STORYLINE / NARRATIVES / NARRATORS: You can buy this photo of Stephanie Ruhle...


...for the low price of $500: Today, at the start of Morning Joe, we had a Groundhog Day moment.

The gang had finished a brief discussion of last evening's sports event. At that point, Mika broke in, saying something a great deal like this:

But we start with today's top story: More bad news for Donald Trump.

Moee bad news for Donald Trump! On the corporate channel in question, that has been the day's top story for something like the past five years!

On the cable news channel in question, it's always more news for Trump. He's constantly on his way to jail.  Mueller has already reviewed his tax records--the tax records Mueller never sought.

Today, the bad news involved some legal matter so tangential, and so hard to explain, that it barely appears in the morning's newspapers. That said:

Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail Jail Jail Jail Jail! 

Starting at 4 P.M. each day, this is the channel's basic news diet right on through till midnight. At 6 A.M., with sports talk done, it starts all over again.

In this way, our blue tribe's favorite "cable news" channel pleasures and dumbs us way down. 

As next month's possible debacle approaches, voters are concerned with such topics as inflation, crime and the border. On our tribe's channel, we hear about Donald J. Trump going to jail (or getting sued), and we hear about little else. 

This practice is known as "selling the car." It's very good for corporate profits, and for the salaries of "talent."

Last Friday night, the talent involved in this practice included the following players:

Stephanie Ruhle
Alicia Menendez
Tali Farhadian Weinstein

Ruhle is the anchor of The 11th Hour, the program which closes the channel's news day. To our surprise, it seems to us that she's done rather poorly since she took over the show in the wake of Bran Williams' departure.

Last Friday night, Alicia Menendez was serving as guest host. As we noted yesterday, she strikes us as sharper and less phony than most examples of "talent" on this "news channel's" air.

This brings us to Tali Farhadian Weinstein, an MSNBC legal analyst. As we've noted in the past few days, Farhadian Weinstein is a highly accomplished person, starting with her term as a Rhodes Scholar after graduating from Yale.

In her year on MSNBC, Farhadian Weinstein has struck as being completely sincere. She has also struck us as someone who might be somewhat disinclined to rock boats, a tendency which may not be unknown among highly successful people.

On last Friday's program, Farhadian Weinstein gave perfect voice to that day's tribal script. As we noted yesterday, we don't necessarily agree with what she said. In fairness, though, let us be clear—

Everyone was saying the same thing that night, all across the tribe.

We were struck by the scripted quality of Farhadian Weinstein's presentation. We decided to check her bio again—and when we did, we saw it again:

She isn't simply highly accomplished, although she certainly is. She's also extremely wealthy, and she's very well connected within Gotham's power elite.

Farhadian Weinstein is highly accomplished. She strikes us as a thoroughly decent person, and as wholly sincere.

That said, how wealthy is Farhadian Weinstein? The leading authority on the question offers a minor hint here:

In November 2010, Farhadian married hedge-fund manager Boaz Weinstein, whom she had met while attending a book party at the UJA-Federation of New York, at the Central Synagogue in Manhattan. In 2012, they purchased a $25.5 million property on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, from the estate of Huguette Clark.

Ten years ago, they purchased a $25.5 million property, the property in which they live. For the record, the property in question is an apartment. It isn't even a house!

Instantly, let's be clear:

There's nothing "wrong" with purchasing a $25 million apartment—an apartment which was said to need a lot of work. Farhadian Weinstein did absorb a certain amount of snark and grief—in this case, from one of her self-described friends from law school at Yale.

There's also nothing automatically "wrong" with being a hedge fund trader. For the record, here is the leading authority's capsule account of Boaz Weinstein's hugely successful financial career:

Weinstein joined Deutsche Bank in January 1998, following several traders who moved over to the firm. He became the only person at the bank trading credit default swaps (CDS), insurance policies that payout when borrowers default. Deutsche Bank was interested in expanding its operations in the CDS market having just acquired Bankers Trust, the firm that created credit default swaps in the early 1990s.

During his first year at Deutsche Bank, Weinstein netted significant gains for the German bank during the chaos created by Russia defaulting on its loans and the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, a hedge fund that was heavily leveraged. He was promoted to vice president of Deutsche Bank in 1999. When Weinstein had begun working at Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan was the only other major bank trading in CDS and only a few trades a day occurred in the market. By a decade later, CDS trading had expanded into a multi-trillion-dollar market involving numerous major banks.


