The New York Times plays the Maus card again!


Some blue year's resolutions: We'd love to see our flailing blue tribe make some new year's resolutions. The gist of these resolutions would be:

Blue tribe, let's try healing ourselves! 

Let's encourage Nicolle Wallace and her favorite reporters and friends to talk about something other than getting Trump locked up in jail. 

Let's improve our use of language, especially involving these two routinely misused words: "lie" and "information."

(Note to Willie Geist: a statement doesn't provide "information" if the statement in question is false. Note to our flailing tribe, desperate for some ardent glory: A misstatement isn't a "lie" if the speaker believes it's true.)

That said, "lie" is a fighting word. As soon as you say that someone has lied, all conversation ends. It makes us feel good to keep using that term, but we're highly promiscuous in its use, and our promiscuous use of the term tends to drive Others away.

Stating the obvious, clarity is strongly tied to precision in the use of language. That said, it's been a long time since our tribal tribunes sought clarity or clarification. For our tribe's tribunes, as for theirs, it very strongly tends to be Storyline all the way down.

While we're at it, we'll recommend a second resolution for the coming year:

Blue tribe, let's try getting over ourselves!

More specifically, let's stop pretending that we in our tribe are stupendously moral in all known ethical realms. As an example of where we tend to fail, consider the New York Times' recent trip back to the realm of Maus.

We refer to this recent report about the passion of Art Spiegelman, a good and decent person. He's been in agony all this year. In Wednesday morning's print editions, this is what the twin headlines said on the front page of Arts:

Cartoonist Pushes On Amid the 'Maus' Chaos
Spiegelman is ready to get back at it after having to defend his prize-winning work.

Just imagine! Imagine the indignity described in that pair of headlines!

According to those headlines, a prize-winning author was asked to "defend his work" in some way or other! In being asked to do such a thing, he was exposed to "chaos!"

What actually happened this year with Maus? Here's what actually happened:

In a giant, sprawling nation on with 13,800 school districts, one (1) school district decided to replace Spiegelman's book as a required text in its middle-school curriculum on the Holocaust! It was this decision by one school board which created the chaos in which Spiegelman was somehow allegedly forced to defend his work.

We blue tribals have a very hard time getting over ourselves. We're also extremely judgmental, and we're very dumb.

We have a very hard time accepting the idea that somewhere in this vast nation, there may be as many as one (1) community whose values or judgments may differ from ours in some minor way or other.

We instantly know what we must do when such chaos occurs. We do what we did in this set of five letters concerning a related topic. (The letters were published by the Times in Tuesday's print editions.)

Here's what we do at such times:

We refer to the Others as "local yahoos." As if by rule of law, we insist that their behaviors and judgments can only stem from "their bigotry." We say that the judgments of the Others are driven by "fear and hate." We are able to imagine no other possibilities.

For the ten millionth time, we even recite the tired old saw in which the Bible itself "is full of incest, infanticide, sodomy, murder and other violence." We rush these letters to the Times, and the Times puts the letters in print!

In the course of this behavior, we convince ourselves, for the ten millionth time, that we alone are decent, moral, intelligent, caring, wise, unbiased, good. It's clear that we don't know how to stop playing this pleasing, unhelpful card.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Our profoundly self-impressed tribe is amazingly unimpressive.

We're very, very self-impressed. We love to lump the Others together, at which point the name-calling starts.

We just can't seem to get over ourselves! Based on the claims of disconsolate experts, we know of no obvious reason to think that we ever will. 

Tomorrow: George Santos / mental illness

Counting can be hard: How many school districts exist in the United States? We aren't entirely sure.

Ballotpedia says the number is 13,800. goes quite a bit higher than that!

At any rate, one school district stopped mandating Maus. As you know, chaos ensued!


  1. tl;dr
    "Let's encourage Nicolle Wallace and her favorite reporters and friends to talk about something other than getting Trump locked up in jail. "

    Nicolle Wallace, the typhoid Mary of disinformation, as Mr Greenwald calls her?, but seriously, dear Bob, why would you -- or anyone -- care what she (and her favorite reporters and friends) talk about? May we suggest that, whatever it is, if you listen you'll puke anyway?

    1. If you didn't bother to read Somerby's essay, you don't get to comment.

    2. Anonymouse 12:31pm, just watch him.

  2. "(Note to Willie Geist: a statement doesn't provide "information" if the statement in question is false."

    There are two definitions of the word information. According to one of them, Somerby is correct:

    information definition 1: "facts provided or learned about something or someone"

    According to the other, more technical definition, information need not be true.

    information definition 2: "what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things"

    When psychologists talk about mental representation of information, the representations need not be true. This is just a word that refers to the content being represented. Many people believe untrue things and have that information represented in their memory without it being true in the world at all. In information processing theory or communications theory, information is simply the content being communicated or processed mentally.

    It seems to me that the truth value of information communicated via cable news or online newspapers is subject to change as new information becomes available. Restricted the use of the word to only those facts indisputably true seems counterproductive to the kinds of discussions that occur in politics. For example, telling an audience about someone's current opinion on a topic constitutes information if it is an accurate recital of that opinion, but the opinion itself is subject to change. Reporting what someone recently said is also information but whether the statement of that person was true or not is another matter.

