading to the US not reducing CO2 emissions.

    4. What do you propose to do with the nuclear waste from such reactors, David? Your backyard maybe?

    5. @David,
      and there is no slightest doubt in your mind that reducing CO2 emissions is necessary? Why, just because dembots keep saying it is?

    6. One thing we can say for certain, David. Republicans never can pass up an opportunity to prove what a bunch of petty dicks they are, wouldn't you agree?

    7. @12:27 -- my wife shares your concern about nuclear waste, but I don't think it's a problem. The amount of nuclear waste is tiny. A deep hole in a remote area is all we need.

    8. Apparently the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also a bottleneck. See
      Nuclear Regulatory Commission Has Nearly ...Frozen Nuclear Designs for 48 Years
      Designs for original pressure water reactors and the boiler water reactors were all approved under the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) which ran from 1946 to 1974. After the AEC was replaced by the NRC, the approval of new nuclear reactor designs ground to a near halt.

      It takes 7-20 years for an NRC approval and the odds of successfully getting through certification are about 20% or less. The odds seem even worse if your reactor is not submitted by Westinghouse or something Westinghouse-related....

    9. Mao -- I am not sure that it's necessary to reduce CO2 emissions. I hope not, because the human race isn't going to to it. They just talk about it.

      However, more energy will be necessary, Nuclear is currently the only potential source of large amounts of new energy.

    10. @David
      Yeah. It's probably more complicated though. Nuclear has its problems. In fact right now, as we speak, France is struggling: drought, water in rivers (for cooling) is too low, too warm, and what-not.

      Hopefully something better will be invented eventually...

    11. David not thinking things through is quite on brand for a Right-winger.

  4. "Everybody understands that the so-called Inflation Reduction Act has virtually nothing to do with inflation reduction."

    Somerby asserted this and now, on that basis, "everybody understands" it? No. Only in his imagination.

    1. A very Republican, partisan reaction from Bob. Big surprise.

  5. “Unless they're watching MSNBC, where we now get the impression that tribunes are now going out of their way to make us rubes think different.”

    Somerby has cited a brief mention at 6:07am by Mika Brzezinski and a small discussion on Stephanie Ruhle’s show, where Peter Baker pushed back a bit.

    That hardly seems like a major propaganda effort, and it leaves a lot of air time unaccounted for.

    It also assumes the people who happened to be watching at those two brief moments aren’t getting other news sources, where it’s impossible to avoid the critics of the bill’s name, including Bernie Sanders.

  6. The Bill's name is aspirational. Had the provisions that reduced inflation more been left in, it would be more accurate. However, those provisions were jettisoned to gain support of Manchin and Sinema, our two Republican members of the Democratic party.

    The Bill will reduce inflation. How much is a another question. Republicans opposed the bill, to a person. Now they denigrate it, and Somerby goes right along with THEIR propaganda.

    I pay no attention to Bernie, but if he is also denigrating this legislative accomplishment, he is not helping Democrats either. With friends like these, Democrats clearly have our work cut out for us.

    Blaming this on Mika and Stephanie, instead of Bernie and Bob, strikes me as grossly inaccurate. But I doubt Somerby's main concern has ever been accuracy.

  7. "Paul Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, told Insider “that in 2016 he shared polling data from the Trump campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime business associate with suspected ties to Russian intelligence.”

    “Manafort’s acknowledgment contradicts his earlier denials, during the investigation into election interference conducted by the special counsel Robert Mueller, that he had anything to do with the transfer of sensitive campaign data. It also differs from the account he gives in his forthcoming memoir, Political Prisoner, in which he concedes only that he presented Kilimnik with ‘talking points’ on polling data that was already public.”

  8. "Urban told Brown that the trillions of dollars that will help inflation, deal with climate change disasters, incentivize Americans who want to buy electric vehicles and a slew of other things is not free. Republicans argue that it will make U.S. inflation worse, and Brown conceded that economists are split on whether it would help inflation. When the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored it, they called it a revenue gain for the government.

    Urban, however, wouldn't let up. When asked about Republican candidates and a recent flub by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) on "Face the Nation," Urban went back to talk about the inflation bill.

    "By the way, back to the inflation reduction act you were talking about earlier, the Penn Wharton budget model said it's going to have zero impact on reducing inflation," he continued. "So, just to put a little flag point on that."

    "You just can't let it go, can you, David?" asked Brown rhetorically. As I said earlier, economists have been mixed about whether it will actually reduce inflation, and that is true. Thank you both."

    She then ended the panel discussion."

    And Somerby similarly just can't let it go either. He insists that the title of the bill is a misnomer, although he has no one to cite on that except the Republican critics of the bill. Note that the CBO supports the Dems. Somerby assumes that his own opinion (the Republican position) is the truth and pretends that Mika is the one who is wrong and thus "inadvertently funny". But this is just more of Somerby spreading Republican memes.

    Somerby clearly doesn't want to see any sort of "win" for Biden and the Dems, so he argues the Republican case. Because that's what he does these days. And this situation is a clear case in point.

  9. The headline on my local San Jose paper calls it a "Bid Biden Deal on Economy". They get a point for ignoring the bill's deceptive name.

    1. You lower inflation by increasing taxes. Here is one of the ways the bill with do that:

      "One of the ways that the new climate change bill¹ raises money to pay for itself is by hiring more IRS agents to audit rich people. This will make up for the massive drop in audits of the rich that's been engineered by Republicans over the past decade."

      From Kevin Drum.

    2. There's also a stock buyback tax.

  10. If the Right wants to give Biden all the credit for it, like they did for Obama, with the ACA, I say let ‘‘em.