In April 2009, Weinstein hired 15 members of his former team to form Saba Capital Management, a credit-focused hedge fund based out of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. He had left Deutsche Bank two months before, and his former employer had agreed to the move years in advance and to become one of Saba's main brokers...

Saba began trading with $140–160 million in funds. By November 2010, the firm had raised $1.8 billion in funds with which to trade and was up 10% that year. In March 2011, Saba was listed as the fastest growing hedge fund in 2010 by Absolute Return + Alpha. Weinstein was also included in Fortune's 40 Under 40 list in 2010 and 2011.

In 2012, Weinstein profited from a notable loss incurred by JPMorgan Chase on account of a failed investment in credit derivatives attributed to a trader at JPMorgan who was later nicknamed the "London Whale." 

The history proceeds from there. We don't have the slightest idea what any of that may mean. 

We're not suggesting, in any way, that there's anything "wrong" with Boaz Weinstein's financial career. It's entirely possible that his career has been a force for the public good.

That said, it was a bit intriguing to recall the fact that Weinstein was a hedge fund guy. In certain circles, every9ne is! Here's the history of the start of Ruhle's career:

Prior to joining Bloomberg [News], Ruhle spent 14 years working in the finance industry. While in college, she spent a summer interning for Merrill Lynch. In 1997, she joined Credit Suisse where she spent six years working in hedge fund sales. During her time at Credit Suisse First Boston, she served as a vice president and became the highest producing credit derivatives salesperson in the United States.

In 2003, Ruhle joined Deutsche Bank as a credit salesperson covering hedge funds. She ended her eight-year career there as a managing director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management. While at Deutsche Bank, Ruhle founded the Global Market Women's Network to help women move into leadership roles at the company.

She earned her bones in hedge funds too! In some circles, everyone does!

For the record, we think Ruhle has done poorly as host of The 11th Hour. Based on her work in the daytime hours, we've been surprised by the poor performance.

That said, we have no reason to doubt the fact she is a good, decent person. That isn't the nature of the rumination we offer you today. The point we would make is this:

We mentioned three people as we began—Ruhle, Menendez and Farhadian Weinstein. Like others you see on "cable news" shows, they were presumably chosen for their posts because, among other attributes, they come across well on the air.

That said, all three are deeply connected within your failing nation's power elite. At least one of the three is enormously wealthy. These facts may not occur to you as you watch them on the air.

Of the three, we'd list Menendez as the best performer. According to the leading authority, she was a highly-regarded Harvard graduate. Also, she's the daughter of Robert Menendez, the New Jersey senator.

Farhadian Weinstein is massively wealthy. The money in question comes from the hedge fund game, the same game in which Ruhle started out.

The people you see on your "cable news" screen have been programmed to tell you that they are all each other's "dear friends." They do so in robotic fashion, night after night after night.

Through this repetitive branding strategy, we viewers are secretly given the secret thought that they are our friends too. We may not realize that they come from a highly exclusive part of the world—from "somewhere [we]'ve never traveled."

People find their way into that rarefied air in various ways. Some are born inside the power elite. Some work their way to that perch.

Along the way, you aren't encouraged to know how much these people are paid, or to understand the nature of their social standing. Today, Rachel is widely said to be "earning" $30 million per year, but you aren't encouraged to know such things, or to wonder what various people might be willing to do for such cash.

They suggest to us that they're all "dear friends," and there may be a germ of truth to that. Example:

Through Getty Images, you can purchase this photo of Ruhle, Weinstein and Farhadian Weinstein  posing together at the Whitney Biennial Gala back in 2014.

You can purchase the photo for as little as $175, or as much as $499. You can also view the photo at the Truthout site, accompanying a report which carries this scolding headline:

Leading Manhattan DA Candidate Has Repeatedly Paid Almost No Federal Income Tax

We have no idea.

Our point today is simple:

The people you see on "cable news" may not be like you and me. From the way they get presented, the depth of the difference may not be instantly clear.

(Mike Barnicle is MSNBC's official "regular guy." Who would have guessed that Barnicle's wife is or was vice chair of Bank of America and chair of the board of Bank of America Europe?)

There's nothing "wrong' with any of the behaviors we have mentioned today. However, we will say this:

People like these may not be inclined to understand the interests of the hundred million people who will be voting next month. 

They may be living inside a bubble—inside a world in which they and their similars only care about Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail. 

Inflation doesn't bother these people. Imaginably, in certain cases, neither does anything else.

Also, extreme high achievers of this type may not be inclined to rock boats. They may be inclined to "go along to get along"—to work from establishment script. 