    Somerby would do better to use the second definition because he is often talking about journalistic and media practice, processes, not the content of what is being reported. Expecting reporting to always be true is unachievable given how reporters get their information and the adversarial nature of reporting and the efforts being reported upon. And people do lie, without reporters necessarily knowing it. Just look at George Santos, if Trump is too far in your rear view mirror to be an example.

  3. "As soon as you say that someone has lied, all conversation ends. "

    It certainly changes, but I wouldn't say it ends. One guy says "you're lying" the other one says "no I'm not" and so on from there. It is very valuable to call out a liar because the information conveyed by a liar is untrue and it would be bad to let that information swim around in public discourse as if it were factual. We need to know who has told a lie, so that person will be distrusted in future statements. If they are unreliable, we wouldn't want to believe what they have told us -- that is dangerous in many ways, from knowing not to drink bleach (regardless whether Trump did it himself and believed in it) to not buying bitcoin to voting for the right person (and not George Santos). Decisions with real world consequences need to be based on solid info, so we need to know who is potentially wrong and not believe them, even if it seems rude to call someone out as a liar.

    1. You probably shouldn’t tell someone that supports Trump that they are lying. They are much more likely stupid, or they will tell you Trump was just blowing off steam because you hurt his feelings. Or they have embraced the idea that everybody else lies just like that. Or that he is lying for the greater good.
      Bob reduces these matters to the foolish notion that Trump may actually believes what he says. As if the jailhouse isn’t full of people who will tell you what they did was perfectly justified, and BELIEVE it. It’s neither a legal or moral defense, and Trump is as unconvincing on the point as is humanly possible.
      Broad strokes, Bob is correct that it is silly that for the Press to be calling Trump a lier. They need to show he is a dishonest person, just like his creepy enablers, and they are rarely effectively
      questioned on the matter of his truthfulness or anything else.

  4. “We instantly know what we must do when such chaos occurs. We do what we did in this set of five letters concerning a related topic.”

    “We” didn’t do anything of the sort. The New York Times chose those letters. Somerby has been reminded of this time and again. Do you imagine that maybe the Times picks the most provocative letters to print in order to drive the divisive debate?

    1. If Bob spent at least one second listening to "the Others", he'd realize corporations, like the NY Times, are things the commie, Marxists in his Left tribe hate.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Why? It seemed fine to me.

    2. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. Bob is a good, decent person. The foregoing statements are possibly true, possibly false. Is Bob lying? I can’t tell you.

  6. "Stating the obvious, clarity is strongly tied to precision in the use of language. "

    Actually, this is not true either, although it seems like common sense. Precision requires the use of words that may be unfamiliar to an uneducated listener. The more precise you become, by using words with more obscure and technical meanings (because everyday words don't capture meaning precisely enough), the less likely you are to be understood by everyday people, and the less clear your meaning will be to them.

    Further, clarity can be more closely linked to how you organize your ideas, the order in which concepts are presented, not your vocabulary or leve of precision. It also depends on use of examples, illustrations, analogies, and not just to precision, which can obscure meaning to those not already familiar with what is being said. I think Somerby may have a different idea of what is meant by the word precision.

    precision definition -- "the quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate"

    People are generally confused by lawyerese, for example, which is designed to have that quality of being exact, limiting alternatives, in this case, of meaning or interpretation. Clarity means something different to a lawyer, who strives to nail-down meaning. For the everyday person, clarity refers to ease of understanding, not lack of ambiguity.

    clarity definition -- "the quality of being coherent and intelligible"

    No one would call scientific language, academic language or legal language intelligible (easy to understand, comprehensible) but all three are as precise as possible.

    I think Somerby is not doing a particularly good job of explaining what he wants in press statements, but he is perhaps doing a fine job of listing his pet peeves. The problem is that when he calls for precision, he probably doesn't have academic writing in mind. His idea of what he thinks he wants isn't what the words he is using call for.

  7. And here is Somerby's silliest statement:

    "That said, it's been a long time since our tribal tribunes sought clarity or clarification."

    Aside from it being majorly unclear what is meant by "tribal tribunes," if Somerby is referring to journalists and the media, all they do is ask questions, many many questions, repeatedly. What is a question for? It seeks clarification and information, the two things Somerby says are needed.

    question definition -- "a sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information"

    The entire purpose of cable news shows, editorials and articles in newspapers, is to provide clarity and clarification, to transmit information, and to raise and answer questions. If Somerby doesn't think they do that, he has invented his own private language and is speaking gibberish to everyone here. The media may vary in its success in accomplishing its goals, but that is its purpose regardless. Somerby, on the other hand, is propagandizing when he redefines commonly used words in order to fool or confuse his readers.

    I suspect Somerby's purpose with today's comments is to make his own conclusions seem like common sense, when they are nowhere near sensical. After this discussion of the nature of clarity, he segues to discussing Maus, where his opinions are supposedly representative of that clarity he has misdefined. This is called sophistry. Don't be misled by it. Somerby is entitled to his own opinions, but he isn't entitled to declare his own thoughts the epitome of wisdom. That is like Trump saying he has all the best words. We all have seen where that leads.

