Human discernment being rolled back!


A river to skate away on: Last evening, watching the Joni Mitchell PBS special, we felt sorry for "the amazingly talented Ledisi."

Ledisi had agreed to sing Mitchell's well-known song, "River." Certain songs, by certain singer-songwriters, should possibly never be covered. 

River may be one of those songs:

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh, I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh, I wish I had a river
I could skate away on...

Absent the very important next lyric, that's the way River begins.

To our ear, River includes the most authentic-sounding confession we've ever heard in a singer-songwriter's song. That helps make River hard to cover. It isn't anyone's fault.

River always makes us think of a story from childhood. Our mother was disinclined to describe the circumstances of her upbringing and her youth, but occasionally an anecdote would be recounted.

One such anecdote involved the time she skated so far up the Merrimack that she couldn't get home before nightfall. Her mother, our own grandmother, had been worried, angry, mad.

What was that girl, or perhaps that teenager, skating away to that day? As a "venturesome girl" in an age which didn't yet value venturesome girls, we almost wish that that young person had known how to skate even farther away.

We felt sorry for the talented singer who agreed to cover that song. Long ago, Mitchell had already sung the confession. Midway through the song, the confession goes like this:

I'm so hard to handle,
I'm selfish and I'm sad

Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had. 
Oh, I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

Some of that language may have been ironic. (Or not.) To our ear, the confession has always sounded one million percent sincere.

River always makes us think of our mother's long skate up the Merrimack. Opening Day always makes us think of Opening Day, 1956, a very cold day at the Fens.

Today, you can fact-check almost anything. Yesterday, we decided to fact-check our recollection of how cold it was that day, high up in the grandstand at windswept Fenway Park.

It was our first MLB game—and pretty much sure enough! At nearby Logan Airport, it was 55 degrees at game time, with a wind speed of 21 miles per hour. Temperatures dropped as the game moved along. We huddled with our mother and our sister, way high up in the stands.

Maybe you had to be there! At any rate, we were surprised to see that, as of now, you can fact-check even that! In these, the days of miracle and wonder, you can fact-check almost anything—but this is also a time when human discernment is melting away in the face of the jealous demands of heightened tribal identity.

For today, we're referring to the disappearing distinction between "falsehoods" and "lies." The distinction was once widely observed. It was still being observed, last evening, in this Washington Post news report:

ELLISON ET AL (3/31/23): In his ruling, [Judge] Davis determined that [Fox News] had undeniably broadcast falsehoods when it allowed allies of Donald Trump to float baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion supposedly rigging voting machines to boost Joe Biden.

However, Davis said he will leave it to a jury to decide whether Fox knew the statements were false when they aired them or acted recklessly in doing so—the “actual malice” standard required to prove a case of defamation.

The Post reported what the judge had determined—that Fox News had, in fact, broadcast "falsehoods." It would be left to a jury to decide "whether Fox knew the statements were false"—that is, whether the falsehoods were lies.

Down through the many long years, English speakers developed and respected the distinction between falsehoods, misstatements and lies. 

Such distinctions are widely observed in other human languages. Over the course of the past twenty years, our own faltering tribe has been eliminating the distinction. 

Every man [sic] a king, Huey Long memorably said. Today, our own tribe lives by a different watchword:

Every misstatement a lie!

It started in earnest with David Corn's explicit confession in the preface to his 2003 book, The Lies of George W. Bush. In our view, David's an excellent person, but he seemed to be rolling back human discernment in search of a more thrilling tale.

As of yesterday, they even have our favorite blogger! No name will be mentioned, but his headline says this:

Judge rules that Fox News lied

As is clear in the excerpt the blogger posted, that plainly isn't what the judge had ruled. But all across the blue tribal world, an extremely fundamental distinction has been, and is being, erased.

It's highly exciting to use the term "lies." It makes for improved tribal product.

Lawrence loves to say the word "lies." On his show, everyone is "lying" pretty much all the time. Tucker Carlson is now going even farther in this direction on his increasingly deranged Fox News TV program.

Here's the big surprise from yesterday's post, the one which carried that headline. The very first commenter voiced some confusion about what the blogger had said!

The commenter knew that, by ancient tradition, a falsehood isn't necessarily a lie. To his credit, and for that reason, the commenter was puzzled by the blogger's post.

In an age of onrushing tribal war, each tribe seeks heightened bombast. Human discernment is sanded away in pursuit of more potent name-calling.

Most remarkably, Rachel and Lawrence refuse to discuss what Tucker is saying each night. Our own tribe's channel is selling pure pleasure to Marks Like Us in the wake of this week's indictment.

No river lets us skate away from these unhelpful behaviors. In terms of what Carlson is saying and doing, the Merrimack doesn't run all the way to Canada, or to some land beyond that.

As we learned on Thursday night, it's coming on time for "whatever is next." We plan to discuss Carlson's astonishing conduct next week. Rachel and Lawrence, raking in dough, quite simply aren't going to go there.

By way of contrast, Mitchell's confession in River has always struck us as completely sincere.

Could confession perhaps be good for the soul? To hear her original performance, you can just click this right here


  1. "Over the course of the past twenty years, our own faltering tribe has been eliminating the distinction. "

    This is not true. Our tribe (which does not include Somerby) has recognized the degree to which Trump tells deliberate lies to further his own self-interest, for self-aggrandizement, to cover his ignorance, and to denigrate others.

    Somerby insists that we cannot know Trump's mental state, and thus cannot know whether he believes his own false statements or not. Somerby ignores that there are ways to know whether someone is aware that they are lying. Somerby also ignores the testimony by close associates of Trump that he has shown awareness of the truth and revealed that he has lying to people who have testified to that effect. Somerby chooses not to believe them, including those who testified before the 1/6 Committee under oath.

    Because Somerby refuses to acknowledge such evidence, I believe it is Somerby, not our blue tribe, who will not recognize the facts about Trump's lying and who is breaking down that distinction himself, by eliminating the category called lying when it comes to Trump's statements.

    Accusing a person of lying when they are actually mistaken is a serious accusation. But so is accusing those who refuse to vote for Trump of deliberately corrupting the definition of what constitutes lying, a serious accusation. Somerby makes that accusation without proof or evidence, as always. His only support for his own view is his own refusal to accept the evidence that Trump has lied on many occasions. That evidence comes not from the untruth of Trump's statements (which is only part of what is required to call a statement a lie) but from the truth of the testimony of Trump's many associates who know that he has told lies, and even those who have lied themselves on Trump's behalf.


  2. "However, Davis said he will leave it to a jury to decide whether Fox knew the statements were false"

    What Fox may (or may not) had known is that the accusations against Dominion voting machines were unproven. At most: unproven and unlikely.