We had a Groundhog Day moment today. It's like that every day the week. As cosseted pundits script us this way, are we on our way to a debacle?

Do these people know, or care, what the vast range of voters might think?

Still coming: When Ezra interviewed Rachel


  1. Okay. Once again, thank you, dear Bob, for documenting this minor portion of the recent liberal atrocities.

    ...this minor portion of the recent liberal atrocities, produced by your thoroughly corrupt liberal cult.

    ...nothing surprising there, though...

  2. I appreciate all the Right-wingers trying to make me even happier about Ashli Babbitt's death by saying January 6th was no big deal, but there really is nothing about Ashli Babbitt's death that could make me happier.

  3. Bob,
    Is calling criticism of a Right-winger that hurts their feelings "cancel culture" helping the GOP in the midterms?

  4. Maddow and Susan raise lambs for their tendon meat. They literally eat lamb tendons. Then they sit on Adirondack chairs drinking and mocking the lambs.

    That is not something I find admirable.

    1. What would anyone expect from the party that is pushing child mutilation. Adult mutilation too. The "experts" who occupy elite positions are mentally ill and even more dangerous than the lobotomy quacks of the past. They deserve prison for their hate and cruelty against children and vulnerable adults, and hopefully we'll get there soon. Making progress on the ones killing the youngest by the millions at abortion clinics.

    2. They also put saddles on the lambs and make them suck helium.

    3. Why does Somerby never discuss the difference between a fantasy and a lie? @11:26 clearly has a sick fantasy about Rachel which he embellishes here from time to time. He perhaps grew up on a farm and was harshly discipline over impure thoughts about those lambs. Now he has a compulsion to inflict his nasty thoughts on us here. Can't Somerby weed this out with the other spam?


    4. It's a godly deed, though.

      Because tendon meat is trapped inside lamb's bodies, and it desperately wants out.

    5. OK, now that Mao has confessed, we all know who has been writing these stupid lamb comments.

    6. Maddow and Susan save their lamb's urine in a plastic vat.

    7. Only Republicans care what someone does with a lamb in the privacy of their own barn.

  5. If any political writer ever played his readers for rubes in the most insufferable and insulting fashion, it is the odious Bob Somerby today.
    The story on morning Joe Bob doesn’t want
    to go into is that another case Bob Barr’s
    Prosecutor brought to trial was quickly
    laughed out of Court. This was on Trump’s
    futile orders to snag something on
    Hillary Clinton. A lot of the press is
    lightly spinning this as a matter of
    Durham’s incompetence, they have
    quite a record of failing to snag the
    Clinton’s themselves, so this may be
    So then it’s on to this woman (surprise)
    Bob wants to tear down for having too
    much money. Never a problem with
    Bob’s favorite mental case, but in
    Bob’s world I guess having a lot of
    money is forgivable if you are a
    tasteless slob and bully.
    Bob clearly enjoys taunting
    us with the fact his favorite mental
    case hasn’t been charged with anything,
    and he has a point, even as he won’t
    go near any of it on a factual basis.
    It’s always “Blow, Blow, Blow, Blow!”
    Here at The Howler.
    No serious person can deny if an
    average person had acted with Trump’s
    lawlessness they would be in jail.
    Trump would seem to face serious
    legal woes, but Bob has as much
    concern for that as he does for his
    Nation, which he clearly despises.

    1. In other words ... Trump, Trump, Trump, jail, jail, jail!

    2. 12:07, well that would be the translation into total douche bag.

    3. It's not a matter of snagging the Clinton campaign, it's whether or not their sleazy swiftboating of Trump by falsely connected him to Russia was illegal or not.

    4. Except that Trump really did collude with Russia, right up until the very end when Trump did Russia's dirty work by trying to withdraw from Somalia, Afghanistan, and everywhere else the US has a military presence. The vaccum created would provide Russia with opportunities, like the one they used to invade Ukraine.

      The word swiftboating implies there was no truth to the allegations, as there was no truth to the idea that Kerry was not a war hero. There IS truth behind the Russia accusations. If there were not, Durham would have been able to expose the swiftboating during his investigation -- but he found nothing.

    5. Trump could always sue the Democratic Party. Discovery will be a hoot.

    6. Trump didn't collide with Russia
      Sorry. I know it feels good for you to say that and you think you can say anything and it magically becomes true. But back here on planet Earth, no Virginia, Trump didn't collude with Russia. And even if he did, collusion is not even a crime.