    1. By the way, these are not my own definitions of these words. They come from internet dictionaries. You can look them up yourself.

  8. Meanwhile, Somerby ignores how Maus is part of a trend of books being banned across the country in record numbers this past year. Many of these deal with LGBTQ or racial content. And Somerby refuses to even mention, let alone condemn, the wave of anti-gay and anti-LGBTQ sentiment running through today’s Republican politics. He continues to imply that “liberal” objections to book banning stem from “our” sense of superiority, and that we must acquiesce so as not to make the “others” feel inferior.

  9. "We're also extremely judgmental, and we're very dumb."

    Just to be clear, this may not be a lie (by Somerby) but it is certainly not true. First, there are no studies showing that Democrats and Republicans differ in being judgmental (a property of being human) although they do differ in the content of their judgments, their choices when decision-making. Note that this is not the same as being judgmental socially speaking, which refers to assessing people according to social norms. Second, based on studies, Democrats are slightly smarter than Republicans in terms of IQ test scores and also in terms of mean level of education (years of schooling).

    When Somerby makes these statements, he is not conveying information because the statements are not true. I think he is name-calling out of dislike for Democrats (liberals, blue tribe, Somerby isn't precise in defining what group he hates). I don't know whether he sincerely believes what he says, so he may or may not be lying, but his desire to harm liberals is obvious and reveals his intent.

  10. Can Somerby imagine that there are liberals (or even conservatives???) who are passionate about Maus who feel that it is a valuable tool to teach age appropriate kids about the Holocaust and who feel compelled to oppose its censure passionately, without being accused of being knee jerk holier-than-thou elitists who hate The Others by a blogger who, while attacking what he views as a “tribal” response, urges all liberals to adopt his response, which is to simply give in to the censorship?

  11. "We refer to the Others as "local yahoos."

    If I were to search Somerby's blog, including the comments, I would find that the only person using the word yahoo is Somerby.

    In the discussion of book-banning, we have been referring to The Others as school boards, parents, right-wing activists and organizations, and conservatives. Somerby is still perhaps about that East Bumfuck County reference, but that came from his good friend Kevin Drum and isn't necessarily derogatory, having evolved from military usage to refer to some place that is distant or hard to get to.

    Notice that Somerby never provides any evidence of these blanket complaints against liberals. And he is back to saying "we" again, when he is very obviously not one of the blue tribe, liberal, or even Democrat. An actual Democrat would have supported one of the 11 Democrats vying for the presidential nomination in 2019. Somerby disliked them all.

    Someone is trying to put across a fraudulent claim here, and HINT: it isn't us blue tribe commenters.

  12. Somerby said:

    "In a giant, sprawling nation on with 13,800 school districts, one (1) school district decided to replace Spiegelman's book as a required text in its middle-school curriculum on the Holocaust! It was this decision by one school board which created the chaos in which Spiegelman was somehow allegedly forced to defend his work."

    Here is one: "According to minutes of its meeting, the 10-person board, in McMinn County, Tenn., voted on Jan. 10 to remove the book from the eighth-grade curriculum."

    Here are some more: "This time, Spiegelman's “Maus” was banned from two different school districts: Wentzville School District and Ritenour School District, both in the St. Louis area. "

    And this: "Thankfully, "Maus" doesn't appear to be on any banned-book lists in Florida. But another book conveying the horrors of World War II, the novel “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, is among the books that the Brevard County chapter of Moms for Liberty has sought to remove from school libraries."

    And even this: "The Lorax, Dr. Seuss' environmental kid's book was banned in 1989 in a California school because it was believed to portray logging in a poor light and would turn children against the foresting industry."

    I doubt this list is up to date, given the pace of activity by those Moms for Liberty who think banning books sets people free:

    Texas: 801 bans, 22 districts.
    Florida: 566 bans, 21 districts.
    Pennsylvania: 457 bans, 11 districts.
    Tennessee: 349 bans, 6 districts.
    Oklahoma: 43 bans, 3 districts.
    Michigan: 41 bans, 4 districts.
    Kansas: 30 bans, 2 districts.
    Wisconsin: 29 bans, 6 districts.

    How does this fit with Somerby's claim that banning Maus is a one-time isolated event? Is Somerby lying or is he being unclear or imprecise? Are you stupid enough to think he knows anything true about this situation?

  13. Wasn't it the case that the school district that removed Maus from the middle school curriculum provided as part of the curriculum the study of the holocaust, I believe extending for a number of weeks? Maus, apparently was removed because of the image of a topless mouse, the mouse having the body of an adult human female. It this is true, it seems that the school was giving extensive attention and focus on the holocaust. Wouldn't we want to know what the students were being taught as a whole about the holocaust in order to judge whether the removal of Maus was some type of meretricious right wing know-nothing censorship?

    1. Which school district action are you talking about? There has been more than one in different states.

      Do you find mouse tits offensive? Are you the kind of person who makes his lapdog wear a costume?