    No one -- neither Fox, nor Bezos' blog, nor we, nor you, dear Bob -- can know for sure that the accusations were false.

    ...because, y'know, dear Bob, computer programs do have tendency to operate based on partisan preferences. See facebook, tweeter, and google algorithms, for example.

    1. From the judge’s ruling:

      “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true”

      “The court will grant summary judgment in favor of Dominion on the element of falsity. “

    2. none of the statements are true, including this one

    3. Mao, by your logic, the machines could have given Trump thousands of votes that were intended for Biden. Very often in legal cases, there is no way for there to be absolute certainty. Juries decide civil cases by the preponderance of the evidence - more than 50% likely to be true - and the plaintiff wins. And again, who knows, Hugo Chavez may have rigged the machines, but you are stretching logic beyond reason, in a way you would never come close to applying to your own claims.

    4. What does Hugo Chavez have to do with this?

    5. @AC/MA

      What's your point?

      Yes, we wouldn't be surprised if Hugo Chavez was accused of having rigged machines.

      2009 Iranian presidential election was widely declared rigged by the West, based on (among other things) Benford's law. From what we've seen, Biden results in 2020 US election also failed Benford's law, but this time it was declared irrelevant.

      All we're saying is that no one can know for sure that the accusations were false. Do you disagree?

    6. The judge disagrees with you, Mao. Sorry.

    7. "Per the government, Hugo Chávez, the 45th President of Venezuela, died on 5 March 2013 at 16:25 VET (20:55 UTC) in Caracas, Venezuela from cancer at the age of 58."

      That was 3 years before Trump's first election and 7 years before the one disputed in 2020.

      Did you really not know this?

    8. What additional information could we possibly need to conclude with certainty that this election (the most intensively examined in our history) was fair?

      There isn't a shred of evidence pointing in the other direction.

    9. Do better Mao. In every audit machine counts matched the paper trail. Even the nutty Ninjas in Arizona. No machine hocus pocus or algorithms involved.

    10. "All we're saying is that no one can know for sure that the accusations were false. Do you disagree?" Well the released Fox broadcasters texts said they knew they were spreading nonsense. You claim Hugo interfered in Iran in 2009. Why and how? Then dead Hugo interfered in the second US Presidential election after his death. How did he know who to support when dead? How did he allow downballot races go to Republicans? Can you agree that some accusations are so ridiculously dumb that they can't be taken seriously?

    11. @Hector
      Not a shred of evidence, eh?

      ...that you're aware of, that is... ...after looking for it real, real hard... ...looking everywhere: in msnbc, nytimes, wapo, cnn, nbc, abc, cbs... ...everywhere...

    12. Mao, I don't know, it's hard to believe, but could it be that you are being somewhat disingenuous and sophistic in your contributions to the discourse here? If I didn't know better, I might be tempted to ask you what evidence you have that the indicted ex-POTUS had the election stolen from him (if so, very unfair to the guy), if that's what you are suggesting?

    13. We've searched the NY Times from A to Z, dear dembot. 5 times. Every page of it. And no evidence, none at all. obviously it doesn't exist...

    14. The next piece of evidence Mao provides that there was a stolen election will be the first.

    15. No doubt. The first, as far as you (and every other dembot) know.

    16. It's already been shown plenty of times that Mao works for the Establishment Elites. The HUGE tax break Trump gave his bosses, is why Mao loves Trump. Trump's bigotry is gravy for Mao.

    17. Mao,

      Can you even provide a hint of some evidence of
      a stolen election? Like maybe a clue, like in a treasure hunt? A torn corner of a map? The whispered mutterings of a dying man's last words?

      Is there anything at all you can point to beyond your simpering speculations about your opponents' media diets?

    18. Oh, dear. Why can't you just let it go already? No one is changing their minds. it is, for the 10th time:

      ...enjoy. And we'll be expecting the usual response: 100% random word salad.

    19. Mao,

      I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong. I mean, you've linked to a website that has accusations of election fraud. And these accusations must be true, otherwise how could they be on the internet?

      I'll notify the state and local judges, SCOTUS, DOJ Elections Unit, state, local and federal election officials, Trump campaign staff and Trump White House legal counsel that they've got this whole election fraud thing upside down. Sidney Powell wasn't crazy after all.

      Thanks for setting me straight.

    20. @Hector
      So, you don't want the evidence, after all. Quelle surprise. We knew it, of course. But why did you insist on getting it?

      ...perhaps (though highly unlikely) you might want to read this, at least:

    21. What I had in mind for evidence was more like an accusation with some detail that could be looked at and debated, not a bullet point list of items like, "Unobserved ballot counting."

      Not really possible to discuss a free-floating claim like that.

    22. The page linked @1:45 PM is what it says it is: an explanation why people believe the 2020 election was rigged. Ordinary people.

      Aside from that, there are plenty of details on this website; videos, charts, footnote links. Statistical analyses, if you're into that sort of things.

      Try this, for example:

    23. And I went to the electionfraud20 FAQ’s and looked at “Unusual Vote Dumps and Spikes.” I found the reasoning rather childish.

      When a precinct in a large urban area reports its results, a graph of votes over time will show a Biden spike at the time of the reporting, since large urban areas tend to vote Democratic. This is not unexpected and was in fact very predictable.

    24. Oh, really? Because they tend to vote Democratic, we're supposed to expect sudden spikes?

      Interesting hypothesis. But not quite self-evident to us.

    25. ...may we rather suggest, perhaps, that because the polling station in these areas are controlled by Ds we might expect sudden Biden spikes?

    26. Here's a Biden spike for you.

      Of course the establishment "fact-checkers" will quickly come up with an explanation why this is perfectly normal, but alas most ordinary people are unlikely to be convinced...

    27. The WI spike was when absentee votes were recorded, which always lean Dem. These spikes happen every election.

      No doubt there’s fraud in our elections: corporate donations, gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. but it almost exclusively comes from Republicans, who are merely doing the bidding of the wealthy elite and those intent on fascism.

    28. If a predominantly red district's results come in, then there is a spike for Republicans, and vice versa for blue districts. I don't see the problem. This has been happening forever, long before voting machines and TV projections. In CA, for example, you get a Democratic spike when Los Angeles is counted, and a Republican spike for Santa Barbara, Orange County or San Bernardino County, which have been red areas. It isn't who is controlling the polling stations but who the preponderance of the votes are coming from.

      It is stupid to look at those graphs and not understand the dynamics of what happens during elections. Trump's own stupidity is why he thought that his huge lead in the beginning, when the Republican absentee votes are counted, would hold up when numbers for working people voting in person came in. Stupidity isn't evidence of voter fraud.

    29. Mao,

      your lack of understanding beautifully illustrates the problem with people opining on election data who don't understand how elections work.

