McConnell's position on government shutdown!

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Unmentioned by Rachel last night: There's no better way for a liberal to become underinformed than by watching Rachel Maddow. Last evening's hapless, then embarrassing outing provides a case in point.

The embarrassment started at 10 P.M., when Rachel and Lawrence staged the latest of their embarrassing "handover" conversations—conversations in which  Lawrence kisses Rachel's keister as her program ends and his program begins.

We'll review a few of those spectacles later in the week. For now, let's forget the embarrassment, turning instead to the lack of information emanating from last night's Maddow Show.

We refer to Our Own Rhodes Scholar's failure to explain the funding deadline which approaches this week. On the front page of today's Washington Post, Tony Romm explained this matter rather clearly, drawing  a crucial distinction which Rachel blew right past all during last night's dimwitted imitation of a "cable news" program.

In fact, two different funding deadlines are approaching. Romm explained the difference between them, then described Mitch McConnell's position on the two deadlines:

ROMM (9/28/21): The most urgent deadline is midnight Thursday, at which point Congress must adopt a measure to fund the government or some federal agencies and operations will shutter starting Friday morning. And lawmakers also must act before mid-October to raise the debt ceiling, or they could risk a first-ever default, potentially destabilizing global markets.

In the hours before the Monday evening vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staked his party’s position—that Republicans are not willing to vote for any measure that raises or suspends the debt ceiling, even if they have no intentions of shutting down the government in the process. GOP lawmakers say raising the borrowing limit, which allows the country to pay its bills, would enable Biden and his Democratic allies to pursue trillions in additional spending and other policy changes they do not support.

“We will support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown,” said McConnell, who has called on Democrats to use their narrow but potent majorities to address the debt ceiling on their own. “We will not provide Republican votes for raising the debt limit.”

Romm is able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Thanks to this skill, he was able to describe the two different deadlines which are approaching:

Deadline this Thursday at midnight: By midnight Thursday, Congress must adopt a measure to fund the government or some federal agencies and operations will shutter starting Friday morning. 

That's one of the approaching deadlines. The other deadline is this:

Deadline in mid-October: By mid-October, Congress must act to raise the debt ceiling, or they could risk a first-ever default, potentially destabilizing global markets.

The second deadline is more consequential. The first arrives this week. 

Regarding McConnell's position on these (two) approaching deadlines, Romm reports the distinction which Rachel blew past in the forty minutes she devoted to budget issues last night:

McConnell has said that Senate Republicans will "support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown" this week. He has also said that Senate Republicans won't vote to raise the debt ceiling—to address the deadline which comes due next month.

We aren't telling you that this is good policy on McConnell's part. We're merely telling you that these are the positions he has stated.

Yesterday's "no" votes by Senate Republicans reflected the fact that the bill under consideration addressed both approaching deadlines. McConnell has said that Republicans will support a "clean" bill to address this week's deadline. 

(In this context, a "clean" bill would be a bill which addresses this week's deadline and nothing else.)

This brings us to Maddow's latest imitation of journalism. Last night, she idiocized and propagandized her way through her program's first forty minutes, focused entirely on budget issues, including the two we've cited.

That said, she never managed to draw the distinction between these two approaching deadlines. Most specifically, she never explained that McConnell has expressed support for addressing the deadline which approaches this week.

Was Rachel being dishonest / disingenuous, or was she simply uninformed? She mugged and clowned in various ways as her latest imitation of journalism proceeded, but we can't tell you what she knew as her latest failed effort proceeded.

Rachel will soon be leaving nightly journalism. This will serve as a major gift to any honest liberal. 

Such people got underinformed by Rachel again last night. Sadly, there's absolutely nothing new about such failed performance.

At 10 P.M., the latest embarrassment with Lawrence began. At some point,  this pseudo-journalistic clown show is slated to reach its end.

Concerning the timing: When did McConnell state his position on the two impending deadlines?

We can't say with precision. That said, Romm's report was filed at 6:57 P.M., two hours before Maddow's show went on the air. 

