SHORT WEEK, SHARP DECLINE: Hillary Clinton’s appalling demands!


Part 3—The Washington Post, then Slate:
Paul Krugman still doesn’t get it.

In this morning’s column, Krugman traffics in facts and information. He has been writing such columns ever since 1999, when he tried, three separate times, to explain the way in which Candidate Bush was misstating his own budget plan.

Krugman doesn’t get it! Our society’s modern post-journalism doesn’t deal in information and facts. Our “journalism” deals in the swill which appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post.

The Post’s Thanksgiving morning report swallowed most of page A2. It gobbled 1414 words, eating some 32 paragraphs.

Like so much that has come before it, the report was narrative all the way down. It was prepared by Rosalind Helderman (Harvard 2001) and Philip Rucker (Yale 2006), the kinds of beasts who are now being churned, for corporate use, by those failed institutions.

In their deathless “news report,” Helderman and Rucker detailed the many vile demands of public speaker Hillary Clinton. The lengthy piece extended a remarkable series of attacks launched by the Post this summer.

Yesterday, this is the way the deathless report was pimped on the Post’s web site:
A rare glimpse into Hillary Clinton’s lucrative speeches
Rosalind S. Helderman and Philip Rucker
For a $300,000 speech at UCLA, Clinton reps made many demands about the stage and green-room.
Clinton reps made many demands about the stage and the green room! Early on, the intrepid reporters began to detail those demands.

The children relied on e-mails they had obtained through (brace yourselves!) a Freedom of Information request. Warning! Don’t be stampeded by such slippery words as “all-consuming:”
HELDERMAN AND RUCKER (11/27/14): At UCLA, efforts to book Clinton and then prepare for her visit were all-consuming, beginning almost immediately after she left her job as secretary of state on Feb. 1, 2013, until she delivered her Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership speech on March 5, 2014.

The documents show that Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency exerted considerable control over her appearance and managed even the smallest details—from requesting lemon wedges and water on stage to a computer, scanner, and a spread of hummus and crudité in the green room backstage.
If we’re reading that correctly, Clinton’s reps even demanded that she be given water! They demanded “a spread of hummus and crudité”—that is to say, a plate of carrot sticks.

The nation is being badly conned when “journalists” behave in these ways. But as they continued, the Ivy League tools continued to list the outrages.

Warning! Don’t be stampeded by such slippery terms as “at length” and “lengthy:”
HELDERMAN AND RUCKER (continuing directly): Top university officials discussed at length the style and color of the executive armchairs Clinton and moderator Lynn Vavreck would sit in as they carried on a question-and-answer session, as well as the kind of pillows to be situated on each chair. Clinton’s representatives requested that the chairs be outfitted with two long, rectangular pillows—and that two cushions be kept backstage in case the chair was too deep and she needed additional back support.

After a lengthy call with a Clinton representative, UCLA administrator Patricia Lippert reported to campus colleagues, “She uses a lavalier [microphone] and will both speak from the audience and walk around stage, TED talk style. We need a teleprompter and 2-3 downstage scrolling monitors [for] her to read from.”
If we’re reading that correctly, Clinton reps demanded the use of a lavalier and a teleprompter! In these modern times, this is roughly as shocking as a demand that lights be turned on in the hall.

(Warning! Did you note what the children didn’t say? They didn’t say that Clinton’s reps engaged “at length” in the discussion of those “executive armchairs.” Did readers possibly get misled by their somewhat slippery construction?)

As they plowed through their endless report, the children listed many other “special accommodations” for Clinton’s UCLA speech. Given what modern press corps children are like, it’s possible that they actually didn’t understand the request we highlight:
HELDERMAN AND RUCKER: It is commonplace for celebrity speakers to request special accommodations—and Clinton was no exception. Her representatives asked for a case of still water, room temperature, to be deposited stage right. They also asked that “a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer, pitcher of room temperature water, water glass, and lemon wedges” be situated both on a table on stage as well as in another room where Clinton would stand for photos with VIPs.

For the green room, Clinton’s representatives requested: “Coffee, tea, room temp sparkling and still water, diet ginger ale, crudité, hummus and sliced fruit.” They also asked for a computer, mouse and printer, as well as a scanner, which the university had to purchase for the occasion.

When university officials decided to award Clinton the UCLA Medal, Clinton’s team asked that it be presented to her in a box rather than draped around her neck. That request was sent to the university’s chancellor, Gene Block.

“Chancellor Block has agreed to accommodate Hillary Clinton’s request to have the medal presented in a box,” Assistant Provost Margaret Leal-Sotelo wrote in one e-mail.
Why did Clinton want her medal presented in a box, rather than draped around her neck?

If you can’t imagine a reason for that, you simply don’t understand the world in which we all live. Meanwhile, note the other special accommodations demanded by Clinton reps:

They wanted water on stage and in her dressing room! They wanted sliced fruit in the green room! They wanted ginger ale!

Why is the Washington Post publishing swill of this type? Not being mind-readers, we can’t precisely tell you.

But if this type of “news report” doesn’t seem familiar to you, you may not understand the world in which we all live. The Post has been publishing such reports for a great many years now.