    7. We'll see if what Trump did is not a crime. No one is done with him yet, despite Somerby's sniveling whines.

    8. 1:23 … Trump publicly called on Russia to damage his political rival. That makes you an idiot. That was, by all reliable accounts, the tip of the iceberg. Bit that alone makes your statement laughable. “Russia, if you’re listening, at 1:23 needs a job…

    9. 1:23,

      I wonder why Donald J Chickenshit lied to the American people during the campaign saying he had no business interests in Russia, when he knew what Michael Cohen had been doing with the Kremlin on his behalf, as follows:

      On or about January 16, 2016, COHEN emailed [Peskov]’s office again, said he was trying to reach another high-level Russian official, and asked for someone who spoke English to contact him.

      On or about January 20, 2016 , COHEN received an email from the personal assistant to [Peskov] (“Assistant 1 “), stating that she had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided.

      Shortly after receiving the email, COHEN called Assistant 1 and spoke to her for approximately 20 minutes. On that call, COHEN described his position at the Company and outlined the proposed Moscow Project, including the Russian development company with which the Company had partnered. COHEN requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction. Assistant 1 asked detailed questions and took notes, stating that she would follow up with others in Russia.

      The day after COHEN’s call with Assistant 1, [Sater] contacted him, asking for a call. Individual 2 wrote to COHEN, “It’s about [the President of Russia] they called today.”

    10. Thanks for your brilliant analysis. ;) Too bad neither of the two multi-million dollar investigations that looked into that matter agree with you.

    11. 1:56. Hi - that's not collusion. It's not a business interest either. It's preliminary discussions to do business. So please pull your head out of your ass when you get a chance. ;) Really, really stupid try there.

    12. You idiots are desperate! It's pathetic.

    13. You idiots have two choices. Take the L or keep playing the fool.

    14. 1:56,

      I didn't say it was collusion, I asked a question whey Donald J Chickenshit was lying to the American public while all the while his lawyer was in contact with the Kremlin?

      And Putin, with full and definite knowledge that Trump was lying to the American public, certainly had pretty good indication that Trump was happy to surreptitiously work with the GRU and the Kremlin. Don't you think?

    15. Hi 2:17 He wasn't lying. That does not represent a business interest.

      But no, I don't feel the same way that that is a reason to think he was colluding or whatever your insinuation is. Two major investigations looked into it and also don't agree with you.

      You're trying to make a case for an issue that has been settled for 3 years.

    16. (which is just insanely pathetic)

    17. That there was no collusion doesn't mean Trump is good. It means that the people to whom you turn to for information lie to you and your gullible enough to believe them. Sorry to say.

    18. “ issue that has been settled for three years.“ I’d say it isn’t exactly settled and it is still important, since the same things may happen again in 2022. Trump, if running, may just “accidentally” “hire” another campaign manager like Manafort with close ties to Russia who just happens to share the Kremlin’s preference for Donald J Chickenshit and who works closely with them to …”coordinate.”

    19. Mueller: "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or **coordinated** with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

      I guess your choice to keep playing the fool.

    20. Here we see the Republican tactic in practice -- declare victory whether you have won or lost, then exit the field. Durham lost. Trump's defense against allegations of collusion with Russia has been (1) to obstruct the investigation, (2) to claim that he is the victim of a Russia hoax, (3) to launch an investigation to smear those who accused him, (4) to unclassify documents which he can claim exonerate him and prove the conspiracy against him, but which do not do so and only confuse everything while reveal sensitive info. This latter attempt has failed so far, but seems to be behind some of his attempt to hang on to classified documents.

      Trump succeeded in blocking Mueller's attempts to prosecute him. Mueller was a Republican and did not go up against Barr and Trump, despite finding enough info to do so. He did identify Russia meddling, prosecute some of the Russians and Russia was sanctioned over their election interference. The Mueller Report did not clear Russia of interference, nor did it clear Trump of obstructions of justice.

      No one believes Trump's claims of being the victim of FBI improper investigation except his supporters. It was shown that the unmasking of names was done for legitimate reasons and that the investigation of Russia connections was due to Australian concern, not anything in the Steele dossier. Trump's allegations that Hillary was persecuting him were not substantiated.

      The Durham investigation brought charges against two people for supposedly lying to the FBI. It found no conspiracy against Trump and no improper FBI investigatory behavior. The two people accused of lying to the FBI were both acquitted of all charges. The Durham investigation is folding due to lack of results.

      That leaves Trump's plan to hold classified documents hostage in exchange for documents about the FBI investigation of Russian connections. That one is failing because the DOJ is insisting that none of the documents are his, to keep or to trade.