(She opened with a standard six minutes designed to reassure viewers that The Others Are Much, Much Dumber Than We Are and that Nancy Is Just Extremely Smart. We'll guess that market research has shown that her viewers enjoy this type of twaddle.)

Meanwhile, the distinction between the impending deadlines was clearly explained on Anderson Cooper's 8 P.M. program, even as Cooper raced to finish his opening segment so he could transition to endless, pointless chatter about the death of Gabby Petito. Everyone knows about the difference between the two deadlines—everyone but the unfortunate people who watch the Maddow Show.

Maddow didn't seem to know much; Cooper wanted to talk about young woman who was a widely-discussed missing person, even though there was nothing new to say about the ongoing case. This is the pablum we viewers are served by anti-Trump corporate cable as our failing society wheezes and groans toward its appointed end.

Hat tip concerning impending demise: Cassandra, daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba and fraternal twin sister of Helenus


STOPPED MAKING SENSE: Our own tribe's discourse has stopped making sense!

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Crazy, daft all the way down: An un-funny thing happened in Saturday's Washington Post.

We're referring to the famous newspaper's print editions. On page A2, a news report described the situation involving Haitian migrants near Del Rio, Texas. In paragraphs 5-7, this account was offered:

SONMEZ AND MIROFF (9/25/21): The deportations of Black Haitians seeking asylum—and the viral images and videos of White Border Patrol agents grabbing and shouting at them—drew sharp rebukes from Black Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Earlier in the day, Biden decried the migrants’ treatment. Agents were photographed and filmed by news crews cursing at the Haitians and attempting to force them back across the river to Mexico, at times charging with their horses and swinging their leather reins.

There has been no evidence that agents stuck [sic] any of the migrants or used “whips” as some claimed.

A peculiar claim can be seen lurking in that passage. Weirdly, Sonmez and Miroff reported that some Democrats were angry about the fact that border patrol agents had "shouted at" some of the migrants.

Some of the border patrol agents had shouted at some of the migrants! According to the news report, this shouting had drawn sharp rebukes from some Democratic pols.

That said, there had been "no evidence that agents struck any of the migrants," the Post was now reporting.  Also, there had been no evidence that agents had used "whips," as some people had claimed.

There was no evidence that migrants had been struck. There was no evidence that agents had used whips.

Correction! There was no evidence of such behaviors until you turned to page A19 of those same print editions. On that page, columnist Colbert King could be found saying this:

KING (9/25/21): Who would have thought, on Inauguration Day, that a mere eight months down the road President Biden would be faced with: a Haitian migrant crisis on the southern border; schisms in his party that threaten his plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and improve health, education and safety-net programs; a rupture with the French over a new U.S.-Australia defense pact...

[...]

The United States’ relations with France will endure. However, in the handling of Haitian migrants, the administration is coming across as its own worst enemy. What kind of government would tolerate for one second mounted Border Patrol agents using horse reins like whips to control Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Tex.?

On page A2, there was no evidence that any migrants had been struck at all, let alone struck with whips. 

But so what? On page A19, mounted Border Patrol agents had been "using horse reins like whips" to control the migrants, and King was strongly suggesting that the Biden administration had somehow "tolerated" this.

So it went on Saturday morning in the Washington Post. For what it's worth, a news report in that morning's New York Times also suggested that earlier reports about the use of whips had been erroneous.

"A photographer on the scene had said publicly that agents had not been using their reins to whip migrants, as had been widely speculated," the Times reporters reported. For the record, this was a change from the original version of their report, which has now been formally corrected.

Meanwhile, the corrected New York Times report still included the fact that Vice President Harris "had likened the pictures of agents on horseback to slavery." Without explanation, a photo caption offered this nugget:

President Biden vowed to hold the agents accountable who chased Haitian migrants on horseback as they tried to cross the Rio Grande into Texas from Mexico on Saturday.

