Plus: Congress's embarrassing Fight Club
Regarding "Trump's Next Big Lie" - The Boomerang Strategy - Trump and the rightwing propaganda machine are both extremely clever in the way that they take what others are truthfully saying about him and/or about the radical right and co-opt the same language to falsely accuse their critics of the same exact things. If you truthfully describe Trump's behavior as "disgraceful" he will take the word and make "disgraceful" one of the insults he routinely uses to attack his opponents. Call him out for "weaponizing" the DOJ and he will grab that, turn it around, and claim that is what his opponents are doing if they call him to account for his crimes and misdeeds. Likewise, hold him responsible for his actions and he plays like he's the victim being unjustly persecuted.
Both Trump and rightwing propaganda peddlers routinely and skillfully project their own sins - whether it be lying or financial corruption - on their opposition. It's a way of turning truth inside out and upside down that is very difficult to fight because the facts and evidence that prove which side is telling the truth vs. which is twisting it are often not recognized or admitted by millions of voters who have lost touch with objective reality.
From 2015 on, Trump's dogwhistle said "Stick with me and you'll get the race war you've always fantasized about!" (And of course the religion war, and all the other murders they've wanted to see.) Every word out of his mouth meant (and still means) the same thing to his sTRUMPets, so it doesn't matter what he says. When the sTRUMPets repeat nonsense, there is no content at all, other than that they are just repeating the cheers they use to work each other and themselves into a murderous rage — exactly like shouts of "Sieg heil!" The promised race/religion war is the idol upon whose altar the sTRUMPets will gladly sacrifice their reason, their children, their parents and themselves. They would of course deny that vehemently, violently, but we should ignore what they say and watch what they do. It is certainly possible that they have repeated the lies so often and angrily that they have come to believe them, but really the content, and therefore their degree of belief, does not matter.
"I never thought I’d say this, but Bernie Sanders seems to be the voice of reason here,” Ingraham said. “Everything you just saw was a complete and utter embarrassment. It shouldn’t be what is projected to our kids from our nation’s Capitol."
Would anyone care to remind Ms Ingraham exactly how this growing chasm within the New GOP actually began -- or at least was grossly enlarged? If I recall, it was her, Hannity and Carlson, the big three of conservative TV early on in the beginning of the Amber Australopithecus' shitshow of an administration, before Newsmax and OAN skimmed off some of their viewers, did everything they could to cover for his obscene antics, and never backed off. Losing a large nine-figure lawsuit didn't stop Fox from allowing the bovine scat to continue to flow through their primetime programming, which went on to infect even those who were once considered responsible, honest journalists. Even when Carlson was fired Hannity and Ingraham continued beating the MAGA drum with apparent immunity from the Fox suits.
She had, and still has, a considerable responsibility for the ongoing clown show coming from the Psychiatric Facility Escapee Caucus and MAGAdroids in general.
What should we expect from members of a party slavishly enthralled to the most narcissistic superannuated toddler who's ever thrown a tantrum on the US political stage?
IOW, why should GQP childishness come as a surprise these days? It's not like GQP voters want to be represented by adults, but the pesky Constitution requires representatives to be 25 year old (chronologically) and senators 30.
So Chip Roy wants to know how to respond to constituents who demand to know why they haven't accomplished anything. Ooh ooh, I know!
Democracy. It's called democracy, which provides a mechanism for resolving differences and disagreements and which attempts to reflect majority opinion. MAGA constituents don't want to see any compromise or acceptance of majority views or spend time trying to craft bills that will actually pass, they just want flamethrowers and obstructionists whose only accomplishments are the clicks they get on the fund-raising emails and the joy their base takes in the fight.
We need adults and serious people and we're getting childish clowns and charlatans.
Are They Liars? Or Fools? They are both. Trump has normalized lying, and they are all fools for believing the lies.
I love George Conway. But something he said on yesterday's podcast was so incredibly wrong, I have to write. He said that it's hard to find good attorneys to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court b/c of the supposed low salary. He said that many first year associates make what SCT justices make.