      And this is where we stand. Trump may be prosecuted for his mishandling of classified material. He may be prosecuted for his plot to say in office. If Democrats stay in office, perhaps he will be prosecuted eventually for his obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation. He is in the midst of several civil lawsuts and a criminal investigation in GA over election tampering. And there may be more trouble over his efforts to evade taxes in his business dealings by undervaluing and overvaluing various assets to defraud banks and the IRS. This all remains to be seen.

      If Somerby thinks there is too much about Trump in the news, it is partly because he is a former president currently talking about running in 2024, and because he has done so many controversial and criminal things that are only now being sorted out. Somerby needs to get a different hobby if he cannot stand hearing more about Trump's difficulties every day. This is going to get worse and go on for a long time, unless the Democrats lose all access to power in the midterms.

    21. He wasn't lying. That does not represent a business interest.


      Building a Trump Tower in Moscow isn't a business interest? OK, Magat, if you say so. LOL!

    22. Yes, check the definition of the term junior.

    23. I already know what a lying sack of shit is, little buddy.

    24. Ruhle has also never attempted to hide, or avoided mentioning, her ties to Deutsche Bank, unlike Bob's
      favorite mental case.

    25. Republican voters, who are economically anxious,---and not at all straight-up bigots---burnt all of Trump's properties to the ground back when Trump gave that HUGE tax break to corporations and the rich.

  6. "Starting at 4 P.M. each day, this is the channel's basic news diet right on through till midnight. At 6 A.M., with sports talk done, it starts all over again."

    This is obviously an exaggeration. When I turn on MSNBC, this isn't what I hear or see. So, why does Somerby magnify the Trump coverage until he sees nothing else? Maybe he is especially sensitive to Trump's problems. For me, it seems like there is way too much sports coverage, but then, I don't watch the games either. Did Somerby watch the last hearing? He hasn't said so. I am beginning to doubt whether he did, since he keeps returning to questions about what Trump knew, which were settled during the last hearing. He knew he lost and he lied to his voters about it. It is hard to pretend he didn't do that, after watching the hearing.

    So, I suspect Somerby didn't watch and doesn't want to say so, because it is embarrassing to be a political junkie without watching the 1/6 Committee all the way through to the end. And after watching, most of us are impatient for Trump to be prosecuted, because the hearing made it so obvious that Trump damaged our nation and doesn't give a damn about what he did. All except Somerby, that is.

  7. "As next month's possible debacle approaches"

    By this, Somerby means the midterm election. It seems highly likely this will be a debacle for the right, but Somerby is referring to a wave against the left. He is possibly the only liberal in the country who will be vindicated if that happens.

    At Las Vegas if you make a Don't Pass bet, the other gamblers will give you dirty looks. Who bets against their home team? Somerby is that guy. Instead of helping Democrats put their candidates across, Somerby is aiding the right, and claiming that it is for our own good. Right.

  8. "This practice is known as "selling the car."

    Criticizing Trump is not "selling the car." That is when one cable host praises another and tells viewers to watch the other shows on the same station, tooting the horn for each other. Bragging about awards the station has won or honors to its hosts.

    It doesn't seem to matter to Somerby what he says any more, as long as it sounds negative and attacks his favorite targets.

  9. "Ten years ago, they purchased a $25.5 million property, the property in which they live. For the record, the property in question is an apartment. It isn't even a house!"

    They don't have houses in Manhattan. Was Somerby born under a rock?

  10. Hi there!

    You have been randomly selected to participate in an important one-question survey.

    If you found yourself in a crowded elevator and suddenly realized an offensively foul and flatulent odor, would you:

    A) do and say nothing, ignoring the foul odor to the best of your abilities

    B) Deny any and all involvement in the production of the flatulence

    C) Blame it on the person standing to your left

    D) Claim complete responsibility for the production of the offensive flatulence, even if you didn't produce it

    If you chose option D, then you should check it!

    You will be most pleased.

    Thank you for your time and participation.


  11. Now I get it. Somerby is following the right-wing directive of the day to make anti-semitic attacks on Democrats. First Trump, then Ye, now Somerby. She's Jewish and so is her husband and they have a lot of money, nudge nudge, wink wink, and she is talking about prosecuting Trump. She must be a "globalist" and part of the conspiracy.

    For Somerby, he would have attacked her simply for being female and well educated, but this is gravy, throwing in the anti-semitic innuendo about she and her Jewish hubby having more money than God.