Yesterday morning, this nonsense jumped to Slate. The report by the hapless Daniel Politi appeared beneath this screaming headline:

“A List of Hillary Clinton’s Demands to Accept $300,000 for a University Speech”

Politi has been at Slate since 2004; he may be the world’s slowest child. Obediently, he listed all the troubling demands, including the demands for water, chairs and carrot sticks.

Predictably, this touched of a wave of low-IQ comments about removing the brown M-n-M’s from the basket—exactly the reaction this whole thing was designed to create.

Let us note one basic way in which Politi went beyond the work of the other children:

In the Post, Helderman and Rucker did perform the bare essentials. At the end of paragraph 10, they fleetingly noted that Clinton’s speaking fee went to the Clinton Foundation.

In paragraph 22, they noted that the fee was “funded through a private endowment and not with tuition or public dollars.”

Politi omitted both points, as was intended by his siblings. This touched off waves of low-IQ comments at Slate about the way Clinton was enriching herself by stealing the children’s tuitions.

Can we talk?

Judged as journalism, that lengthy piece in the Washington Post is about as dumb as “modern dumb” gets. It’s stunning to think that a pair of privileged children would actually file a FOI request so they could thumb through piles of emails to bring us news about the fact that Clinton eats fruit and carrot sticks (disguised as crudité).

That said, this is very familiar work. The Post and the Times have aimed reams of such work at disapproved candidates in the past.

They’ve changed world history in the process. The liberal world has tended to remain very quiet as this happens, and in the long deadly aftermath.

Nothing is likely to change as the Post conducts its newest jihad against a disfavored (potential) candidate. In particular, Rachel won’t breathe a word about this. She writes once a month for the Washington Post. Her branding must be secured.

Clinton demanded water and chairs. The Post thought you should know that.

SHORT WEEK, SHARP DECLINE: The painful discussions of Morning Joe!


Part 2—Harvard professor “explains:”
It’s hard to fathom the sheer inanity of our journalistic elites.

Sometimes they call in the Harvard professors; often, this makes matters worse. Consider Dr. Laura McNeal’s performance on today’s Morning Joe.

The gang had already discussed the finding of the grand jury in Ferguson, with Willie Geist Jr. showing, again, that he knows the right things to say but hasn’t done basic homework.

Eventually, Mika summoned the expert. To watch this segment, click here:
BRZEZINSKI (11/26/14): Joining us now from Atlanta, law policy analyst at Harvard Law School and assistant law professor at the University of Louisville, Dr. Laura McNeal.

You’ve worked closely with police departments on how to work with youth in urban communities. First of all, what do you make of the interview with Officer Wilson, and do you feel that he answered to some of the really screaming questions out there in terms of race and how he treated Michael Brown right before his death?
Mika referred to Wilson's interview with George Stephanopoulos. Needless to say, Professor McNeal found the interview “quite disturbing.”

Below, she starts explaining why. Do you notice anything about the way she recounts the basic events which ended in Michael Brown's death?
PROFESSOR MCNEAL (continuing directly): I found Officer Wilson’s interview to be quite disturbing, to be honest. He stated that he could not have done anything differently. But if you consider you have an unarmed teen walking, jay-walking, in the street, with a handful of cigarillos that ends up on the floor in the middle of the street in a pool of blood dead, clearly he could have done something differently.

And so I also found it disturbing that he seems to have such little remorse. I mean, there is a loss of a child’s life and he just seemed very almost stoic with respect to his response.
The professor engaged in a familiar form of story-telling. In her account of what happened that day, an unarmed teen was jay-walking with cigarillos. He then ended up dead in the street.

That account eliminates such parts of the story as may reflect poorly on Brown. As we’ve seen in the past, this is a story-telling technique of the propagandist.

That said, the professor said that Officer Wilson “clearly could have done something differently” that day. In the most obvious sense, that’s plainly true, of course.

But what should Wilson have done that day? For the first of several times, Scarborough chose to take the plunge.

His question led straight to the M-word:
SCARBOROUGH (continuing directly): What could he have done differently that day?

MCNEAL: Well, part of the problem is what the tragic death of Michael Brown represents is the practice of using adult policing practices on youth. Currently here in the United States, very few police departments actually include training on things such as youth developmental competence, meaning how do you de-escalate a situation from jay-walking to keep it from escalating to the point of murder?
Warning! As this segment proceeded, Brown proceeded from a “teen” to a “youth” to a “child.” We’ve also discussed that practice in the past.

At any rate, ninety seconds into the segment, the professor had dropped the M-bomb. Because Wilson hadn’t been trained, he had committed a murder!

No one questioned the professor’s use of that word. That said, Scarborough tried, two more times, to get her to specify what Wilson should have done differently. At the end of the six-minute segment, Geist Jr. also gave it a try.

In our view, those questions for Professor McNeal produced one of the most fatuous segments we’ve seen in some time. Here’s why we say that:

None of these people actually know what happened that day. Did Wilson speak rudely to Brown, or did he speak politely? Did Brown attack Wilson in the way Wilson described, or did something different occur?

The professor has no real idea, but she seemed to have no idea that she has no real idea. She just kept churning her true belief concerning what Wilson should have done.