      Yes, precincts hand in their votes at the precinct level. So if a big precinct gives its totals to whoever is centrally tabulating the votes, then there will be a spike if the precinct is heavily Democratic.

    30. And just for the record, another factor contributing to spikes were the huge number of mail-in ballots, which could also be reported at the aggregate level.

    31. Anything could be reported at the aggregate level, dear Hector. Anything. And yet somehow only one ballot-dump was, in that Wisconsin chart.

      Consequently, at least by our lights, the Wisconsin chart is perfectly legitimate circumstantial evidence of fraud, all dembot bullshit notwithstanding.

      ...true, it's not much by itself. But in conjunction with a million other facts and circumstances (that you could read in the above-linked page) pointing into the same direction, it speaks volumes.

      ...if you prefer to ignore all that, fine, that's your choice. Just don't make a fool of yourself demanding the evidence...

    32. Every magat accusation is a confession. Just because that is what you would do, don't assume everyone is as corrupt as you.

      Just the fact that you would believe that a huge batch of votes can just materialize without any trace of a chain of custody and completely unconnected to true valid registered voters shows what a damn fool you are, Mao.

      7 million votes, Mao. Deal with it.

  3. It's true, you can fact check almost anything, including what words mean, which involves using this newfangled thing called a "dictionary," which explains that a "falsehood" is "an untrue statement: lie." Can we take up a collection to buy one these things for Somerby?

  4. Joni Mitchell is a good decent person who doesn't tell lies the way Trump does. Her song lyrics do not deserve to be put to use by Somerby the way he does today. She is a liberal and has never support any of the crap Somerby peddles. Including her song in an essay attempting to whitewash Trump and Fox News is just plain wrong.

    Somerby refers to her song as a confession and emphasizes the lyric about losing the best baby. That baby is Neil Young and she is not talking about abortion, but about the breakup of their relationship. Somerby's hinting is itself a form of dishonesty, as is including a song in an essay about other things that she would never endorse or agree with. There are many ways to tell lies, and this misleading "confession" (Somerby's word) combined with juxtaposition of Mitchell with Fox/Trump whitewashing, is a deliberate deception by Somerby.

    1. Graham Nash was her “best baby”

    2. I posted about Joni Mitchell’s actual song about a baby put up for adoption, also on that 1971 album Blue. That comment has been disappeared.

    3. It’s cringey when Somerby misuses Frost or Dylan or Haggard or Mitchell, it’s little better than Reagan blasting Born in the USA at his rallies; having said that, I’m not sure Joni Mitchell is a good person, and even though I’m a huge late 60s and 70s music fan - I love everything from rock to disco, funk to fusion - Joni Mitchell’s music sucks, it’s really bad.

  5. Somerby hints, but doesn't say, that he thinks Corn is wrong about George W. Bush's lies, but there is plenty of evidence that Bush and his associates lied to get the US to authorize an attack on Iraq.

    Somerby should have the courage of his convictions. If he thinks the book is inaccurate about those lies, he should document that and explain why the evidence of deliberate deception is wrong.

    Later, Somerby coyly refers to his "favorite blogger" when he could easily state whose headline he is quoting (Drum). Why be that way? It obscures facts and hides Somerby's own opinions and confuses readers about what Somerby actually believes about essays Somerby has chosen to write about. It is dishonest, manipulative, unfair to those he hints about, and not the way an essayist should write.

    More than that, Somerby uses some of the same language as Trump does, when he intends to say something but doesn't want to take responsibility. Trump says something awful, then says "I don't know, that could be true or it could be false, but..." or Trump says something awful then says "Many people are saying that...". Trump's lies are often cloaked in such evasions. So are Somerby's offensive statements. I don't know whether this is what draws Somerby to Trump, one con artist recognizing the speech patterns of another, or whether Somerby is imitating Trump to avoid taking responsibility for his remarks, the way Trump obviously is. Regardless, such a verbal tick can be considered evidence of self-knowledge that the content of the statement is false and needs to be disavowed while also being spread to followers. In other words, knowledge that one is telling a lie.

    Somerby does this a lot, which should signal to readers that he is saying something tenuous, intending to mislead, wishing to express something ugly or racist or sexist, without being held responsible for it. Somerby claims that Trump has plausible deniability when he adds "I don't know, that could be true, what do you think?" to his crowds. In reality, such weasel words give neither of them cover. Somerby may not want to criticize his pal Drum, but he has done so, and being coy changes nothing material about that, but it does put him in the position of lying, as when he pretends Mitchell has "confessed" to something beyond her public break-up with Neil Young.

    1. Correction, Graham Nash, not Neil Young.

    2. Michell was rather cruelty mocked by Rolling Stone around that time because She had had a lot of famous boyfriends and had also left a husband and child.

    3. She put a child up for adoption in 1964, an unmarried teen. She wrote River in 1971 when she broke up with Graham Nash, her boyfriend of 2+ years. She was married and divorced in the 80’s after a miscarriage. Those later events had nothing to do with River. It is unclear what Somerby thinks she is confessing. Why would he choose today to smear a liberal much-admired singwriter like this?

      My other comment about this disappeared.

    4. Mitchell is confessing that she’s difficult and self-centered and this led to the end of a relationship.

      I’m not sure where anyone implied that by “baby”she meant an infant.

    5. This was a great blog. I love it when Bob shares things about himself. I feel his angst for his mother as a young girl and for her relationship with her mother.
      These matters can ripple thru generations.

    6. Somerby has no empathy for his mother. He thinks she ruined his life. He may want to skate free, but I guarantee he has no understanding for what it must have been like for her to be left alone to raise Bob and his sister.

      Who "confesses" to being sad after a break-up? No one. The word confession is Somerby's and he only knows what he means by it, but it doesn't seem to apply to anything in the song.

      Use of the word implies guilt over something. What? Being sad and hard-to-handle? Get real!

    7. Anonymouse 9:49am, you are being ridiculously simplistic.

      We don’t really know about Somerby family life. He’s mentioned tension between his mother and he and his sister. Of course, angst, anger, and longing are not strangers to one another.

      We’re aware that he has used his mother as material for comedy routines, but how much can be gleaned from that?

      Do you really think Sinbad’s mother had a 90 foot arm and was capable of murdering him?

    8. We know about Somerby's family life because he made it the topic of a one-man show as a comedian.

      How do you think therapists understand their clients? Do you think they take everything the client says to them at face value? The things a person chooses to say and not say, and how they talk about them, reveals a great deal, more than the client himself knows about himself. The therapist observes and then feeds it back to the client in ways they can understand, so that they can be aware of their own feelings and attitudes about important figures in their lives (boss, spouse, relatives). A therapist listens without directing and then says things like, "Are you aware that you haven't mentioned your mother in any of our sessions?" Or, "it seems to me that you may not like your job much," and then listens to the reaction.