Aren't border agents supposed to "chase" migrants if they're crossing the Rio Grande into Texas without authorization? Such questions went unexplained in the Times' news report—and as the Post's report continued, President Biden was quoted saying this:

SONMEZ AND MIROFF (continuing directly from above): “It was horrible,” the president said. “To see people treated like they did? Horses running them over and people being strapped? It's outrageous and I promise you, those people will pay.”

Had migrants been run over by horses and strapped? That's what the president was quoted saying in the Post report, even as Colbert King seemed to suggest that Biden, or at least his administration, had tolerated such conduct.

Welcome to the wonderful world of a rapidly failing culture! By now, efforts have been made to sift through the thrilling tribal excitement concerning the alleged use of whips, or the alleged use or reins as whip, or the claim that people had been run over by horses, or had even been shouted at.

Yesterday, Max Boot attempted to sort these matters out in the Washington Post, though his column has only appeared online. Kevin Drum offered a substantial excerpt from Boot's column while offering this assessment:

DRUM (9/27/21): I doubt that an investigation will show that CBP officers did anything wrong in their treatment of Haitian immigrants. It made a big impact thanks to a single picture that gave a seriously mistaken impression, but video suggests there was nothing very unusual about the situation.

Did officers do anything wrong in their treatment of the migrants? Was there anything "very unusual" about the isolated events at the border which had been captured in a single viral photograph—a single photograph which our own flailing and failing anti-Trump tribe found especially thrilling?

People can judge such matters for themselves. For now, we'll briefly return to Saturday's Washington Post:

On page A2, readers were told that there was no evidence that migrants had been struck at all, let alone that any agents had been using whips. 

But on page A19, on that very same day, a leading figure at the Post was telling readers something quite different—and he angrily suggested that the Biden Admin had tolerated the whipping of migrants.

Two days later, there was Charles Blow, in Monday's New York Times. Blow was still howling about "the outrageous images of agents on horseback herding the migrants like cattle." 

Using the private language of our failing, barely-competent tribe, Blow referred to the migrants as "Black bodies" rather than as people. According to experts, this is the way we humans behave as our societies die.

In fairness, awkward juxtapositions can occur as information emerges about some incident. Perhaps it isn't "very unusual" that Colbert King was saying one thing on Saturday morning, even as his own newspaper's news report was saying something quite different.

That said, something has been "very unusual" about this event, or at least that would be the case in a dimly rational world. We refer to the lunatic way the liberal / progressive / anti-Trump world reacted to that one photograph involving that one border patrol agent. 

Beyond that,  we refer to the slippery, disingenuous was our liberal thought leaders are still pimping their original impressions concerning this incident.

As we learn that no one was actually whipped, we're asked to be upset to think that unauthorized migrants were "chased," even "shouted at." At New York magazine, Sarah Jones—she once inspired so much hope!—offered this as our silly and failing progressive world emitted its many death rattles:

JONES (9/23/21): Some images burn themselves into the brain. In this one, a U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback lashes a whip near the face of a Haitian migrant; Reuters reports he later grabbed a man by the shirt. The migrants on our border are fleeing poverty and political chaos; they seek the same future we all want for ourselves. They have found a violent welcome in Joe Biden’s America. Asked to comment on the use of whips by border agents, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she did not think “anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate.”

Jones included the photo of the (one) agent on horseback—the photo which launched a thousand breakdowns.

In fairness to Jones, it may be that she still believed, at that point, that "agents" (plural) were lashing "whips" (plural) in the incident which had generated that one photograph of that one border agent—that agents (plural) were doing this "in Joe Biden's America."

That said, we offer this to note the insanity which grips human populations as their societies come to an end—the insanity involved when Jones complains about that Reuters report, in which it was said that a border patrol agent had grabbed someone's shirt.

Reportedly, a law enforcement officer had grabbed someone's shirt! As our failing tribe slides toward the sea, that's the sort of thing our thought leaders rail against—"in Joe Biden's America," no less.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our tribe is now nearly insane. In the particular matter under review, we're commenting on our tribe's crazy reactions to an incident which might seem to involve a matter of race. 