We suggest you watch that horrible segment and weep for the fate of your nation. One word of warning:

If you watch the segment, you’ll see the professor say that Wilson evinced some “implicit bias,” some “unconscious biases,” during his interview with Stephanopoulos. You’ll see Katty Kay jump in to say that the professor is “absolutely right.”

Our question:

Is it possible that Kay’s reactions to these events are driven by some sort of “unconscious biases?” Such thoughts rarely trouble the spotless minds of upper-class players like Kay.

All around the world, the upper classes have always behaved in these ways. They can always spot the unconscious biases of those in the lower classes.

This panel’s silly, scripted discussions were hard to watch this day. We strongly suggest that you review the professor’s words of advice.

Supplemental: Punished for wearing a hoodie while black!


Post tells familiar story:
Yesterday morning’s Washington Post included a fascinating letter.

It came from a reader who became upset while reading a recent column by Ruth Marcus. Marcus’ column started like this:
MARCUS (11/16/14): Reginald Latson’s path to solitary confinement began four years ago as he waited for the public library to open in Stafford County, Va.

Latson, known as Neli, has an IQ of 69 and is autistic. Teachers and therapists describe him as generally sweet and eager to please.

He is also a black man, now 22, who on the day in question was wearing a hoodie—which prompted a concerned citizen to call police
about a suspicious person loitering outside the library.
According to Marcus, Reginald Latson, then 18, was wearing a hoodie as he waited for the library to open. His hoodie prompted a concerned citizen to telephone the police.

Four years later, Latson remains in jail, in solitary confinement. Marcus’ column concerns the way people with autism are treated by the law.

As a general matter, Marcus’ column may well make good suggestions. Still, one reader was disturbed by the role the hoodie played in this tale.

She wrote a letter to the Post. Eye-catching headline included, here’s what her letter said:
Punished for wearing hoodie while black

I cried as I read the story of Reginald Latson in Ruth Marcus’s Nov. 16 op-ed column, “Cruel and unusual punishment for the autistic.”
This tragedy began with a call to the police by a neighbor who deemed suspicious the sight of a black male wearing a hoodie waiting outside a library. What about this sight raised suspicion?

Was he wandering around the building in an apparent attempt to break in? Was he trying windows and doors? Was he trying to break a window? No. Apparently, a black male standing in front of a building in a hoodie is cause for suspicion.

Mr. Latson’s autism is characterized by rigid thinking and exaggerated fight or flight instincts. He attempted to flee when questioned by the police. He was placed in a choke hold and began to fight. Four years later, he’s incarcerated in solitary confinement—cruel and unusual punishment merely for being autistic.

As a black woman whose son, stepsons, nephews and friends’ children also wear hoodies and who wait in front of buildings, I also feel compelled to point out that one’s physical appearance should not be adequate cause for suspicion. We need to become a society ready to look beyond appearances to specific behavior.

What if the neighbor who made the ill-advised call had learned to look beyond a hoodie and a man’s skin color? The call might never have been made, and this person would instead have seen Mr. Latson peaceably enter the library when it opened. What if the dispatcher who responded to the call had asked more questions to determine whether Mr. Latson’s behavior or actions seemed suspicious? Perhaps the officers might never have been sent—and Mr. Latson would be spending his days at home.
This reader cried as she read about the young man who was “punished for wearing a hoodie while black.” Her letter appeared in yesterday’s Post. Plainly, the letter advances the assumptions Marcus encouraged at the start of her column.

Can people get punished for wearing a hoodie while black? Obviously, this narrative became familiar during the public discussion of the killing of Trayvon Martin. Marcus was ringing familiar bells at the start of her column.

Yesterday’s letter made us curious. What was the fuller story behind this incident, which dates to 2010?

Starting with yesterday’s letter, we began to click back through the reporting which has appeared in the Post. It gave us our latest lesson about an important question:

Where do narratives come from?

You can click back through that material too. Tomorrow, we’ll show you what we found when we did.

SHORT WEEK/SHARP DECLINE: A warning from Blow!


Part 1—Katie McDonough knows all:
To her credit, Katie McDonough knows everything.

We were struck by this fact all over again when we turned to Salon this morning.

The youngish McDonough is billed as “Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice.” That said, she also seems to know everything about pretty much everything else.

In this morning’s revelations, she knows what would have been fair and just in the case of Michel Brown—and in the case of Marissa Alexander.

Her descriptions of these cases may seem a bit selective to some, but she knows what would have been fair and just. Not long ago, we marveled at her apparent omniscience concerning NFL personnel issues.

In tribal culture, tribal priests will emerge with these types of omniscience. At the start of yesterday’s column, Charles Blow warned us liberals about the things we must never let ourselves think:
BLOW (11/24/14): Bigger Than Immigration

Don’t let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don’t allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.

This hostility and animosity toward this president is, in fact, larger than this president. This is about systems of power and the power of symbols. Particularly, it is about preserving traditional power and destroying emerging symbols that threaten that power. This president is simply the embodiment of the threat, as far as his detractors are concerned, whether they are willing or able to articulate it as such.
According to Blow, Obama’s detractors may not be able to articulate their motives and beliefs. But he started his column by telling us what we mustn’t “allow ourselves to believe.”

According to Blow, we mustn’t allow ourselves to believe “that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.”

In individual cases, are we allowed to wonder about that possibility? No directive was issued by Blow, but we’ll guess that such thoughts are discouraged.