    Somerby says: "She isn't simply highly accomplished, although she certainly is. She's also extremely wealthy, and she's very well connected within Gotham's power elite."

    Power elite is code for global cabal among right wingers which is code for Jewish Elders of Zion. Has Somerby now watched so much Fox News that he is sucking on the teat of Q? It sure sounds like it. Of course, he could just be saying this stuff for the money. But there is some irony in a man writing crap for money that blames the wealthy for their wealth and accuses them of a conspiracy, all at the behest of the right-wings conservative conspiracy to subvert our elections. This is irony within irony within irony, a turducken of irony.

  12. "She earned her bones in hedge funds too! In some circles, everyone does!"

    In a sense, Somerby only connects the dots when ordered to do so by his right-wing masters. Today, he tries to connect Ruehle to Boas to Farhadian, by means of the same employer (in vastly different jobs) and a marriage, but the problem is that Farhadian is just a GUEST on the show, one with relevant expertise on a specific topic, and not a producer or executive or even an employee of MSNBC. Menendez has no connection to any of this, but was apparently just included to comply with the rule of three and make it sound like a better conspiracy.

    Somerby seems to think that being wealthy is itself evidence of wrongdoing, but he doesn't specify what that wrongdoing might be, other than speculating about Trump's prosecution. But Farhadian is a former prosecutor, so that was her job. Her husband had nothing to do with anything, but Somerby rings him in to suggest something fishy -- what, he doesn't say (they never do). And Martinez seems to be window-dressing.

    What a confused, ugly jumble of accusatory tone without any substance whatsoever. Even the cops need to have a crime before they suggest a criminal is afoot. Does Somerby believe that attacking Trump is a crime? He seems to want us to believe that. A Jewish crime intended to put Trump away and throw away the key, because that is what George Soros wants (did Somerby forget to mention Soros? Well, he is new at this). And he forgot to say that those filthy Jews are coming for us all.

  13. “They may be inclined to "go along to get along"—to work from establishment script. “

    Is Somerby trying to sound like a 1960’s radical hippie here? “We gotta fight the Establishment, man.” “Right on, groovy!”

    His post is all innuendo here. There’s “nothing wrong with” being a rich hedge-fund trader. They are “good decent people”, and (gasp!) here’s a picture of them together…and yet, they are (automatically) “cosseted pundits” who “may not be like you and me.” (Note the otherization).

    Somerby drags out this passive-aggressive attack/non-attack on wealthy people as if he’s trying to appeal to his imaginary socialist readers who want to abolish capitalism and view it as the greatest of sins to be a rich liberal. And yet, at other times he and his friend Drum urge liberals to tack to the center and quit being so progressive. Somerby criticized Warren’s health care proposal as too expensive. And what is the “center?” It’s certainly not a place where abolishing capitalism is the goal. Most Democrats want to regulate capitalism and support the social safety net.

    Being or becoming wealthy doesn’t necessarily change one’s commitment to those goals.

    I mean, Al Gore is wealthy. Is he cosseted? I’m happy for him (although haven’t heard much from him lately).

    Somerby also seems to be saying that “average” people like himself (lol) don’t care about Trump. Not true. Lots of people don’t want him to be President again and feel he should be held accountable for his misdeeds. And that includes “average” joes who see in Trump another privileged guy being allowed to get away with stuff that the rest of us would be in jail for. And many “average” folks, lots of whom voted for Biden, don’t want the Republicans to decide that the will of the voters should be tossed out when it doesn’t meet with Republican approval.

    And the idea that MSNBC’s Trump coverage “may” be leading to a political “debacle” for Democrats is absurd. Besides, the normal outcome in a midterm is that the party in power tends to lose seats. Not saying that’s going to happen, but Somerby used to know that. It isn’t and wouldn’t be a “debacle.”

    If it were the case that Ruhle and Maddow et al were arguing against corporate taxes or criticizing raising taxes on the wealthy, you might have a better case to make that their interests automatically align with the wealthy Republicans at Fox News. But that isn’t the case. After all, Somerby himself said Ruhle did ok with her daytime program.

    1. In the case of Gore, Bob passionately decried the economic reverse snobbery
      He is engaged in today.

  14. "Today, Rachel is widely said to be "earning" $30 million per year, but you aren't encouraged to know such things, or to wonder what various people might be willing to do for such cash."

    Is this still true? Today, Maddow is only doing her show on Mondays and is spending the rest of the time working on a history podcast and writing more books. Is she still being paid the same amount by MSNBC? Seems unlikely to me.