      I get it that you have no training in therapy techniques or psychology, but claiming that it is not possible to know things about people that they do not choose to reveal, is beyond naive.

      Somerby is excessively literal, concrete, not aware of his own dynamicws. That doesn't mean everyone else is. Word choices reveal information. Subject choices do too. Omissions reveal information. If not, literary criticism would not be possible.

    9. Somerby uses word choices to imply things that he does not wish to say directly. That gives him plausible deniability while still getting across his message. Confession is one such choice. What did Joni Mitchell do wrong that she must confess to? But sometimes those choices backfire on him. For example, do you think that saying that Rachel Maddow "stuffs cash down her pants" is literal? I doubt she keeps her money there. So what does Somerby mean by such a phrase? Is it something good about Maddow? Obviously not. Because it refers to her pants, it has a semi-sexual connotation. (Men talking about getting into women's pants, for example.) It seems likely he is alluding to her getting off on money, selling herself for big bucks, not sex as normal women do (the money replaces men). It is an oblique reference to her being a lesbian, since she doesn't give access to men to her pants. That sexual tinge makes the reference sound vaguely like a rebuffed suitor who is angry at a woman who he assumes is without natural instincts (who else would reject him?). It isn't anything good, that's for sure.

      Somerby makes a lot of these types of references about women. Some stick out because they don't belong in the context in which they occur, like a criticism of an on-air pundit's performance. That is a giveaway too. And others are very blatant, like the remark about Chanel Miller not drinking so much if she didn't want to be attacked. There is nothing cute or clever or coy about such uses of language, and they are transparent to those of his readers who aren't fanboys or do not share his misogyny.

    10. Anonymouse 12:20pm, comedians routinely exaggerate any type of subject matter in order to emphasize absurdity or irony.

      For someone who chides Bob for thinking that the media should have focused more on Trump’s mental health, you’re certainly aren’t above an appeal to your own authority based upon comedy routines and blog board anecdotes.

    11. Thus revealing that you don't have a clue what I said.

      Everything people do reveals their motives and attitudes. I only have Somerby's public behavior, but he tells us a lot. Why would he choose to talk about his mother at all?

      Was Somerby being absurd or ironic when he chose to talk about Maddow, or when he returned to talk about her day after day after day? The "I was just joking" excuse you raise for him wears pretty thin in the face of his obsessive behavior.

      Why does Somerby keep referring to Tucker Carlson as an abandoned or excitable boy? Perhaps he felt similarly abandoned by the death of his own father (who was 65 when Somerby was born)? It seems possible Somerby may blame his mother for that circumstance.

      Notice above that Somerby talks about going to his first baseball game with his mother and sister, where it was cold (he fact-checked that). We know that Somerby follows baseball today, since he has talked about it here. But he never says anything fond about his mother, never thanks her for starting his lifelong interest. How many widows would do it? Instead he implies that she wanted to skate away. From him? Somerby made his choices about what to say or not say about this memory and Mitchell's song.

    12. Anonymouse 1:54pm, I “confess” that I don’t have a clue as to your thinking other than it’s motivated by a desire to label Somerby misogynistic, but now, I think it may be something more.

      That anyone might have all sorts of conflicting feelings about their mother is not out of the ordinary. You’ve taken this subject up in a way that is really personal and disturbing and filled with personal bitterness and pique that puzzling and discomforting to read in a way that Bob is entirely not.

    13. You are reading a lot about me into a comment I made about how Somerby reveals himself in his posts.

      You don't disagree with Somerby. He doesn't upset you because you are OK with the often bigoted things he says. I don't have any bitterness about Somerby or Joni Mitchell or Rachel Maddow. I do have concerns about a man who (1) claims to be liberal but is manifestly not, (2) defends Roy Moore and gushes over preteen girls, (3) defends Trump as being mentally ill when the personality disorders attributed to Trump are not part of any diagnosable illness but are considered ways of relating to the world, (4) is slippery as an eel when it comes to what he himself believes, while promoting right wing memes and talking points.

      You call me bitter because I said that Somerby reveals things about himself when he posts. We all do that, but I didn't pathologize Somerby. I didn't say he was mentally ill or crazy, the way he has done with Trump. I said he dislikes women (which is obvious from his posts) and that he didn't say anything fond about his mother today, which is obvious from his essay itself. Perhaps you are upset about what I wrote because it causes you to see Somerby a little differently. That might be a good thing.

    14. Maddow comes across as so hollow and fake. She comes across like she's pretty much dying inside.

  6. The second amendment is evil.

    1. How else are all those thousands of White right wingers that commit suicide every year supposed to deal with their grief about losing dominance over people of color, some of whom are women, no less?

  7. "Most remarkably, Rachel and Lawrence refuse to discuss what Tucker is saying each night. Our own tribe's channel is selling pure pleasure to Marks Like Us in the wake of this week's indictment."

    Actually, the only evidence of confusing lies with false statements comes from Kevin Drum, who Somerby refuses to name. Is Drum selling pure pleasure to marks? Rachel and Lawrence aren't, if they refuse to talk about stuff. Somerby would need some evidence of them actually talking about things, to accuse them the way he does.

    I think Somerby is a bit confused about this business of lying and defamation. You don't demonstrate malice by showing that someone is lying. Lying only involves deliberate telling of a false statement known to be false by the speaker. Malice refers to intent to harm another with the telling of a falsehood (a false statement known to be untrue, a lie).

    malice definition: "the intention or desire to do evil; ill will"

  8. Drum said this:

    “All they have to do is show that Fox knew it was lying”

    Drum has ignored the second way of showing “actual malice” in the legal sense:

    “Davis said he will leave it to a jury to decide whether Fox knew the statements were false when they aired them or acted recklessly in doing so.”

    The second half means actual malice can be shown if Fox was acting with reckless disregard for the statements’ truth or falsity.

    The judge has ruled the following:

    1. “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true”
    2. “A statement charging a company with fraud, deception, or other misconduct in its business is defamatory per se.”
    3. “Even if the neutral report privilege did apply, the evidence does not support that FNN conducted good-faith, disinterested reporting.”

  9. There is a broader definition of the word "lie" than the one Somerby has been using. It may be that Drum was using that alternative definition:

    "used with reference to a situation involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression; "all their married life she had been living a lie"

    Somerby has absolutely no linguistic charity when he is trying to establish one of his own pleasing narratives.

  10. Odd that Somerby responds to Kevin Drum's blog comments at 3:56 am (his time), but won't respond to any of his own comments, even the substantive ones concerning matters of fact (i.e., fact-checking, which he seems to be advocating today).

    1. Somerby wants to hold Drum accountable but doesn't think he should have to answer to the fact-checkers among his own readers.