In his rather fuzzy formulations, Blow was saying that we should never trust the good faith of The Others. As he continued, he warned us about who they are:
BLOW (continuing directly): A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week found that the public “wants immigration policy along the lines of what President Barack Obama seeks but is skeptical of the executive action.” When The Journal looked at some of the people who “say they want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants—which is beyond what Mr. Obama’s executive order would do—but say they disapprove of presidential executive action,” it found that the group was “overwhelmingly white and more likely to be Republican than not” and some said that they simply “don’t like anything associated with the president.”
Those Obama detractors!

They were “overwhelmingly white,” Blow said. And not only that:

They were “more likely to be Republican than not,” we were underwhelmingly told. “Some” detractors said they simply don’t like Obama at all!

Questions: How white is overwhelmingly white? Blow didn’t say.

How likely were the detractors to be Republican? How many of those people was “some?” Those questions went unanswered too.

For those who wish to check Blow’s work, he linked to this underwhelming analysis piece by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal had spoken to seventy-six people “who said they want to see immigration reform happen but don’t like the idea of Mr. Obama acting alone.”

Warning! In the context of polling and surveys, seventy-six is a rather small number. What percentage of those people were white? We weren’t told, whether by Blow or by the Journal itself.

That said, the Journal quoted nine of these detractors—four Republicans, three Democrats and two independents. Truth to tell, you can’t learn a huge amount from Blow’s link.

You can start to learn about Blow as he continues his piece. He quickly gave us a crafty warning about Those Whom We Must Never Trust:
BLOW (continuing directly): Pay attention to the overall response from all sources, particularly the rhetoric in which it is wrapped.

Speaker John Boehner has accused Obama of acting like a “king” and an “emperor.” Representative Louie Gohmert referred to Obama’s “ new royal amnesty decree.”
Pay attention to all sources, Blow advised. The gentleman continued from there, cherry-picking his sources.

Meanwhile, did you notice something Blow left out? His readers were asked to be very afraid about Boehner’s reference to Obama being an “emperor.” Blow forgot to say where that language started—with Obama himself!

Blow’s column is a good example of our descent into tribal culture. Before he was done, he even reminded us (hint, hint) that “most of [the founding fathers] owned slaves at some point.”

Weirdly, he included a graphic derived from the NBC News/WSJ survey in which only 43 percent of Latinos approve of what Obama did. Please don’t allow yourselves to trust the motives of Latinos!

Thanks to Thanksgiving, this will be a short week—a short week in which we’ll explore our journalistic culture’s rather sharp decline.

Tomorrow: A new world record

Blow by the numbers:
Blow included only one graphic with his column. It showed that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to approve of Obama’s plan.

But how odd! Beneath that (rather low) number for Latinos, Blow included this note:
Note from NBC News: “The sample size here is small (just 110 Latino respondents), so the numbers have a high margin of error.”
Why would you choose to highlight a number with a high margin of error? Because our upper-end journalism is imitation? Because it’s essentially faux?

BREAKING: Amtrak does it again!


Welcomes entire staff:
Later this morning, Amtrak welcomes our entire staff on a southbound run.

It's the consistency we respect. Full services resume tomorrow.

BREAKING: Amtrak welcomes entire staff!


On secret northbound excursion:
We're off on a mission of national import. No posts until tomorrow.

BRAVE NEW VOICES: They’re everywhere!


Part 4—Rachel’s latest tale:
Brave new voices are everywhere in the rapidly changing media landscape.

The world of American journalism is changing before our eyes. Consider the report in yesterday’s New York Times about the storied New Republic, whose owner says it’s no longer “liberal,” or even a “magazine.”

The New Republic is now one hundred years old. Yesterday, Jennifer Scheussler reported some of the changes which have occurred under Chris Hughes, “the Facebook multimillionaire who bought the magazine in 2012.”

The new owner is 30 years old. The New Republic isn’t going “lowbrow,” he was quick to assert:
SCHUESSLER (11/19/14): Eyebrows were raised last year when Mr. Hughes, a former organizer for Barack Obama, introduced the redesigned magazine with an editor's letter that omitted the words ''liberal'' or ''liberalism.'' These days, while he says he remains committed to print, he is also ready to jettison ''magazine.''

''Twenty years ago, no question, it was a political magazine, full stop,'' Mr. Hughes said in a joint interview with Mr. Vidra in New York. ''Today, I don't call it a magazine at all. I think we're a digital media company.''

Mr. Hughes (who gave up the editor in chief title but remains publisher) and Mr. Vidra dismissed speculation that they wanted to take the magazine in a more lowbrow, BuzzFeed-like direction. But they did say there was room to increase the digital audience to as much as ''tens of millions'' of unique monthly visitors by focusing on a broader range of topics and on new forms of digital storytelling that ''travel well'' on the web.
Hughes doesn’t want to go lowbrow! He just wants “to increase the digital audience…by focusing on a broader range of topics and on new forms of digital storytelling that ‘travel well’ on the web.”