  15. "People like these may not be inclined to understand the interests of the hundred million people who will be voting next month.

    They may be living inside a bubble—inside a world in which they and their similars only care about Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail. "

    People like these, who are cable hosts, do not write their own copy. They are not the guests who are interviewed. They are not the research staff who create the content of the shows they host. They don't make news -- they read it and they discuss it. They are generally highly intelligent and well read and thus capable of discussing what they are given to report. That makes them very different from Somerby and his ilk.

    We are all going to the polls to make our own decisions. When I want input about an issue, why would I want to hear from an everyday guy who knows less than I do about the world? Why would I care about those who struggle with financial issues or think schools are teaching CRT? I want expert opinion and ideas, not crackpot views. That's why these so-called elites are exactly the people I want and need to see on TV when I am thinking about an issue and trying to decide how to vote. I already know about my own kitchen-table concerns. I know those only too well. I don't know about the larger context in the USA and worldwide but these elites do, and that is what I want them to speak about.

    Perhaps Somerby is an elite himself and doesn't need to hear what hedge fund managers think about the economy. If so, he is the odd one out, not the rest of the viewers of shows on cable news.

  16. "Also, extreme high achievers of this type may not be inclined to rock boats."

    Like AOC and Elizabeth Warren?

    From Wikipedia: "Ocasio-Cortez attended Yorktown High School, graduating in 2007.[16] In high school and college, Ocasio-Cortez went by the name of "Sandy Ocasio".[17] She came in second in the microbiology category of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2007 with a research project on the effect of antioxidants on the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.[18][19] In a show of appreciation for her efforts, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.[20][21] In high school, she took part in the National Hispanic Institute's Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session. She later became the LDZ Secretary of State while she attended Boston University. Ocasio-Cortez had a John F. Lopez Fellowship.[22]

    After graduating from high school, Ocasio-Cortez enrolled at Boston University. Her father died of lung cancer in 2008 during her second year,[23][24] and Ocasio-Cortez became involved in a lengthy probate battle to settle his estate. She has said that the experience helped her learn "first-hand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy".[25] During college, Ocasio-Cortez served as an intern for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy in his section on foreign affairs and immigration issues.[26] She recalled, "I was the only Spanish speaker, and as a result, as basically a kid – a 19-, 20-year-old kid – whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone. I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system."[26] Ocasio-Cortez graduated cum laude[27] from Boston University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both international relations and economics.[28][29][22][30]:

  17. During the interview with Ezra Klein, Rachel Maddow discussed the Republican effort to avoid being called racists. She said that Spirow Agnew was selected as Nixon's running mate because he was the right kind of racist. He came from a border state and he attacked civil rights because the civil rights movement was supposedly full of commies, not because he was opposed to blacks. He then did Nixon's dirty work for him, attacking the press, elitists and pointy headed academics. (Not coincidentally, Somerby's favorite targets here.)

    Now the right is taking a different approach to undermining black voting rights, described by digby here:

    If you cannot redefine racism, or civil rights, then redefine blackness and gut the Voting Rights Act by arguing that there are too few actually black people any more due to racial intermixing.

  18. Thanks, Bob!

    ‘What is the world, O soldiers?
    It is I:
    I, this incessant snow,
    This northern sky;
    Soldiers, this solitude
    Through which we go
    Is I.’

    1. Did you write that poem Cecelia? If not, how about a shout out to the author?

    2. The poem is ‘Napoleon’ by Walter de la Mare. The solipsistic speaker is Napoleon, the disgraced megalomaniac.

    3. Where's your basis for calling Napoleon a deranged megalomaniac?

      What an ignorant thing to say.

    4. 6:39:
      The poet shows you the ego and solipsism of a man who views the world and the soldiers he is leading to their deaths as an emanation of himself.

      Since snow is mentioned, it is likely a reference to Napoleon’s disastrous 1812 campaign in Russia, where a force of 650,000 was reduced to 40,000.

      Napoleon was intent on ruling, first France, then Europe, and Britain, and then Russia, by military conquest. He caused the deaths of 6,000,000.

      If you have a different take on the poem, feel free to discuss, rather than insult.

    5. Don't try to rationalize your ignorant comment. Napoleon most certainly was not a deranged megalomaniac.

    6. You can’t even read, 9:06. You made the same mistake twice.

    7. Most historians agree with mh, not you, whoever you are with your abrasive commenting style. This isn’t any place to pick a fight over something no one disagrees about.