  11. "Human discernment being rolled back!"

    What the heck does this mean?

    discernment definition: "the ability to judge well"

    Somerby perhaps disapproves of the judge's decision in the Dominion lawsuit. Not exactly the way any actual liberal would respond.

    He appears to be discussing all of humanity again, but the judge got it right and I don't think my ability to assess the judge's decision is "rolled back" either. These headlines that Somerby puts on his essays show a lot of hubris. He presumes to judge a judge, despite having no judicial training and very little experience in such matters. But anything to roll Trump and Fox off the hook, I guess.

    1. anon 2:23, perhaps TDH "disapproves" of the judge's decision, clever of you to posit that where not a sliver of what he says here implies that. But your imagination is impressive to conjure up such a possibility. Perhaps you are right, to the extent that if perhaps your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle, though nowadays that may no longer be true.

    2. He said discernment is being rolled back. It is right there in his headline.

    3. Say what you want about 2:23, but at least ze's correct about "actual liberal" being a dembot.

    4. Grasping as straws AC. The entire
      post is an attempt to hector the
      judges ruling, which pains Bob as
      deeply as the Trump indictment.
      In terms of truth, how does
      “Liberals see every misstatement
      as a lie” hold up? EVERY one?
      When the Vice President said
      North Korea instead of South
      Korea, did they jump on her?
      Isn’t splitting ridiculous hairs


  12. Kevin Drum:

  13. A couple years back Charles Murdoch quit the board of Newscorp, later stating in a NYT interview that he could no longer participate in that capacity in a media company whose business model is peddling misinformation. Daddy must be proud. He raised one honest son.

  14. Pretty damn awful work from Bob today, he’s
    floating all over the place. Here’s a few things
    might be worth pointing out.
    No one accused Joni Mitchell of being
    insincere, nor was it particularly necessary
    in this context for her to be so. What this
    has to do with Fox News and the
    dominion lawsuit would seem, to
    any serious person, to be absolutely
    nothing. Bob doesn’t follow music too
    closely. “River” started to become a
    sort of sad/sweet holiday standard
    about twenty years ago and it has
    been covered many times by a
    lot of artists,including at least one
    old boyfriend.
    The Dominion case seems to
    rest on the fact that Fox was putting
    out information they were well aware
    was not true. They also repeated
    utterly unsubstantiated claims quite
    Bob might remember, as he nitpicks
    the distinction between this and lying that
    Bill Clinton was routinely called a liar
    for saying things that were perfectly
    true (by progressives AND Republicans)
    and this approach was the key to
    The war on Gore he wrote about
    many times. Who the fuck is Bob,
    Rip Van Winkle? Oh yeah, and
    Obama was going to force you to
    change Doctors.
    To pretend that Trump did not bring
    us to a new “disordered” state in
    bold faces bullshit is something we
    we don’t have to strain very hard to
    put in the lie box too.

    1. anon 4:24, if you demanded a refund on your subscription, I wouldn't blame you. For what TDH is being paid, it's pretty hypocritical for him to complain about the millions "earned" by the cable news stars. Even I, a notorious "fan boy," might not renew my subscription (though I was suckered into getting one of those 8 year deals).

    2. You have no idea whether Somerby is being paid or not.

    3. This appears to be some kind of sarcasm. No one really knows what
      Bob is paid, if anything, for writing
      The Daily Howler. If you think
      that excuses his bullshit, you
      are entitled to that view. For
      some of us their is a real sense
      of betrayal in the sad and stupid
      way he has let us, and the truth,

    4. I have an idea that Bob is not being paid.

    5. Are you sure it’s not a notion?

    6. It’s a thought.

    7. 4:55,

      That's nothing. I just read the fine print on my TDH subscription and apparently my first-born child has to continue subcribing to TDH once I've passed on.

      Bob is laughing all the way to the bank!

    8. Bob is a sad, over the hill loser who betrayed his original purpose and has had zero effect on “our discourse.”

  15. This indictment could end up costing the Democrats.

    1. Why bother trolling like this?

    2. 6:05,
      Do you think this is going to make the Republican Party try to lock-up Hillary Clinton?

    3. I’m waiting for Bob to back them up on “we we’re only kidding.”

    4. Trump can use it to galvanize support.

    5. galvanize support = con followers out of more money

    6. Trump already has his bigotry to galvanize support.

    7. Another liability for Democrats is they don't have much to offer voters.

    8. Reminding Democrats of how much we have to lose if Trump is elected is not a good tactic, @1:14

  16. No one's gonna tell me
    What's wrong and what's right
    Or tell me who to eat with, sleep with
    Or that I've won the big fight, big fight

    Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?
    You don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?
    Subtle innuendos follow
    Must be something inside

  17. This indictment could end up costing the Republicans.

  18. Robert Frost quote for today (via Frazz comic, Jeff Mallett):

    "Lord forgive my little jokes on thee, and I'll forgive thy great big one on me."

  19. Here is the part that Somerby left out of the Joni Mitchell lyrics that make it clear she was talking about a lover and not a child when she said "baby":

    "He tried hard to help me
    You know, he put me at ease
    And he loved me so naughty
    Made me weak in the knees
    Oh, I wish I had a river
    I could skate away on
    I'm so hard to handle
    I'm selfish and I'm sad
    Now I've gone and lost the best baby
    That I ever had"

    Somerby is dishonest. You always have to go back and look at the context he has omitted in anything he writes. Why would this be any kind of "confession"? It is a sad lost-love song.

    1. She confessed that she was selfish.

    2. Is it really a crime to be selfish or hard to handle, sad?

      confession definition: "a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime"

      A song about one's part in a break-up doesn't strike me as any kind of confession. But it wouldn't surprise me if Somerby thinks that all women are guilty of something, even the ones who write songs like this one.

      Somerby cannot seem to write a post without accusing some woman of something. Today he accuses his mother of taking him out into the cold to sit beside her at a baseball game. What a terrible person!

    3. Anonymouse 9:42am, this is terribly contrived reasoning intended for one purpose: to call Somerby a misogynist.

      Confession is also “an admission or acknowledgment that one has done something that one is ashamed or embarrassed about.
      "by his own confession, he had strayed perilously close to alcoholism"’

      People also confess their sins. That would apply to being selfish and difficult to the point of running off the love of your life.

    4. Somerby IS a misogynist, whether I call him on it or not.

      Don't forget Somerby's Catholic upbringing. Perhaps that gives the idea of confession special significance. I would buy that Mitchell might have regrets, but I don't buy that she is "confessing". That is Somerby's embellishment. Even a Catholic who confesses regularly saves the bigger sins for the priest and doesn't enumerate things like being "hard to handle" or "sad". She is just saying that she doesn't blame her lover for their breakup.