All around the media world, a lot of people are refusing to go lowbrow in precisely this fashion. At the new Salon, they keep adding kid reporters who churn reports of this type:
WEDNESDAY, NOV 19, 2014 10:19 AM EST
The year of the rear: A thorough history of 2014 in butts
From "Anaconda" to Kim Kardashian, a look back at the posteriors that got us to where we are today
Silman graduated from McGill in 2012. Today, as Salon’s new “deputy entertainment editor,” she’s engaged in that sort of digital storytelling.

A lot of storytelling is being offered as the new media grow. Consider the story Rachel told at the start of last night’s program.

Rachel’s story took us almost seven minutes into her program, depending on when you want to stop counting. The storytelling started like this:
MADDOW (11/19/14): Good evening, Chris. Thank you. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

Do you remember a guy named Randy Scheunemann? Randy Scheunemann, he was the top foreign policy adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. That’s him, the guy with the beard there.

He doesn’t have that memorable a face. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean, he doesn’t— You don’t see him and instantly know who he is.

He also has a name that is kind of hard to pronounce, definitely hard to spell. Honestly, Randy Scheunemann has never been a super famous guy in politics.
Randy Scheunemann’s name is hard to pronounce. It’s definitely hard to spell!

He doesn’t have that memorable a face. With that, we were off to the fair.

To watch the whole segment, click here.

As noted, Maddow’s story wound on for a rather long time. Soon, she was discussing the story of the ski lift fight which, she said, The Daily Beast had broken this very week:
MADDOW: John McCain did not win the presidency and Randy Scheunemann went back to being a standard Washington foreign policy guy. And you don’t hear much about him anymore.

You haven’t heard much about him since then. Until this week.

Until this week, a really, really weird story about Randy Scheunemann was broken by The Daily Beast.
It turns out Randy Scheunemann belongs to a private skiing club in Montana.

I did not know there was such a thing as a private skiing club.
I thought like, you know, you buy a lift ticket, then you go ski on a mountain with other people who are skiing on the mountain and that’s skiing! I—

Apparently, there are places you can do it privately, without the riff-raff. And Randy Scheunemann apparently belongs to one of those.

And on the ski lift, at his private skiing club, The Daily Beast and a number of other outlets now report that Randy Scheunemann got into a fight.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Maddow’s chronology was already wrong.

In fact, The Daily Beast didn’t break this story this week, a claim Maddow kept repeating. Maddow’s web site didn’t provide the link, but you can read the Daily Beast report here.

It’s dated October 18, 2014. That was a month ago.

In truth, that doesn’t enormously matter. But as Maddow continued to entertain us with her thoughts about private ski clubs, her storytelling continued to struggle and flail.

Her first six or seven minutes were devoted to this dreck. With apologies, here’s how her story continued:
MADDOW (continuing directly): And on the ski lift, at his private skiing club, The Daily Beast and a number of other outlets now report that Randy Scheunemann got into a fight. He got into a fight on the ski lift with a white supremacist, specifically with this guy, who is sort of America’s foremost white supremacist.

This is a guy named Richard Spencer. He was recently forcibly deported from Budapest when he tried to organize an international white supremacist conference and the nation of Hungary caught him trying to sneak into their country even though they had banned him. He calls for the creation of a white homeland. He runs an organization called the National Policy Institute, to try to advance the goal of a white homeland. His group is based in Whitefish, Montana.

He’s also founded a few online white supremacist magazines and Web sites, including this one, which is called Alternative Right.

And apparently, making a career as a white supremacist leader these days is a pretty remunerative thing. At least the dude is making enough money to belong to the same private ski club that Randy Scheunemann does in Montana.

Who even knew there were private ski clubs? Anyway, there are! And apparently, the two of them got into a fight on the ski lift.

Insults were exchanged. Punches were threatened.
And the reason it all broke out in the news this week is because that private ski club in Montana, it’s called the Big Mountain Club, they apparently at some point in this fight between two of their members felt they had to decide between them, which of these two guys was going to be allowed to stay as a member of their private ski club:

Randy Scheunemann, Washington policy adviser guy, adviser to John McCain? Or the Aryan Nation white supremacist guy who’s trying to build a homeland for the endangered white race from his home base in Montana?

The Big Mountain Club in Whitefish, Montana, decided they’d go with the white supremacist. They kicked Randy Scheunemann out and kept the Ku Klux other guy! Yeah!

And so now, in the wake of that, you have Whitefish, Montana city council meetings that have suddenly gotten very crowded. They look like this, totally packed with local residents who apparently now realize they have the leader of a white nationalist movement living in their town, getting in fights on their ski lifts.

A local anti-racist effort has sprung up in Whitefish. They’re trying to figure out basically some way to force this guy out or at least maybe pass an anti-discrimination ordinance of some kind that maybe would annoy the guy enough that he might leave on his own.

It’s turning into this big to-do in Montana.
That’s enjoyable storytelling. It’s also largely inaccurate.

According to the Daily Beast, the incident which kicked this thing off occurred “in early 2013.” That was almost two years ago.

According to Scheunemann, it involved a brief argument as he and Spencer got off the ski lift. There never was a fight.

According to The Daily Beast, the story jumps ahead to the ski club’s annual Christmas party last year, in December 2013. According to Scheunemann, he and Spencer briefly argued again that night. According to Scheunemann, he told the leaders of the club that Spencer had to leave the club or that he, Scheunemann, would.