That said, the dimwitted nuttiness of our upper-end tribal discourse is all around us now, if we're just willing to look. Our discourse stopped making sense long ago. Our behavior rapidly is spiraling downwards, if we're just willing to look.

We'll offer examples this week. We hope to move, with deliberate speed, to the increasingly nutty conversations between Rachel and Lawrence, and to the studied lunacy of Our Own Rhodes Scholar herself.

As we do, we'll also make reference to Robert Kagan's lengthy, widely-cited essay in Sunday's Washington Post. We're on the eve of destruction, Kagan said—and we'd have to say that he understated the nature and sweep of the challenge.

Our own vastly self-impressed tribe is failing very fast. The Crazy is quite widespread among the pro-Trump population, but the behaviors on display in Our Town are increasingly dim, addled, silly, near-hysterical, "very unusual," daft.

It's all right there if we're willing to see it. Anthropologists insist that we aren't.

Coming: As Kagan paints a frightening picture, Rachel and Lawrence cavort


STARTING TOMORROW: Rachel, Donald and Robert (Kagan)!

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

But appearing today, Charles Blow: A troubling fact has become fairly clear within, let's say, the past decade:

Enlightenment values are extremely "last millennium" within our failing culture, even within our own  blue tribe. 

This fact becomes more and more evident as the days tick by. For one more example, consider Charles Blow's new column. Also, consider what two commenters said.

What should President Biden, and the Biden Administration, have done? What should they have done  in response to the recent, rather sudden arrival of a large number of Haitian migrants at the Southwest border near Del Rio, Texas?

We can't answer that very good question. In our view, reporting of this sudden event has been remarkably fuzzy, even by prevailing norms.

We do know this:

At the start of the coverage of this incident. a photograph was widely misreported and misunderstood. This produced enormous amounts of outrage. For Kevin Drum's presentation of this matter, including the relevant videotape, you can just click here.

We also know this:

Once the misunderstanding was clarified, a wide range of liberal and progressive "thought leaders" cleaned the cupboard of slippery language as they worked, around the clock, to keep misperception and outrage alive.

Inevitably, Blow follows suit in this morning's column. His slippery, misleading, emotional language appears in this passage:

BLOW (9/27/21): Yes, there were the outrageous images of agents on horseback herding the migrants like cattle, and there was also the administration aggressively deporting the migrants back to Haiti.

In Blow's emotionally-charged rendition, immigration officers were "herding the migrants like cattle." In such ways, tribal beings—humans like us—strain to keep outrage alive.

Full disclosure:

We weren't shocked to learn that law enforcement officials on the Southwest border sometimes work on horseback. 

Mounted police have routinely operated in northeastern cities. In our experience, this dates all the way to the street-fighting 1960s, when mounted police would be used to disperse crowds of (overwhelmingly "white") antiwar protesters.

It's hardly surprising to think that law enforcement would also work on horseback in the desert Southwest. To us, it doesn't seem like a "racial" play—but our tribe's various human beings have stripped the cupboard of emotionally-charged and deceptive language as they fight to perform their Storyline in the current circumstance.

In Blow's rendition, the mounted police were "herding the migrants like cattle." This is the sort of thing it may take to keep tribal outrage alive.

As for Blow, he's deeply upset, as he always is. 

His headline says this: "Joe Biden's mendacity." Soon, he's offering this account of his reaction to those "outrageous images:":

BLOW: Yes, there were the outrageous images of agents on horseback herding the migrants like cattle, and there was also the administration aggressively deporting the migrants back to Haiti.

When I see those Black bodies at the border, I am unable to separate them from myself, or my family, or my friends. They are us. There is a collective consciousness in blackness, born of the white supremacist erasure of our individuality.

Your accomplishment is never your own, but a credit to the race. Your sins are never your own, but a stain on the race. In America, and throughout the diaspora, all Black people are linked together like a chain of paper dolls.

So it has been incredibly painful to witness the treatment of the Haitians, and it has been impossible not to recoil in disgust or burn with outrage. And to think, “This is happening on Joe Biden’s watch.”