      Do you think complaints about censorship are a debate about the Holocaust? They are about who should decide what is appropriate for children to learn -- know-nothings or trained professionals such as school librarians and teachers. If the Holocaust is part of the curriculum, why should such interference in implementation of that curriculum be permitted to outside nutcases making noise to the school board?" Parents always have the right to exempt their own kids from any class activity or reading materials. Extremist groups shouldn't be micro-managing teaching, especially when it results in denial of learning opportunities to other people's kids.

    2. AC/MA, maybe this will clarify the issue for you:

      "Conservatives in Florida have also recently tried to ban 16 books, including The Bluest Eye and Morrison’s Beloved, from Polk County Public Schools. Morrison herself spoke out vehemently against banning books before she died. Speaking about attempts to ban Huckleberry Finn, Morrison said that the attempts were “a purist yet elementary kind of censorship designed to appease adults rather than educate children.”

      “Certain kinds of trauma visited on peoples are so deep, so cruel, that unlike money, unlike vengeance, even unlike justice, or rights, or the goodwill of others, only writers can translate such trauma and turn sorrow into meaning, sharpening the moral imagination,” Morrison later elaborated."

    3. Groups have always tried to ban books from school districts. They have had Banned Books Week for 40 years now.

      This is a non story trotted out to make you scared and to demonize The Other in order to take your mind off of real issues like income inequality and a two party system that is run by corporate lobbyists.

      Somerby is merely asking that we stop being so ignorant by swallowing this bull crap and recognize the commonality we all share with regard to those important political issues.

    4. 2;57,
      Speaking of demonizing the Others, why can't you respect their belief the Democratic Party is anti-corporation?

    5. Somerby never mentions corporate lobbyists or income inequality. Somerby is the one who raised this "non-story" again. I think your beef is with Somerby, not us commenters.

    6. A commenter had presented the book banning issue as if it were new and relevant. It's not a new or relevant or even an interesting issue. It's a sideshow attraction for gullible partisans.

    7. 4:44 is saying discussions about issues which effect LGBTQ+ folks are crowding out discussions about issues which effect important people, like 4:44.

    8. I'm saying it's not a new issue or an important issue. It's made up as a distraction for gullible partisans. The equivalent on the other side would be the war on Christmas or flag burning.

    9. Although Democrats have moved so far to the right they could probably be fooled by the flag burning non-issue at this point.

    10. I like the way 5:04 tells Bob to shove his idea about "listening to the Others" up his ass. Subtle, but effective.

    11. anon 1:36, you don't address my post and completely misinterpret it. I read Maus years ago and am not the least offended by the mouse topless picture. I never owned "lap" dog, only a Bassett hound and a Carolina dog, never considered having them wear a costume. Maus wasn't really banned, it was only removed from a middle school curriculum. It was portrayed as suppressing knowledge of the holocaust, when the school seems to have covered the holocaust extensively. My points in this case and in general are to try to get across that there are two sides or more to issues. If I ever got onto a school board, I wouldn't be for removing Maus from a middle school curriculum.

    12. anon 1:50, I see your citation of Morrison's point of few, but frankly it doesn't "clarify" anything for me nor does it address my point at all.

    13. Nothing ever does.

    14. AC/MA, Maus was removed from the school libraries in the places mentioned.

      The existence of multiple points of view is not in dispute. The content of those points of view matters. These schools didn't "agree to disagree." They disadvantaged everyone in favor of a vocal minority of extremists. That isn't the job of a school board. If you would sit by and let this happen on your school board, then it doesn't matter how broad minded you personally might be about letting the kids who want to read Maus do so, instead of removing that opportunity.


    15. "Speaking about attempts to ban Huckleberry Finn, Morrison said that the attempts were “a purist yet elementary kind of censorship designed to appease adults rather than educate children.”"

      True dat. Brain-dead totalitarian liberals canceling the best American author of all times. surprise there...

    16. Or maybe just another writer Mao
      had never read. Mao pretty much
      keeps what Twain called “The
      United States of Lyncherdom” going.,

    17. I don't know if Finn was the best of all time, but he did a good job on his reminiscence of his childhood friend Tom Sawyer, and his memoirs are a classic.

    18. He also wrote an atheist book called Letters to the Earth. You might expect that schools might ban that one, or parents object to it, but instead they focus on race. What does that say about our society?

  14. "For the ten millionth time, we even recite the tired old saw in which the Bible itself "is full of incest, infanticide, sodomy, murder and other violence."

    This is true. Does the repetition of a truth make it untrue? The preaching from the Bible has an uphill battle in that case.) Does reptition make something a "tired old saw"? If so, Somerby himself is so full of tired old saws that it is hard to find the new content in his daily essays. There is certainly none today, aside from a garbled call for clarity (irony thy name is Somerby).

  15. "George Santos / mental illness"

    Oh Good Lord, not this again! Santos is a sociopath and a criminal (dating back to his youth in Brazil). Sociopathy is a personality disorder but not a mental illness. Most sociopaths are not criminals and being a sociopath may make someone an unpleasant person, but not a criminal or even a liar -- depends on their environment growing up and their learning experiences in childhood.

    Why does Somerby feel compelled to excuse these Republican miscreants who get caught doing what is generally rewarded in their party? Name any Republican who hasn't told as many lies as Santos. They generally tell them about other topics than their own easily checked backgrounds and life history, but tell them they do.