Spencer didn’t leave the club. For that reason, Scheunemann did, almost a year ago.

This story didn’t break “this week.” That’s clear from The Daily Beast report, to which Maddow provided no link.

Maddow did link to a recent news report about that city council meeting in Whitefish. According to the news report, the jam-packed meeting had nothing to do with any “ski lift fight,” or with the ski club at all.

Back to the Daily Beast:

In the (month old) Beast report, Spencer is quoted saying that Scheunemann’s account of the incidents in question involves “a gross mischaracterization of events.” Leaders of the club refused to comment to the Daily Beast.

Last night, there was no sign that Maddow or anyone on her staff had tried to speak with anyone concerning what actually happened in the two-year-old “ski lift fight.” She simply embellished Scheunemann’s account, jumbling her chronology in major ways as she did.

Increasingly, that's how Maddow performs storytelling of a weekday night.

Maddow’s is a Brave New Voice. As with Hughes’ version of The New Republic, she’s deeply involved in “storytelling.” On the other hand, she’s partisan to the point of being a propagandist.

Why did Maddow waste everyone’s time with last night’s embellished, inaccurate story? Largely, because it set up a scary framework with which she was shouting boo at her viewers.

That said, Maddow’s entire program last night was a tribute to propaganda. There are numerous ways to dumb the world down. Maddow is working on hers.

Much of Maddow’s propaganda involves the omission of facts. Persistently, she simplifies the world to make you feel politically scared and morally extra good.

Last night, she clowned her way through a denunciation of the “schizophrenic” American public, based on responses to a recent NBC poll. She then feigned ignorance concerning decisions by the broadcast networks to avoid televising presidential speeches.

To be clear, we assume she was feigning ignorance. With Maddow, it’s increasingly hard to tell.

Our media are changing before our eyes. Increasingly, Maddow is getting wealthy and famous by dumbing the world way down.

To our ear, her Brave New Voice sounds a lot like Sean’s. It's hard to believe that a modern nation can actually function this way.

Supplemental: What you can read in the New York Times!


Maddow versus the world:
You can read things in the New York Times you won’t likely see on TV.

Yesterday morning, on the front page, a news report carried this headline: “Immigration Has President Altering Stand.”

Michael Spear reported the various times in recent years when Obama has said that he can’t legally go where he now seems to be going on immigration.

What are the merits of this case? We aren’t sure—and you won’t likely see that explored on The One True Liberal Channel.

That was yesterday’s New York Times. In this morning’s New York Times, Ashley Parker performs a twofer.

On page A15, she offers a lengthy report under this headline: “In Immigration Fight, Republicans Explore Alternatives to a Shutdown.”

Parker quotes a string of Republican office-holder and machers who are arguing against a government shutdown in response to Obama’s upcoming moves on immigration. In Liberal Land, we’re still being told, in various ways, that the Fox News Channel is beating the drum in search of a quickie impeachment.

Out on page A1, Parker goes a bit further. She co-authors a lengthy report about yesterday’s vote on the Keystone pipeline.

This is where Maddow comes in.

Last night, for at least the third time, Maddow opened her program with a shrieking segment about the lunacy of allowing yesterday’s vote on the pipeline. She continued to wail and moan about the way the Democrats aren’t going to rush the nomination of Loretta Lynch through the lame-duck session.

Maddow’s angst was exhaustive last night, as was her isolation from the rest of the world. To all appearances, she had interviewed no one about these matters; she had spoken to no one. She gave no indication that anyone on her staff had spoken to anyone about the matters under review.

Instead, Our Own Rhodes Scholar just wailed away, damning the Democrats all to Hell for their wayward conduct.

We would have quoted from this meltdown, except MSNBC hasn’t gotten around to transcribing it yet. Other news channel transcribe in good time. The One True Liberal Channel does nothing in regular fashion.

If you can stand it, go ahead: watch Maddow’s opening segment last night. After that, read Parker’s front-page report.

(Warning! Maddow’s segment has been broken into three parts, the better to make you watch three commercials with. The videotape starts here.)

Increasingly, the Maddow show is a solipsistic banshee scream from a hyperbaric chamber. Increasingly, “the liberal world” is a veil of tears, much as the world of the Fox News Channel has been for these many years.

Increasingly, it’s tribal narrative all the way down; it’s a culture of bumper stickers. We liberals put Maddow on each night to learn the words to ours.

BRAVE NEW VOICES: Kristof decrees!


Part 3—The nation’s racial scold:
This morning, we punished ourselves.

We forced ourselves to reread all four parts of Nicholas Kristof’s series of New York Times columns, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It.”

(Yes, that headline has appeared at the top of each column.)

The analysts wept in their carrels, sensitive to the punishments they knew we were absorbing. For ourselves, we were somewhat surprised:

Upon rereading, Kristof’s columns were even less impressive than we would have supposed. We were struck by how little he had to say about race that can’t be memorized.

Don’t get us wrong! Kristof possesses strong technique. In two of his columns, Part 2 and Part 4, he kicked things off by scolding readers who were rejecting his vision.

Those whites! Headline included, this is the way our racial scold started his second column:
KRISTOF (9/7/14): When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Part 2

In my column a week ago, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It,” I took aim at what I called “smug white delusion” about race relations in America,
and readers promptly fired back at what they perceived as a smugly deluded columnist.