      Confession is an inappropriate word, unless you consider women guilty of sins.

      Look at what Somerby says about Stormy -- he doesn't see her as used by Trump but he sees Trump as being manipulated by Stormy, blackmailed even. Look what he said about Hillary. Look what he said about Kamala. Look at what he says nearly every day about whichever female journalist or professor or attorney comes across his radar. And look at the leeway he gives Trump and Tucker, for huge transgressions. Of course he is misogynist.

  20. So far, Somerby has hit all of the talking points that Robert Reich itemized the right wing using, including “this will help Trump get elected again.”

  21. Finally, a new whistleblower (of sorts) is
    suing Fox lawyers for trying to get her to
    lie. The excerpts released by Dominion
    seem very conclusive that they knew they
    where reporting (to use the term loosely)
    Crapolla. The released excerpts of the
    Fox stars conversations back this up
    in spades.
    Bob, not a great writer but one that
    started out with an admirable purpose,
    who spotted the lazy group think that
    plagued the discourse and was willing
    to call out both sides, stopped paying
    any attention to the Fox (then the
    worst) and ended up making excuses
    for them, finally justifying them by
    the number of people they were
    willing to fool (!). Justifications for
    The Trump sewer tagged along.
    Bob was once a good, decent
    person. What’s the culprit here?
    Long ago one poster claimed he
    saw the pattern of too much drink,
    I thought that was unfair at the
    time. In any event, let’s hope Bob
    gets the help he needs.

  22. This morning my fanny snarled upon waking up. And then it growled while I was on the toilet.

  23. Trump will be the Republican nominee. We will still have to beat him politically

    1. There is a good chance of that. Beyond which, speculation on what is going to occur a year and a half before the election is dumb as it always is, maybe dumber. Speculation that this will make Trump a beloved victim is wishful thinking from twisted folks who still like Trump and want the Republican in at any cost (Bob?).

    2. Clearly, 9:48, you nailed it. Bob wants Trump or the Republican in "at any cost". That's why Bob keeps suggesting Trump is mentally ill and has a disordered mind, because he's such a big fan.

      You really nailed it, man.

    3. Somerby is dishonest. He may figure that the only way to get liberals to consider Trump is to evoke empathy for him, by suggesting that he is mentally ill, not a corrupt, lying scumbag who colludes with Russia. Just as Somerby pleads for liberals to watch Tucker Carlson, arguing that he is an abandoned child who became disordered because his dad got a divorce when Tucker was 8 (and then remarried again). 50% of children experience divorced parents. Somerby frequently claims that Trump is crazy (an offensive term to talk about mental illness) or disturbed, but he never takes the next step by telling us not to vote for him, or disparaging any of his statements, policies or programs. He thinks Trump was blackmailed by Stormy, he thinks he did fine with covid, he thinks Trump really thought he won the 2020 election and shouldn't have been impeached.

      These are the statements of a Trump follower, not a liberal brimming with too much empathy who just has to see everything from Trump's point of view. You have to realize that Somerby is trying to encourage other liberals to consider voting for Trump while pretending to be such a person himself.

      Or maybe Somerby is just demented, incoherent, and no longer of sound mind -- that would account for his favorable treatment of Trump too.

    4. "He may figure that the only way to get liberals to consider Trump is to evoke empathy for him, by suggesting that he is mentally ill,.."

      Bob may be doing that. And I may be trying to generate empathy for you when I point out that what you just wrote makes no bleeping sense. It is literally nonsense.

      You don't support a politican by claiming he has a disordered mind and may be mentally ill and any of the dozens of other negative comments Bob has made about Trump over the years.

    5. It may not turn out to be a detrimental miscalculation for Democrats.

    6. You do if you are trying to get liberals to take a look at him. There is no way any argument by the right is going to attract liberal voters. Perhaps Somerby thinks that mobilizing empathy, which liberals are famous for, will lead to an emotion connection with Trump of the kind that his followers have. Or perhaps Somerby has sold this idea to his handlers in exchange for a weekly stipend. Who knows?

      It is not my argument that makes no sense, it is Somerby's actions. He claims he is liberal while presenting right wing memes. He defends Trump by claiming he is mentally ill, disordered, and yes, he is defending him. He tells us all to go watch Fox because they have truer facts over there. He supports statements by Carlson now regularly. And he tells us that we liberals have driven people into the arms of Trump, who will win again in 2024.

      How does any of that make any sense? I have been trying to make sense of Somerby, but perhaps that is my mistake -- he doesn't make any sense. And how can there be a rational explanation of irrational behavior?

      Somerby is clearly not supporting Biden or any Democratic candidate, just as he DID NOT support HIllary in 2016. How do you argue that Somerby isn't supporting Trump now, when he is urging us to take another, more sympathetic look at both Trump and Tucker Carlson?

      Perhaps his only point here is to show us that us liberals can be liberal without supporting any Democratic candidates? Or perhaps Somerby has just joined the ratf*ckers on the right and his actions don't have to make any sense as long as they are destructive of liberal or Democratic party activities.

      Not only is Somerby doing this stuff, as he has been since before 2015, but he has a cadre of dedicated right wing trolls helping him out. Look at Mao, who is here first thing every morning, Cecelia, who is reliably here and extremely noisy at night, and the drop by trolls who bolster Somerby's attempts at whatever he thinks he is doing here. Why is the right wasting time on this, if Somerby's description of Trump as mentally ill is not a way of campaigning in his favor? For all we know, the right has a focus group showing that a left-winger (as Somerby pretends to be) calling Trump crazy is the best way to gain votes among a certain group. It has a kind of anti-establishment flavor to it.

      If you have a better theory, please let us know.

    7. “If you have a better theory, please let us know.”

      Somerby isn’t worried that Trump’s legal problems will cause Democrats to feel sorry for him. You guys wouldn’t feel sorry for a Native American Bob Cratchit if he was a Republican.

      Bob is concerned that this will inspire anger and cynicism in Republicans and centrists and will engerize them back Trump rather than going with any Republican competitor.

    8. “Anger and cynicism” IS Republicans.


    9. "Bob is concerned that this will inspire anger and cynicism in Republicans and centrists"

      We think that while it probably will "inspire anger and cynicism in Republicans" (or apathy? who knows), dear Bob's tribal chiefs are betting that most of the low-info "centrists" will feel the opposite...

    10. Anonymouse11:35am, thank you for so assiduously illustrating the concept of projection.

    11. As if you have the least clue what that is.

    12. You’re the one claiming that anger and cynicism drive Republicans, Cecelia. Or at least you’re claiming that Somerby is worried that they do. So don’t complain about me.