When Blow sees those "outrageous images" of the "herding" of those "Black bodies" (Tribal Private Language alert!),  he reports that he is "unable to separate [the Haitian migrants] from himself or from his family and friends."

We're supposed to admire this inability. We'll report a different reaction.

In fact, those unfortunate migrants aren't the deeply "privileged" Blow, his family or his friends. They're a very different group, a group of very unfortunate people, in a very different type of situation. 

That said, Blow is "unable to" keep this distinction in mind. For this reason, he says "it has been impossible not to burn with outrage" at the images in question—images he isn't willing to describe in a reasonably straightforward way.

It isn't clear that those mounted police did anything wrong in the incident which was photographed and videotaped. If they did do something wrong, Blow doesn't explain what it was. At times like these, why bother!

One (highly selective) photograph inspired a great deal of rage. And, at times of tribal war, we burn to keep rage alive.

Even as he keeps pretending that those officers treated the migrants like cattle, Blow seems to blame Biden for their alleged offence. In the larger sense, what should the Biden administration have done with respect to this large group of migrants?

You're asking a very good question! Below, you see the outraged Blow's (lack of) response:

BLOW: It seems to me that Biden tried to simultaneously eliminate the horrible optics the migrants present, and to do so as quickly as possible, and at the same time blunt the already loud criticism from Republicans that he is mishandling immigration and has an open-borders policy. (No wonder, then, that the migrant encampment beneath the Del Rio bridge has already been cleared.)

But those Republicans cannot be appeased. No matter what direction Biden takes they will condemn it. So why not take the moral path, the righteous path, the ethical path?

According to Blow, Biden and his administration should have "take[n] the moral path, the righteous path, the ethical path." 

That said, what was the moral, righteous and ethical path? Married to his sacred outrage, Blow never bothers to say!

At times like these, the center cannot hold. The worst are full of passionate intensity, but so is almost everyone else.

The deep emotions Blow reports are one of the many poisoned fruits of this nation's brutal racial history. That said, his self-reported fact—the fact that he can't see past his emotional reactions—explains why Enlightenment values have ceased to exist for him, as for almost everyone else.

Our own blue tribe has lost its way. There's no sign that we'll be finding our way back, or that the nation's center will be able to hold.

Inevitably, one early commenter to Blow's column said this. This is The Crazy on stilts:

COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK CITY: You know you are in trouble when a liberal progressive like Charles Blow is against you.  Is Joe Biden now a friend or foe to black people?  I would guess the latter. But, of course, only a black person can answer this honestly.

The highlighted statement is crazy. It's also a tribute to our tribe's sole surviving God—to the jealous god, Identity.

A second commenter offers this. Reactions like these have lost the war within our own blue tribe:

COMMENTER FROM CALIFORNIA: Perhaps Charles Blow needs to stop focusing so much on identity. We’ve been shipping non-black migrants home in their thousands for decades. But suddenly a bunch of black migrants, and he gets up in arms. The problem with this issue is, people don’t try to come here unless they think they can get in. If you let them think they’re getting in as long as they show up, what happened last week is inevitable. There’s no shortage of migrants—most seeking the same economic opportunities my great grandparents did—who would undertake this dangerous journey, with limited understanding of the risks and the ultimate (lack of) rewards, if the barrier for entry was dropped. I’m not sure what people want on the left—political suicide by just letting people in, encouraging more to come? I just don’t know how this could be dealt with other than how it was.

The commenter says he doesn’t know "how this could be dealt with other than how it was."

Nowhere in his column, as he flips out, does Blow attempt to address that obvious question. As is often true as we humans move to war, it's outrage all the way down.

The Times should have given Blow a rest a long time ago. His emotions may be understandable, but they defeat the journalistic purpose.

That said, Our Own Blue Tribe seems unable to grasp the danger of the moment. Starting tomorrow, we'll examine that problem all week. We'll focus on Rachel Maddow, plus a Donald and a Robert

The Donald will be Donald J. Trump, a deeply disordered figure. The Robert will be the man who wrote this widely cited essay, an essay which actually understates the problem we're all facing.