    1. Bob sees himself as morally higher than the masses, so all us poor sheep must be equal. The bottom dropped out of the Right, and the totally amoral nuts took over the Party. In America’s great dumbing down, for which we can all take some of the blame for, it was bound to happen. Bob’s not all, or always wrong.
      But yes, the pointy headed liberals Bob
      grew up despising just turned out to
      be better people than the down home
      loudmouths Bob grew up making
      excuses for (they did set the bar
      pretty easy to clear.)
      Indeed, the years of excuse making
      by Bob and others no doubt
      played it’s part.

  16. Another great blog post by Bob. Thanks.

    1. Glad you like it -- you'll be reading the same thing over and over all next week.

  17. "In the course of this behavior, we convince ourselves, for the ten millionth time, that we alone are decent, moral, intelligent, caring, wise, unbiased, good."

    So do Republicans, especially conservatives. The main difference is that we liberals tend to see these are virtues, good things to be, and we strive to make ourselves better. Republicans/conservatives consider themselves blessed with these attributes by the grace of God and believe that validates anything they may think, say or do. They do not spend time wondering if they are being intelligent, caring, wise. They assume they are. As a consequences, when they decide to ship busloads of immigrants to Kamala Harris's house in 13 degree weather without winter clothing, they don't bother worrying about the welfare of the immigrants or whether what they are doing is caring. They laugh about how they are owning the libs and how funny it is that Harris got some extra Christmas packages.

    Since I was a kid, I have wondered why all the bad stuff in the Bible done in God's name doesn't bother Christians. Apparently, a fair number of them believe that being God's anointed means never having to worry about being a better person. But Somerby seems to think the problem is with the left. That makes him delusional, in my opinion. And a delusional person is the last one you want lecturing you about truth and clarity.

  18. "The New York Times plays the Maus card again!"

    Somerby's headline is very misleading. The NY Times article is actually about the new book that Spiegelman is coming out with and it discusses that in the context of the Maus controversy. It isn't about Maus or book-banning at all, but is about how different Spiegelman's larger body of work is from Maus, how the controversy may help sales of his collected works, and is a review of how he got started in comics and his lengthy career.

    It is Somerby who is reviving the Maus controversy. Spiegelman is moving on with his life. The NY Times featured the author as part of a book review and artist retrospective. It would be remiss if it didn't mention the recent controversy but that is not the main focus.

    I suspect that Somerby was not very good at reading comprehension that requires one to summarize the main point of a bit of writing. Hence his narrow, concrete, excessively nit-picky approach to finding supposed Howlers.

    I don't know whether Somerby's intent was to deceive. You can read the NT Times article yourself and see how unfair his headline today is, how untruthful it is as a summary of the actual piece.

  19. I ain’t read Maus, but I been told there’s a topless lady mouse in it. I hope the Daily Howler community understands that a lady mouse has ten tits.

    1. Have nothing to say, say nothing.

    2. Anonymouse 2:23pm, That she was committing suicide was a big factor too.

      I recently heard a great line: “No one living 20 miles from a Cracker Barrel gets offended over a joke.”

      However, they will kill you over their kids.

    3. You sound like you come from another planet.

      Some rock named Constant Pique.

      Or maybe that’s the name of a tea you sip.

    4. For true constant pique, check out Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine and Tucker Carlson. You will see the hate and victimization preached to their endlessly aggrieved audiences night after night. Also, see Trump, Donald.

    5. That describes the media en masse.

      That’s why I read Bob.

    6. No, only the right wing media.

    7. Long ago I lived near a Cracker Barrell, and Cecelia is right, I never got offended by a joke.

    8. “No, only the right wing media.”

      This mindset is what generates endless daily anonymouse posts of bile and blather.

    9. Talk about piles of bile and blather, Yastreblansky at No More Mister Nice Blog describes the comments at right wing sites he visits. Here are some he quotes about a new statue of John Lewis:

      "Lewis will always be fondly remembered as a race pimp. Next will come statues of Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.


      The Reverend of the Church of “I gots to Gets Mines!”


      America needs more monuments to George Floyd. Thanks to some tough love he is now drug free.


      I know, you've gotta admire George Floyds will power, drug free for soon to be 3 years.


      Notice how quickly Minneapolis made a cash payout to the Floyd family with other peoples’ money. Typical bribe buy-off.


      N rich. They probably went through the money like Hitler through Poland.
      But maybe they set some aside for their children's education.


      You's means fo deys kids eddication, doan ya?

      Well... John Lewis' status will pale in comparison to the Piglosi statue that she will have erected along with Big Mike, and Obumer."


      This made me realize that we are lucky you aren't performing for a right wing audience here. I thought the stuff you do write was shockingly callous, but this is worse. This is apparently how right wingers behave when they are talking to each other and it isn't pretty.

      He then goes on to discuss the theory widely discussed on right wing blogs that Michelle Obama is actually a man or a transwoman. That is what is meant by the Big Mike reference.

      So, Cecelia, your side loses the competition for most bile and blather in comments at a website.

    10. I’m sure Cecelia spends as much time on blogs devoted to bashing right wing media, seeing as how she is so concerned about the media and our discourse. LOL.