As someone who has been an attorney for as long as George Conway, and who has spent much of my 35 years as an attorney looking for legal employment, I couldn't disagree more. SCT justices make $274K a year, with great benefits, great retirement and plenty of other perks. Conway said many first year associates make $274K a year. No, they absolutely do not. 99.99% of first year associates make nowhere near $274K and most won't come anywhere close to that level of compensation in their legal careers. Conway is living in an isolated world if he thinks the legal profession offers that type of compensation to first year attorneys.
When I left law school in 1987, new graduates wanted to go to private firms where they could make more money than they could in the public sector. What Conway doesn't understand is that has changed greatly since we were in law school. Private attorney salaries have been stagnant for decades, while public sector attorney salaries have soared far above the inflation rate. To today's law school graduates, public sector attorney jobs are often the much more desired career path.
Now I know lower federal court judges make much less salary than SCT justices. But still there is no shortage of attorneys, indeed quality attorneys, who wouldn't cut off their right arm to be appointed to a federal judgeship. It's lifetime employment, decent salary, great benefits, great retirement, and ton of prestige. If George Conway still insists people wouldn't leave law firm jobs for the federal bench, I would ask him this...how many federal judges have left the bench early to accept a partnership at a law firm? Only a handful of federal judges do that, even though they no doubt get plenty of offers. Instead, they stay on the federal bench for 10 years and then go into senior judge status, part-time work at full salary. Another nice perk.
I know this is an insider issue, but this misrepresentation of legal salaries is a huge pet peeve of mine. We have far too many people going to law school thinking they're going to be paid as if they were a doctor only to find themselves paid no better (or often worse) than an electrician or a plumber. Then they end up disillusioned, ending up leaving the legal profession while having to pay back huge student loans. A lot of this is as a result of people's misperception about legal salaries. Unfortunately, comments like those George made help feed that misperception.
Forgive me, George. Thank you for all you've done for those of us Republicans who oppose the Trumpification of our party.
Yesterday's heroes on the hill. Rep Moskowitz, who continued to prove how much better prepared the democrats are than the republicans. And Senator Bernie Sanders who was nothing short of Magnificent and I am not a Bernie Fan.
On the Israel/Hamas question of the dates Oct 7, 2023 and 7.10.23: In Europe, anyway, the dates are thus: day/month/year and not as Americans use month/day/year.
Simple take on Kari Lake: Pace the late philosopher Harry Frankfurt (his short, finely written book, On Bullshit, should be required reading for all), there are three kinds of speakers when one analyzes their relationship to truth. Two of them care about truth. Truth tellers have to know what is true and what is not. Liars are the same; one can't lie if one doesn't know what's true and what ain't. Bullshitters don't care. They say whatever comes into their heads that fits the moment or milieu. I'd take Ms. Lake as being opportunistically in the second category for some of what she says, but significantly in the third. DJT is the definition of the third.
Re: Awkward Details
So you're telling me no one bothered to actually translate the document from Arabic to English?
Pssst Israeli military folks have no issue translating Arabic, experienced journalists would see that as red flag #1.
Then you identify the fact that the schedule started on October 7. You know what else happened on October 7? Ummm Israel cut if fuel and electricity.
You think MAYBE an innocent and highly plausible explanation would be that they would have started scheduling on paper given that wasting limited generator juice on creating and accessing a schedule electronically would be wasteful, you know, given the fact that a dozen premie babies have already died as a result of the power and fuel embargo (which as a side note, is a fucking war crime as well, collective punishment).
These are questions a smart editor should have pointed out before publishing that embarassing piece.
There's an excellent post by Matt Yglesias today, "Antisemitism in America", https://www.slowboring.com/p/antisemitism-in-america, that I'd like to highlight.
As in much of his work, there's more data than emotion, and a lot more light than heat. I strongly recommend it, but encapsulated, it's that there's a lot less anti-Semitism on the Left, particularly among young people, than there appears to be.