Readers grudgingly accepted the grim statistics I cited—such as the wealth disparity between blacks and whites in America today exceeding what it was in South Africa during apartheid—but many readers put the blame on African-Americans themselves.

“Probably has something to do with their unwillingness to work,” Nils tweeted.

Nancy protested on my Facebook page: “We can’t fix their problems.
It’s up to every black individual to stop the cycle of fatherless homes, stop the cycle of generations on welfare.”

There was a deluge of such comments, some toxic, but let me try to address three principal arguments that I think prop up white delusion.
Nils and Nancy were at it again, exhibiting white delusion! Other white comments were toxic!

Last Sunday, Kristof started Part 4 in this endless series with a similar set of jibes aimed at delusional readers. We can think of few approaches which are less likely to be helpful about such a difficult topic.

Kristof is full of scolding remarks, seems to have few proposals. For ourselves, we’re always most struck by his vacuous comments about the nation’s schools, which he says should be improved, possibly even fixed.

Few people are going to say that our public schools shouldn’t be improved. On the other hand, Kristof never seems to have much to say about the ways we could do this.

Last Sunday, he offered his latest discussion of the public school problem. More precisely, Kristof said this:
KRISTOF (11/15/14): The inequality continues, particularly in education. De jure segregated schools have been replaced in some areas by de facto segregation.
That was the whole discussion! Oh sorry: a bit later on, Kristof added this:
KRISTOF: We all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. We're in a relay race, relying on the financial and human capital of our parents and grandparents. Blacks were shackled for the early part of that relay race, and although many of the fetters have come off, whites have developed a huge lead. Do we ignore this long head start—a facet of white privilege—and pretend that the competition is now fair?

Of course not. If we whites are ahead in the relay race of life, shouldn't we acknowledge that we got this lead in part by generations of oppression? Aren't we big enough to make amends by trying to spread opportunity, by providing disadvantaged black kids an education as good as the one afforded privileged white kids?
If we’re reading that correctly, Kristof was suggesting that we should “provide disadvantaged black kids an education as good as the one afforded privileged white kids.”

We think that’s an outstanding idea! But how should we accomplish that task?

Having wasted space by scolding those whites, the Buddha didn’t say. Through the years, the truth has become rather plain—the Buddha doesn’t know.

In truth, Kristof doesn’t seem to have any real ideas about our public schools. (There’s no reason why he should.) This was his discussion of public schools in the first column in this series:
KRISTOF (8/31/14): All this should be part of the national conversation on race, as well, and prompt a drive to help young black men end up in jobs and stable families rather than in crime or jail. We have policies with a robust record of creating opportunity: home visitation programs like Nurse-Family Partnership; early education initiatives like Educare and Head Start; programs for troubled adolescents like Youth Villages; anti-gang and anti-crime initiatives like Becoming a Man; efforts to prevent teen pregnancies like the Carrera curriculum; job training like Career Academies; and job incentives like the earned-income tax credit.

The best escalator to opportunity may be education, but that escalator is broken for black boys growing up in neighborhoods with broken schools. We fail those boys before they fail us.
That was the whole discussion! Kristof seemed to say we should fix those “broken schools.” But he forgot to say how!

(By the way: Does Head Start really have “a robust record of creating opportunity,” whatever that means? We favor universal free early education. But as it’s been practiced down through the years, does Head Start have such a record?)

In his second column, Kristof started by scolding Nils, as shown above. Soon, though, he extended his discussion of schools:
KRISTOF (9/7/14): Slavery and post-slavery oppression left a legacy of broken families, poverty, racism, hopelessness and internalized self-doubt. Some responded to discrimination and lack of opportunity by behaving in self-destructive ways.

One study found that African-American children on welfare heard only 29 percent as many words in their first few years as children of professional parents. Those kids never catch up, partly because they’re more likely to attend broken schools. Sure, some make bad choices, but they’ve often been on a trajectory toward failure from the time they were babies.

These are whirlpools that are difficult to escape, especially when society is suspicious and unsympathetic...

So instead of pointing fingers, let’s adopt some of the programs that I’ve cited with robust evidence showing that they bridge the chasm.
We need to get rid of those broken schools, the cock said, crowing again. He seemed to think that he had listed “programs with robust evidence showing that they bridge the chasm.”

We’re not sure what those programs are. We didn’t see all that evidence.

In the third column in his series,
Kristof focused on the justice system. He said we need our own Mandela, even saying, somewhat oddly, that “Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”

It’s strange to think that we the people have never heard of our own Mandela, but that’s the way this series tends to work. Late in his column, Kristof briefly complained about underfunding for “public schools serving disadvantaged children.” He linked to an earlier column by Eduardo Porter to provide some sort of support.

Last Sunday brought Part 4 in the series. Once again, Kristof started by scolding whites for their white delusion. He proceeded to s scatter-shot series of claims, not excluding this:
KRISTOF (11/15/14): Of course, personal responsibility is an issue. Orlando Patterson, the eminent black sociologist, notes in a forthcoming book that 92 percent of black youths agree that it is a “big problem” that black males are “not taking education seriously enough.” And 88 percent agree that it’s a big problem that they are “not being responsible fathers.” That’s why President Obama started “My Brother’s Keeper,” to cultivate more prudent behavior among men and boys of color.
Our question: If 92 percent of black youth agree that it’s a “big problem” that black males are “not taking education seriously enough,” how many black males aren’t taking education seriously?