    11. Anonymouse 12:21am, I don’t see how any of these malicious statements are different from anonymices say about Republicans and conservatives every day.

      You even cite ridiculous studies that attribute political druthers to the effects that change change brain anatomy and biology in order paint your contrarians as irretrievably flawed.

      Anonymices have their own flying monkey corp to toss off cretinous bon mots about your political contrarians.

      You’ve called black Republicans like Candice Owen and Clarence Thomas as being tokens and self loathing. You do the same with female conservatives.

      Goodness knows you have accused Bob of everything but violence and murder. However, you have accused him of being a foreign agent which under certain circumstances can be a capital crime.

      The stuff you quote above isn’t from people who call themselves academics, scientists, and experts, as you bill yourselves.

      What Bob needs to understand is that nowadays, the viciousness and craziness STARTS at the top with his cohort.

    12. In other words, all the bile and blather (which I would call racist shit) on conservative blogs is OK because you don't like what others have said here about you or Somerby.


    13. But surely you'd agree that liberal brain-dead worship of Saint Floyd is hilarious?

    14. Anonymouse10:43, it’s this sort of reasoning that causes me to doubt the laudatory claims anonymices make about themselves.

      I never said the examples from the No More Mr. Nice Guy blog were “ok” as said by any…body.

      I said that anonymices say the same things.

    15. Cecelia mentioned reasoning. LOL.

    16. Please quote any commenter here, anonymous or otherwise, who has said anything as racist as those comments from conservative blogs.

      You tried to excuse the racist comments by complaining about criticisms of Somerby. That is ridiculous.

      You are still doing it: "I said that anonymices say the same things."

      Please stop calling people rodents.

    17. One hallmark of Trump-supporting true believers like Cecelia, is that they won't change their statements even after being shown they are wrong.

      The bile is worse among commenters on conservative websites, but Cecelia won't ever admit it, even when shown samples of such comments.

    18. "One hallmark of Trump-supporting true believers like Cecelia, is that they won't change their statements even after being shown they are wrong."

      You mean, like Somerbby?

    19. "...who has said anything as racist as those comments from conservative blogs..."

      Hmm. We would categorize comments making fun of Saint Floyd as 'blasphemous', dear government scientist.

    20. It's the same with pseudo liberals who will not admit that they got Russiagate totally wrong and there was never any collusion or conspiracy between Trump and Russia. As Somerby correctly points out, we are addicted to narrative.

    21. Interesting notion, 2:13, that finding a coordination between Trump and Russia is a “pseudo liberal” thing. The corollary being that a “true” liberal would deny it.

    22. Good point, 2:36 PM.
      The No True Scotsman routine. No, a “pseudo liberal” is, in fact, just a normal liberal.

    23. Those who think there was no collusion with Russia need to read this from Rectification of Names blog:

      "Oh, by the way, one of the things that happened in 2022 was how we learned that Paul Manafort really did make a deal with the Russian government where he would help them try to take over Ukraine and they would help him try to elect Donald Trump to the US presidency in 2016. Not that there were any new details, exactly, in this excellent piece by Jim Rutenberg, The Untold Story of ‘Russiagate’ and the Road to War in Ukraine, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine November 18..."

    24. There was never any coordination, collusion or conspiracy proven by the two major multi-million dollar investigations the government made into the matter. Narrative addicted pseudo-liberals still desperately hang on to the narrative though because, as Bob correctly points out, we are addicted to and cling on to narrative no matter how silly and even when there's no incriminating evidence and major investigations fail to support them.

    25. Look at the inability to recognize the truth. What a great example. This commenter says yes, two major multi-million dollar investigations by the government didn't find any collusion but here, this blogger does!

    26. Anonymouse 12:48pm, I’m not going to go googling for that any more than I’m going to take off to Twitter or to Daily Kos or Mediaite in order to find that stuff.

      Anonymices have said equally hateful things about black conservatives and about certainly “white peoples”, as well.

      As Somerby said, heal yourselves.

    27. Why won’t Cecelia attempt to heal the assholes in her party/group?Instead, she’s here berating liberals.

    28. Actually, the Manafort stuff was reported by the NYTimes, not a blogger.

    29. @4:56. Not equally hateful, definitely more true. Cecelia can’t tell the difference between racism and criticism of a black person. That’s probably because racism was never discussed in her school when she was young. It leaves someone confused.

    30. What Manafort stuff? Be specific.

    31. See the link above.

    32. The link did not have any proof of collusion conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    33. Anonymouse 5:51, you’re right. None of our authority figures told us how flawed any of us were as people, not even when we were misbehaving.

      It was a small town. People got on well and had known their fellow towns people for generations.

      It’s interesting that in the course of pointing out racism and in saying that it is so endemic that people must be sensitized to their stake in it, you invariably absolve yourself from even the suggestion of culpability.

      It’s all about political power and control.

    34. Anonymouse 6:46pm, I don’t berate liberals. I stand up to anonymouse bullies.

    35. @9:47 Manafort ran the Trump campaign, for free.

    36. Cecelia, you are irrelevant.

    37. Everyone always knew Manafort ran the campaign for free. That's not proof of collusion. You're doing exactly what you accused Trump supporters of. Refusing to change your statements after they have been proved wrong.