    13. People may wonder why Democrats could never beat him politically.

    14. Cecelia, Trump's best chance of winning the nomination is if there are lots of Republican challengers splitting the vote against him. He will always have that 22-28% of loyal followers.

      No, Trump's premature indictment announcement and his whining and faux outrage are all about those contributions now, $4 million in the first day and $1 million more since then. It is the grift that matters to Trump and his supporters cough up the cash on cue. Trump loves being treated with pomp, but he loves the money even more.

    15. Anonymouse 11:58am, give yourself due credit. You’re a sterling illustrator of it.

    16. Anonymouse 12:01pm, but a large increase in the percentage of devoted Trump voters makes challengers less likely.

      As you can see, it’s an arguable contention on both sides.

      To say there are no other good theories for Bob’s take other than that he is a stealth Republican, is troll crap.

    17. The devoted followers are not increasing. They are holding steady despite his crimes, while less committed Republicans are changing their registration to Independent. The Independents voted with Democrats in 2022, which defeated most of Trump's endorsed candidates. There was an article today about the defection of Suburban Republican women in 2022, speculating that this revived talk ab out the trouble with Stormy is not going to help him with women. I have several previously Republican friends who are now Independents because of the Hobbs decision. Some care about both guns and abortion (which Trump never mentions).

      Somerby suggestion that this is going to elect Trump is ridiculous in light of current polls and voting patterns in 2022. That's why he looks like a shill for the Republicans. He doesn't take any information into account except his own complaints that Democrats aren't nice to The Others. And today he threatens us again, warning that we will push voters into Trump's arms.

      I don't know whether Somerby is a Republican shill, a paid Russia-funded troll, or a Centrist, third-way, no-labels jerk. I do know he isn't any kind of liberal or progressive and is lying when he claims that.

    18. Hey, wait a minute. I see through your ploy.
      By calling Somerby a shill and a troll and a jerk, you're trying to elicit sympathy for him so that people will like him. You're a Somerby supporter, aren't you?

      In fact, IS THAT YOU BOB?

    19. Here’s a clue you don’t have to monetarily purchase:

      There are a handful of Somerby fanboys that like what he writes, everyone else thinks he is terrible and pushes right wing notions while repeating Republican talking points; coincidentally (not really) those handful of fanboys happen to all be right wingers.

      Right wingers like Somerby, Cecelia, AC/MA and Hector, try little more than to groom and gaslight, because they have no ideology, just an undying need for dominance.

    20. Often Somerby says Trump or some other right winger actually makes a decent point - about health ins deductibles, or exposing kids to the realities of gender; it’s only when Trump does or says something beyond the pale that Somerby trots out his mental illness nonsense.

      Somerby tries to make Trump and the Republicans more palatable to an audience he hopes is malleable and open to getting conned; likely at the behest of the same minders Trump has.

      Somerby deserves all the derision he receives since he spent most of his early blog career courting liberals and progressives; that’s who gave him a good reputation early on. Now he has turned his back on those that are responsible for his platform, as he has become a tool for right wingers.

      On the Left, we understand one doesn’t get to the dark place Somerby and his fanboys are at without suffering from nasty trauma, likely in childhood, thus it is so rooted as to prohibit resolution.

    21. 10:46….,Get real. It’s arguable that Bob is not trying to create sympathy for Trump( though it’s a tough argument),
      He is certainly trying to help him skirt
      responsibility. His actions by implying
      he is mentally ill. He is not suggested
      He is mentally I’ll so we will work
      harder to get him under control.
      It is your posistion that is totally
      absurd on the face of it. If we
      continue to get him into Court,
      the limitations of the nutball
      Defense will become apparent.

    22. I don't know about the distinguished others that were named, but I indeed have no ideology. I evaluate problems and political situations on their individual merits. It's called critical thinking.

      It is ideology that blinds people to the specifics of a given situation. This is what Somerby attacks, for the most part. Against politics being a team sport: our script v. their script, our ideology v. their ideology.

      Ideology is a kind of artifical intelligence.

    23. That may be what Somerby thinks he is attacking, but it is not what he actually attacks. You would see that if you were as unbiased as you claim. Somerby himself makes huge critical thinking gaffes.

      Politics is a team sport for politicians and political workers, but it is not such a sport for voters. Many are not even guided by ideology (such as most Independents. Trump voters certainly don't care about ideology either.

      On the left, because there IS ideology, the ideology sometimes guides reactions. Somerby calls that script or narrative, but it is actually shared belief in a party platform, ideals, goals, values. On the right, there are buzzwords used by politicians to signal to their voters that they are on their side, but I don't believe any of them articulate anything like a platform. Trump had none in 2020, nor did the Republican Party.

      The point of having an organized political party is to advance those shared goals, programs, policies. I see nothing wrong with that. I do not understand why Somerby would either.

      ideology definition: "a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy"

      Redefining ideology as something bad, undesirable or machine-like is a corruption of what the word means. People have ideas and ideals, not computers (which follow instructions only and do not think the way people do). This strikes me as yet another right-wing attempt to redefine some inherent human trait as something bad so that conservatives can claim Democrats are bad people.

      Hector, I do not believe for a minute that you are unbiased or skeptical or any kind of critical thinker. You have shown no evidence of that here.

    24. 3:59,

      I love you too.

      Yes, political parties need platforms, and if you want to attribute ideologies to them also, fine.

      But what about ideology and the media. Is it a good thing the 3 biggest cable news channels are clearly identifiable is either blue or red?

      That's the phenomenon I am commenting on when I use the term, 'ideology'. A set of preconceptions the tribalists bring to a given situation, and I think it harmful because it obscures individual truth.

      Does truth have an ideology?

    25. I think it is a horrible thing that a news stations dedicated itself to promoting the interests of conservatives (Republicans). The mainstream media did not do the same with liberals (Democrats), as right-wingers keep claiming (largely on the basis that anyone not conservative is automatically liberal). No one thinks of the mainstream media as blue.

      You do not get to define words in your own personal idiosyncratic way. That makes it hard to communicate with others.

      Reality exists independent of people's knowledge of it. Truth is what corresponds most closely to reality. One party, Democrats, as part of their ideology, considers it an important value to know and adhere to truth/reality as closely as possible. The other party, Republicans, considers truth to be relative and defines truth in whatever way promotes its interests. Democrats tend to call that lying when the information promoted by Republicans is either deliberately different than known truth or contradicts reality in obvious ways. Republicans tend to use misinformation and disinformation wantonly to suit their own desires. That is not truth-seeking and I think it gets people in trouble because they get confused about what is real. Reality doesn't care what people believe about it, but being out-of-step with reality can lead to serious problems in life. It is also part of the definition of mental illness (for what that's worth).

      Your idea that there is some sort of "individual truth" strikes me as bizarre, but I don't actually know what you mean by it.