    8. Most historians think Napoleon was a deranged megalomaniac? You're a fucking complete fool! That is completely false and pure ignorance. Why are you trying to rationalize your ignorant comment? It's done. Get over it.

    9. Napoleon was unquestionably one of the greatest men of the last millennium. Civic institutions he instituted are still with us today in America. You don't know what you're talking about. You made a stupid comment. Get over it.

    10. He was still a megalomaniac who got a lot of people killed and stupidly invaded Russia in Fall without supply lines or needed equipment, winter came and he lost his army out of hubris. mh is not the stupid one here.

    11. And, 9:34, three times you said “deranged.” My word was “disgraced.” Do you understand the difference?

      You seem oddly passionate about Napoleon, but the topic of this thread was de la Mare’s poem, which he titled “Napoleon.” So the question is, what did de la Mare think of Napoleon, not what did you think. I gave my interpretation.

    12. We all know you are mh and you don't understand the history of Napoleon. You made a ignorant statement. So just get over it.

      Look what the historians are saying about the deranged megalomaniac!

      "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on—were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire."

      It's not a big deal mh. You made an ignorant statement about a topic of which you know nothing. No big deal.

    13. Oh I'm sorry I did misread that. Disgraced? Disgraced. What is your basis for claiming he's disgraced?

    14. You're talking about one of the greatest political leaders of the last millennium. He was defeated by the British so the British could keep up their feudal scumbaggery away from which our country was formed! You know nothing about history. To whom is he disgraced?

    15. 9:51: Thanks for copying and pasting that from Wikipedia. The poem is clearly, in my view, about hubris, or the view that the world is not distinct from the self. De la Mare specifically named it “Napoleon”, who led a disastrous campaign in Russia in 1812, losing hundreds of thousands of men. I have no idea why Cecelia quoted it here. If you think the poet shared your view of Napoleon, explain why.

    16. Why and to whom is he disgraced?

    17. Yes I copied it from wikipedia, hence the quotations. It's a great opportunity for you to learn something about Napoleon. A topic of which you know absolutely nothing. It's a great learning opportunity.

    18. You probably never knew that freedom of religion, public schools, small claims courts, private banking for citizens all came from Napoleon, one of the ultimate badasses of Western history. And you have been able to learn tonight about his failure in Russia which is a huge part of the story. It's great that you got to learn a little bit tonight.

    19. Freedom of religion came from Napoleon? That’s odd. Seems like there’s something about that in the US Constitution, 1789.

    20. Public schools came from Napoleon?

      “Boston Latin School was founded in 1635 and is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States. The first free taxpayer-supported public school in North America, the Mather School, was opened in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1639.”

      (Also in Wikipedia, FYI)

    21. Private banking came from Napoleon?

      “Private banking is how banking originated. The first banks in Venice were focused on managing personal finance for wealthy families.” (This was in 1587)

    22. He was warned about invading Russia, but thought they would lose quickly. He invaded with improperly equipped troops, no winter uniforms, no supplies due to weather and inability to use heavy wagons in mud. Russians retreated before the French, burning their fields & killing livestock. When it got cold, Napoleon’s troops froze, they starved, killed their horses for food and used their carcasses to try to warm themselves, some deserted. They remained too long in Moscow, then when they were allowed to retreat, more died of cold, exhaustion and disease on the road. Less than 120,000 survived out of his entire army of half a million, abandoned in Russian cities. About 23,000 reached France. All because Napoleon had to pursue power, didn’t listen to advisors and in his arrogance thought he would win easily. Only a megalomaniac throws away lives so carelessly in the pursuit of personal power. There are other examples of his hubris too.

      This is common knowledge because Hitler made the same mistake in WWII, underestimating Russian winter and the people’s resistance, even with Napoleon’s example. It is possible for the spread of culture under Napoleon’s empire to be a side effect of a despotic ruler. However he also restored slavery and betrayed the ideals of the French revolution.

      This is all on wikipedia too.

    23. He institutionalized all that for everyone in the country. Stop tying to bullshit your way out of an ignorant statement by desperately searching Wikipedia. You have to laugh. But there was a public school in Massachusetts! Therefore, Napoleon was a disgraced megalomaniac! So funny you run to Wikipedia trying to rationalize your way out of a topic you know absolutely nothing about.

      Oh - You're right mh, you win! Feel better?

    24. Search on Was Napoleon a megalomaniac? and read the results.

    25. Accidentally left out the name of the poet when cut-n-pasting.


      Carry on with your silliness.