    38. Trump is colluding with Russia through Manafort to get their help to win the election so Trump fires Manafort three months before the election? Doesn't really make sense does it?

    39. Hey, Trollboy. Can you please direct me to Donald J Chickenshit's sworn testimony under oath to the Mueller investigation? I need to check something.

    40. And that would be proof of collusion? Sorry. You're addicted to a narrative that is false and continuing to perpetuate it out of blind partisanship. Just like you accused Trump supporters of doing.

    41. 9:37,
      It could be stupider. They could blame Trump's victory on "economic anxiousness". LOL.

    42. A thought-terminating clich矇 is a saying, often a tautology, that is repeated in order to relieve the stress of cognitive dissonance by avoiding all further consideration of a matter.

  20. Somerby must cry when he reads the comments. They validate what he said. If Democrats and liberals want to persuade our fellow citizens, we must treat Republicans and conservatives respectfully. To have lost to Trump in 2016 was, to some degree, our failure. We yell and scream, but it does not win us votes. If we don’t change, we will also be responsible when Trump wins in 2024.

    1. Everyone is responsible. Except for the innocent lambs who vote for Trump, of course.

    2. @2:25PM: as to your 1st, 2nd and 3rd sentences, I respectfully disagree; as to your 4th sentence, I agree but respectfully submit not for the reason you claim; and as for your 5th and 6th sentences, I respectfully disagree.

      Have a happy and healthy new year.

    3. "To have lost to Trump in 2016 was, to some degree, our failure."

      No, it was due to the combined efforts of Russia, Trump, and Comey. That's why Trump lost in 2020. No Russia and no Comey.

      In 2020 we won the popular vote and the electoral college, and the House and the Senate. And yet @2:25 thinks we lost. Biden's victory in the midterms was historic, unexpected, and a triumph not anything we need to change. Trump is not going to be nominated in 2024, much less win.

      And here's another reason why being nice to Republicans doesn't gain votes. They respect strength. If we are such losers, being conciliatory is going to make us look even more like weaklings. The reason Trump is losing supporters is because they are realizing what a huge loser he is, and that is the only thing that causes them to abandon Dear Leader, the perception that he is not a winner. Your whole theme that Dems are losers mirrors Somerby's constant diatribes about how messed up Democrats are, which is intended to drive Republicans (especially men) away from the blue tribe. So being more like that will help Somerby's campaign, but it won't win Democrats any votes.

      There isn't a chance in hell that you are a sincere liberal commenter, so that begs the question of whether Somerby is now also seeding the comments with his propaganda...

    4. I would have to believe that the liberal camp has room for differences. Trump’s shortcomings should be self-evident. We see that and always have, long before 2016. Yet, for many citizens, he is a hero. The tactic of hard elbows did not win us the presidency in 2016. Is this win because of Trump, or can some of it be attributed to our failure to message and convince more of the working poor, the people we claim to champion, to vote Democrat? Maybe it is time to take a different strategy.

    5. The facts of globalization, top-heavy income inequality, and the worldwide tendency toward austerity are difficult for a party that is essentially dominated by segments of the 1 percent but whose legacy appeal is to average Americans.

    6. @6:03 You don’t seem to know much about Hillary’s campaign.

    7. 6:23,
      Even harder to get a media, owned by that same 1 percent to let you know if Dems tried.
      BTW, are you suggesting the media's beating of the drum pretending to care that Republicans pretended to care about Hillary Clinton's email protocols was a kabuki by both parties in cahoots?

    8. Agree the Democratic Party is a giant tent, much more representative of the country than the GOP.

  21. One of Somerby's ongoing targets here is Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe show. As described by the following news clip, Scarborough was also on Trump's hit list, encouraged by Matt Gaetz. 1/6 Committee transcripts provide the following info about how Gaetz pushed Trump to attack Scarborough using conspiracy theories:

    "As flagged by attorney George Conway, former Trump press official Alyssa Farah Griffin told the committee that Trump first heard of the conspiracy theories surrounding Scarborough during a White House visit from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

    As Farah tells it, she and Gaetz struck up a conversation while the Florida congressman was waiting to see Trump, and she quizzed him on what documents he had in a folder that he had brought with him.

    "And he pulls it out: It's conspiracies about Joe Scarborough murdering his intern," said Farah. "And I said, 'Please do not bring that into the West Wing -- or to the Oval Office... you cannot put that in front of the president."

    Gaetz went on to give Trump the material and Trump began tweeting conspiracy theories against Scarborough.

    Anyone who doubts that Somerby follows Republican talking points and furthers conservative memes, should note the congruence of targets as well. Somerby often attacks the same people as Fox and other right wing sources are attacking, in the same time period. Somerby isn't raising conspiracy theories against Joe and Mika, but he does find his own complaints, things he thinks liberals are more likely to be influenced by, I suppose.

    The other aspect of the situation in this transcript is that Somerby wants to lay all of this off on Trump's craziness, but the conspiracy theories originated elsewhere and were transmitted to Trump by Republicans like Gaetz. What is Gaetz's mental illness? Is Trump's actual mental difficulty a kind of extreme suggestibility, and not a delusional state of his own? Maybe Trump was just easy to push around, intellectually. That would make him not crazy, but stupid and gullible.