      I prefer an ideology that values truth and the search for knowledge. Truth is not a person or party or any concrete thing in the world, but a concept:

      truth definition: "that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality"

      I think you are babbling and not using ideas or words the way most people do, which makes it hard to discuss this with you. I think conservatives tend to do that a lot, which is why I suspect that you are a conservative troll.

    26. '"Your idea that there is some sort of "individual truth" strikes me as bizarre, but I don't actually know what you mean by it."'


    27. And yet you do not explain...

    28. Hector, Right wingers disparage CNN as “the Clinton News Network” yet to anyone paying attention the notion that CNN ( along with the Times and the WP) have been fair or generous to the Clintons is laughable. They can only be described as “Blue” because unllke Fox they would not see January 6 as a peaceful walking tour. So your judgement on ideologies is pretty laughable.

    29. What’s clear, Hector, is that you are obsessed with trying to win a debate, and that blinds you to the obvious cynicism and toxicity of Somerby’s blog.

      While your understanding of the concept of ideology is shaky at best, your obsession with dominance is the definition of right wing.

      Somerby’s goal is to manufacture ignorance; with you, he may be succeeding, but in general his efforts are a colossal failure.

  24. "A federal judge in Texas ruled that at least 12 books removed from public libraries by Llano County officials, many because of their LGBTQ and racial content, must be placed back onto shelves within 24 hours, according to an order filed Thursday.

    Seven residents sued county officials in April 2022, claiming their First and 14th Amendment rights were violated when books deemed inappropriate by some people in the community and Republican lawmakers were removed from public libraries or access was restricted.

    The lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio claimed county officials removed books from the shelves of the three-branch public library system “because they disagree with the ideas within them” and terminated access to thousands of digital books because they could not ban two specific titles.

    Books ordered to return to shelves include “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, “They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen” by Jazz Jennings.

    HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 26: Books line the shelves at the Rice University Library on April 26, 2022 in Houston, Texas. A group of local residents are suing Llano County in federal court for the County's removal and censorship of library books addressing racism and LGBTQ issues. The lawsuit addresses "censorship of public libraries being a violation of the first and fourteenth amendments" and comes as conservatives continue to seek and implement restrictions on children's content covering American history, racism, and LGBTQ issues.
    Texas residents are suing their county after books were removed from public libraries
    The library system also is required to reflect these books as available in their catalog and cannot remove any books for any reason while the case is ongoing, US District Judge Robert Pitman said in his order.

    “Although libraries are afforded great discretion for their selection and acquisition decisions, the First Amendment prohibits the removal of books from libraries based on either viewpoint or content discrimination,” Pitman said."

    Finally, justice and the courts are taking action against other right wing abuses!

  25. And here is another case of the courts correcting right-wing abuses of the Constitution, this time in TN:

    "A federal judge temporarily blocked a Tennessee law restricting drag shows on Friday, the day before it was set to go into effect.

    U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker granted a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the law for two weeks, finding that it was “likely both vague and overly-broad.”

    The law, signed by Gov. Bill Lee (R) last month, criminalized drag shows that take place in public or where they could be seen by children.

    Parker agreed with Friends of George’s, the Memphis-based LGBTQ theater group contesting the law, that “this language could mean just about anywhere.”

    “Does a citizen’s private residence count? How about a camping ground at a national park? What if a minor browsing the worldwide web from a public library views an ‘adult cabaret performance’?” Parker said in Friday’s ruling. “Ultimately, the Statute’s broad language clashes with the First Amendment’s tight constraints.”

    The judge acknowledged that the temporary restraining order represents an “extraordinary remedy,” noting that he “does not take such actions lightly.”

    “If Tennessee wishes to exercise its police power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within the constraints and framework of the United States Constitution,” Parker added. “The Court finds that, as it stands, the record here suggests that when the legislature passed this Statute, it missed the mark.”

  26. "Former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was interviewed by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

    TODD: Why didn’t you charge the hush money case? Why didn’t you ever charge it in 2018, 2019, 2020?

    VANCE: Well Chuck, I don’t want to get into the deliberations that might be covered by grand jury material, but it’s, but as I believe you know, I was asked by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District to stand down on our investigation, which had commenced involving the Trump Organization. And as, you know, as someone who respects that office a great deal, and believing that they may have perhaps the best laws to investigate, I did so. And I was somewhat surprised after Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty that the federal government did not proceed on the areas in which it asked me to stand down."

    Vance sounds surprised that Trump's DOJ (in 2018-20) did not prosecute the Trump Organization after asking his office to stand down on its own proceedings.

    1. Forget hush money. This is corruption too.

  27. As a Republican, I was beginning to be concerned about Trump’s antics, and wanted to vote for DeSantis, but now that he has been indicted by the libs, I have no choice but to vote for Trump again.

  28. As a Republican, I was concerned that a severely mentally ill man like Trump might get elected (by me), but now that he has been indicted by the Democrats, my anger and cynicism dictate that I have no choice but to pull the lever for the nutcase.

    1. Anonymous 11:54am, you’re mistaken in thinking that the only people who won’t vote for Trump are those people who hate him.

      Trump fatigue is real.

    2. I am not wrong in believing that people voted for Trump despite his obvious flaws because they liked other things about him -- such as his bigotry, his tax cuts, his roll back of Obama's achievements, his hate-fueled rallies aimed at targets they too dislike.

      I find it difficult to believe they won't continue to ignore his flaws and vote for him again, when he is promising good stuff like setting aside the Constitution, pardoning insurrectionists, co-opting the FBI.

    3. Trump voters not only signed off on their hatred of Clinton, but also on the people Trump had spent a lifetime stiffing and cheating. The Trump University settlement just one example.,

    4. Duh the point is if you think that Trump’s indictment is going to affect voting, a) you’re a moron making a baseless assertion, lacking any evidence, and b) we don’t cower and act servile to the authoritarian right wing that dreams of being above the law.

      This has been Somerby’s main thesis for many years now, that non right wingers, in going about the normal business of helping the oppressed and having the corrupt face consequences, are causing their own destruction. Aside from also being the typical right wing stance of blame the victim, this is utter nonsense from Somerby.

    5. People are finding the more or less exact opposite.

    6. 11:01 is correct, people are finding that Somerby’s posts are pretty much the exact opposite of reality.

  29. It’s doubtful Bob could gage how sympathetic
    he actually is to Trump, though his insanity defense stuff, in terms of pure silliness, is pretty galling. Hatred is more powerful than love,
    gloats Roger Stone, and Bob is mostly guided
    by the distain he holds for those he earmarks
    as good, decent people. He would rather
    Trump successfully appoint himself dictator
    for life than admit Nicole Wallace got
    something correct.
    Again, let us hope he gets the
    help he needs.