Tomorrow: We'll start last Thursday night


Even as the Times gets it right...

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2021

...Rachel entertains us: In our view, Epstein and Corasaniti did an excellent job with yesterday's Arizona / Cyber Ninjas "election audit" presentation.

Their news report appears in this morning's New York Times. As they start, they note that the ridiculous group with the stupid name reported / acknowledged a basic fact:

Joe Biden really did defeat Donald J. Trump in Maricopa County!

They start their news report with that basic fact. Quickly, though, they move to the deeply troubling place where the rubber is meeting the road. This is the current problem we're all living with:

EPSTEIN AND CORASANITI (9/25/21): Significant parts of the right treated the completion of the Arizona review as a vindication—offering a fresh canard to justify an accelerated push for new voting limits and measures to give Republican state lawmakers greater control over elections. It also provided additional fuel for the older lie that is now central to Mr. Trump’s political identity: that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
“The leaked report conclusively shows there were enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over,” Mr. Trump said in a statement early Friday evening, one of seven he had issued about Arizona since late Thursday. “There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated!”

For Mr. Trump, Republican candidates vying to appeal to voters in primary races, and conservative activists agitating for election reviews in their own states, the 91-page document served as something of a choose-your-own-adventure guide. These leaders encouraged their supporters to avert their eyes from the conclusion that Mr. Biden had indeed won legitimately, and to instead focus on fodder for a new set of conspiracy theories.

Sad but true—and also, extremely important. According to this news report, "significant parts of the right," including the aforementioned Mr. Trump, are now "treat[ing] the completion of the Arizona review as a vindication."

Trump is saying it proves his case—and vast numbers of people are going to believe him!

In such ways, The Other Tribe is engaging in a type of "epistemic secession." It's very, very hard to see how the American experiment, such as it is, will find a way to survive this ongoing mess.

The Other Tribe is deeply involved in an "epistemic secession." This bizarre behavior is largely enabled by the rise of modern technologies and modes of interaction—talk radio; cable news; the Internet; social media—but its ongoing success reflects the deepest realms of pre-rational, highly tribal human mental impulse.

That tribal imperative is now in the saddle among The Other Tribe. That said, Our Own Tribe is bowing to those same human impulses. This was evident as we watched Rachel Maddow mug and clown and reassure / entertain our own failing tribe last night

Maddow is Our Own Rhodes Scholar and Our Eternal Child. For her, the release of the Arizona report was mainly a cause for hilarity last night. 

The Times reporters quickly stressed the disturbing underside of this event. By way of contrast, Maddow opened her program with a very large dose of her standard clowning and tribal reassurance. 

Fourteen minutes into this performance, she summed it up as shown:

MADDOW (9/24/21): But we're back to where this started. Which is that it is hilarious.

[PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER] 

And you can't take that away from me.

Maddow's performance continued from there. But no one will rob Our Eternal Child of her sense that matters like this are mainly hilarious.

No one is going to take that away from her! Jon Stewart told her to stop doing this long ago—that her job was more important than this. She told him that she wouldn't.

We expect to focus on last night's performance in our reports next week. We'll also mention the parts of Maddow's performance in which she mentioned the troubling side of the Cyber Ninjas report.

With that in mind, we'll leave it here for now. But even as The Other Tribe bows to Trump's reign of crazy misstatement, Our Own Tribe has never been able to quit this Eternal Child.

Meanwhile, we have our own sprawling performance of epistemic secession, a performance which largely concerns deeply important matters of gender and race. Again and again, our devotion to this regime leaves us saying the darnedest things. 

This helps harden the epistemic secession underway in The Other Tribe. The Others think our statements are nutty or even dishonest. All too often, it's hard to say that The Others are wrong.

More on these tribal secessions next week. These dueling secessions are very dangerous.

"Hilarious," Our Own Scholar said!