  22. Bob is obviously deeply bothered
    By the notion of Trump going to jail.
    What he has written suggests he will
    let him off on the weakest pretext
    ( I won’t call Bob a fibber, but it is
    almost impossible to believe Bob
    believes these things himself, or
    would sign of on them were a
    Democrat caught in an illegality)
    or thinks it will be just too
    embarrassing for his supporters.
    So, blessed is the peacemaker.
    Where Bob slips up and reveals his
    soulless mean spiritedness, much like when
    Bill Maher slices the baby down the
    middle, is that he is happy to attach
    evil to those he disagrees with on the
    left. As in, those who insist Trump
    be held accountable just LIKE
    So, may you receive all you deserve
    In the new year Bob. Along with the
    horse you road in on.

  23. Bob doesn't like what the NYT , MSNBC, etc. talks about. He thinks they should be talking about other things. What things? Bob never says. What would a mass media run by Bob prioritize? He's got a blog, he could spend one day a week talking about the things he thinks are most important and why. But he doesn't. He part of the problem.

    1. Even on Dateline Whitehouse there
      often good segments on the Russian
      This story must make Bob crazy
      and he never writes about it.
      Only the real creeps Bob expect
      us to walk on egg shells around
      really part ways with the President,
      who seems to be doing all the
      right things. So Bob has no
      interest in the story.
      The Santos interview with the
      seemingly deranged Tulsi raises
      a lot of interesting issues someone
      seriously interested in the Political
      Press might want to sort out.
      Bob has no interest. They story
      doesn’t reflect well on the Right.

  24. She wore a lot of leather
    Baby, drove a Jetta
    I never used to sweat her
    Yeah, but that upset her
    No-one got her wetter
    She told me in her letter
    I'll never ever forget her
    My brand new sweater

    Baby said, "Ooh baby shoo-be-dooh
    Let's hook up again cause the loving is cool"
    I said "Yo, I gotta go, I got a show"
    She said "I know, after the show let me cook for you
    If you're hungry, you never know
    You might need help with your laundry
    Don't hesitate to call upon me
    Before you go, would you meet my mother
    She lives right around the corner
    It's not a bother, meet my mother!"
    I said "Woah, woah, woah, baby slow it down
    I said I gotta go, I ain't say I'm leaving town
    I got your number, stop tripping
    Why you flipping? Had a great time
    Let me get my jacket, I'm dipping."

  25. Just for the record, when “Maus” came
    out it was not universally hailed by the
    left. Some did find a graphic novel
    about the Holocaust offensive.
    I am not saying this is correct or
    not. But I do see Holocaust Denial
    more and more drifting into the area
    of “no big deal.” Or being categorized
    as an anti Jewish phenomenon instead
    of what it is: an affront to the sense
    of decency of any rational person.
    Well, never say never again.

  26. Lotta comments here. I'll try to go back through today's. Seems like a lot of ad hominem sometimes. It's seems funny to me that the comments sorta illustrate the Howler's points about tribalism and stopping other points of view.

    1. (Hoo, yeah, haha)
      Finally, someone let me out of my cage
      Now, time for me is nothing, 'cause I'm countin' no age
      Nah, I couldn't be there, now you shouldn't be scared
      I'm good at repairs, and I'm under each snare
      Intangible, bet you didn't think, so I command you to
      Panoramic view, look, I'll make it all manageable
      Pick and choose, sit and lose, all you different crews
      Chicks and dudes, who you think is really kickin' tunes?
      Picture you getting down in a picture tube
      Like you lit the fuse, you think it's fictional?
      Mystical? Maybe, spiritual hero
      Who appears in you to clear your view when you're too crazy?
      Lifeless to those, the definition for what life is
      Priceless to you, because I put you on the hype shit
      You like it? righteous with one toke
      Get psychic among those, possess you with one dose

    2. I’m gonna set up a blog where I announce that if you don’t agree with me, you are being tribal and trying to cancel me. Then, I can say I was right when people disagree with me. Simple, logically incorrect, but effective.

    3. I may have spoken too soon before re-reading. I meant the comments generally seem ad hominem sometimes, then illustrating the Howler's point. Today has some, to me, interesting remarks. They may be a little hard to follow since so many are by Anons. As always the Howler's style seems great fun and his points amazingly rare.

    4. The point about Maus being banned in only one school district is "amazingly rare" because it is untrue, as several commenters pointed out.

    5. "They may be a little hard to follow since so many are by Anons."

      You're easily confused, FJ.

    6. I smell a sockpuppet

    7. Oh, yeah, Anonymouse 10:33pm, I could pull that off.

  27. So, bigger dem are they think dem have more power
    De pon di phone me say dat one hour
    Me for want to use a once an' now me call me lover
    Lover who me callin an' a one Tamei
    An' mi love her in my heart down to my belly-a
    Yes say daddy me Snow me haffi cool an' deadly
    Yes the one MC Shan an' the one Daddy Snow
    Together we-a love 'em is a tor-na-do

  28. Efficiently managed cloud hosting continues to be the key preference for most companies.