It really is necessary to distinguish between speech that is anti-Semitic in intent and speech that is anti-Semitic in effect. The negative effects of both may be deplorable and require a firm response, but those who practice the second may be much more susceptible to education than those who practice the first. Moreover, the second was predictable from "within the cohort whose entire adult life has seen no meaningful final status negotiations", but instead witnessed Right-wing Israeli governments continuously expand settlements on the land that successive UN resolutions intend for a Palestinian state.
Ripping down posters of victims kidnapped by terrorists is a despicable thing. So is chanting "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" and pretending to be, or choosing to be, ignorant of what the slogan really means. Individuals who commit crimes should be punished for those crimes. But before people who do not commit actual crimes are doxed as anti-Semites, before they have job offers withdrawn or their future careers permanently affected, they deserve the chance to explain as individuals whether their actions really were based on hatred of Jews, or on the universal student, especially elite school student, cocktail of ignorance, arrogance, and self-regard. Ignorance can be cured by education and research, and many people grow out of the last two on their own. Not all the people who embarrassed themselves since October 7 really deserve lifelong labels as Haters.
I do not know if t***p and his entourage are true believers in the stolen election or not nor if that actually matters. There are those like the new house speaker who as nearly as I can tell basses his belief on the fact that a great number of election rules were changed in a number of states because of Covid, even though these changes were agreed upon ahead of time in these states by both parties. It was only after Biden won and only in the states Biden won that suddenly Republicans saw this as illegal a grave error or whatever. One of the states that made changes like this, NC, was not contested by Mr. Johnson and the bogus lawsuit, why you might ask. Because in NC those changes resulted in precisely the late absentee vote surge t***p needed to win.
The people who say that there is some equivalence between Trump and Biden-- that they are two sides of the same coin and that they represent right and left political extremes that are more or less equivalent distances from the center --are Trump voters, not Biden voters. This is the exact definition of "both-sidesism," which is a resident idea among the American Right, and not the Left. If these people don't vote for No Labels, they will vote for Trump in much greater numbers than for Biden. But these are the people to whom No Labels makes its overtures.
The No Labels pitch is that both Trump and Biden are too extreme, but that is an inherently conservative talking point. No Labels, especially with a Republican at the top of the ticket, is going to hurt Trump much, much more than Biden.
Similarly, RFK Jr appeals to Trump's base of MAGA voters far more than anyone who might vote for Biden. The majority of Americans see the clear danger of letting Trump back into government, and are prepared to vote for whomever the Democrats nominate, whether it's holding their nose for Biden or proudly doing so. They know that votes for any third party candidate work toward electing Trump.
It's my belief that if RFK Jr and No Labels are on the ballot next year, they will keep Trump under 40% in most states.
When the Statue of Liberty is finally demolished as being a symbol of "Left Wing Thuggery" nobody in America will be able to say they weren't warned.
Having helped people put their lives in order, I always include a discussion of the value of partnership and how and why learning relationship skills is important to thriving. Just like I teach about budgeting or how credit works or how to get an apartment.
I would never tell someone homeless, "Well, get an apartment!" and think my job was done. No, there are many steps that have to be taken in order to get an apartment if you're starting out in less than ideal circumstances. And it's the same with relationships. I feel the right sometimes does not grasp that people don't succeed in relationships not because they are being contrary and trying to annoy R's, but because it's a skill they need to learn.
Instead of investing in plans to teach people these skills, we have conservatives pointing to studies and saying, "See, we told you!" Yes, and..? It may surprise conservatives to know this but people who struggle are aware they need help.
For people who start out struggling, marriage carries financial risks with it. Marriage is the gold standard in relationships because it shows a higher level of trust or skill. What you see in married people is not smarter or more moral people, but more skilled. If conservatives are serious about creating more productive relationships, they'll stop getting so excited when pointing to the obvious and invest in helping people learn to navigate relationships successfully.