MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2022
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