Such questions don’t occur to Kristof when he ascends his throne.

Kristof memorizes well, scolds enthusiastically. Beyond that, he seems to have little to say about race that anyone else couldn’t say.

He seems to know nothing about public schools except that we should fix them. He’s also eager to scold those whites who don’t accept his greatness.

Kristof’s columns on this topic strike us as very lazy. In the main, he provides a road map towards an angry, disjointed nation.

These columns are so easy to write that they virtually write themselves. Commenters then rush to the Times, praising our king for his greatness.

How do we fix our public schools? Kristof doesn’t seem to know.

He does know how to excite the tribes. Does this lead to progress?

Tomorrow: Another brave new voice

BRAVE NEW VOICES: Something for everyone!


Part 2—Ann Compton pimps Bush pimping Bush:
There was something for everyone in the Outlook section of Sunday’s Washington Post.

But first, we had Monday morning. In the New York Times, we liberals got conned once again.

Charles Blow was very upset with the partisanship in Washington. That led him to please us with this:
BLOW (11/17/14): [T]he tipping point will likely come when the president takes executive action on immigration, which, according to reports, could protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from deportation. Republicans are beside themselves at the prospect.

Amnesty! Out-and-out lawlessness! Shredding the Constitution! No claim—and no recourse—is out of bounds, it seems.

Many conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, are demanding another government shutdown to stop it. Others, like Charles Krauthammer, have suggested that Obama’s actions on immigration might be “an impeachable offense.”

The grown-ups on the right—to the degree such people exist—know full well that shutdowns and impeachment proceedings are suicidal, but such is the political blood lust on that end of the spectrum that one can’t be sure that cooler heads will prevail over hot ones.
From that, we liberals might get the impression that Krauthammer has called for impeachment proceedings. Or at least for a government shutdown, unlike the GOP’s dwindling number of grown-ups.

That claim seems to be false, but it makes us liberals feel good. For that reason, we liberals are now being fed this dish everywhere we look.

Increasingly, the world of upper-end journalism seems devoted to giving something to everyone. Big modern newspapers cast wide nets. They must provide pabulum to all comers.

In Sunday’s Times, the truly insufferable Nicholas Kristof praised the brilliance of Blow, even as he recited Volume 4 in his own long-running series, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It.”

Kristof’s skill consists in the way he pre-slimes those who might disagree with his own brilliant vision. This is the way he started:
KRISTOF (11/16/14): When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Part 4

When I write about racial inequality in America, one common response from whites is eye-rolling
and an emphatic: It’s time to move on.

“As whites, are we doomed to an eternity of apology?” Neil tweeted at me. “When does individual responsibility kick in?”

Terry asked on my Facebook page: “Why are we still being held to actions that took place long ago?”

“How long am I supposed to feel guilty about being white? I bust my hump at work and refrain from living a thug life,” Bradley chimed in. “America is about personal responsibility…And really, get past the slavery issue.”
Those whites! They do it every time!

At any rate, dissenters were wrong this day before Kristof even got started! They stood accused of eye-rolling before he’d advanced his first point!

In our view, Kristof has little to say about race that’s likely to be helpful. We’ll ponder his column tomorrow.

For today, we thought we’d consider the puddles of piddle which streamed from Sunday’s Outlook—from a section which seemed to provide a feel-good space to each of the paper’s constituencies.

Feminists actually got two spaces. This included Roxanne Gay’s fiery response to Time’s fourth annual (tongue-in-cheek) survey of words which ought to be banned—a survey for which the humbled magazine has already apologized.

More from Outlook:

Jonathan Gruber got batted around for calling voters stupid. In the Post’s devolving Five Myths feature, Nia-Malika Henderson composed a tribute to Valerie Jarrett, whose name few voters have heard, let alone swallowed myths about.

For unknown reasons, the section included a lengthy report concerning a mathematical formula which explains why hipsters all look alike. Most foolishly, there stood Compton.

Compton is the go-to journalist for fawning profiles of All Things Bush. On Outlook’s front page, there she stood, offering a “book review” of Bush the Younger’s loving profile of Bush the Elder—his father.

No one knows how to sand the edges quite the way Compton does. Henderson fawned to Jarrett on page B2, but Compton was on B1.

Compton has never been better. From her lengthy tribute review, you’d never know that some people think our ongoing war in Iraq was perhaps a small tiny partial mistake:
COMPTON (11/16/14): George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, is the only commander in chief in modern times who has declined to write a memoir. Now George W. Bush, the 43rd president, strides into the void with a book of his own intended to give voice to his modest father’s life and legacy.

At the outset of “41,” George W. makes clear his objective. He says he expects that many books will assess his father’s contributions. “Some of those works may be objective,” he writes in an author’s note. “This one is not. This book is a love story.

Indeed, “41” is a chronicle of family love and loss, written in a plainspoken voice that sounds just like George W. Bush in person, with wisecrack asides and loads of family sentimentality. For those of us who watched both Bush presidencies up close, the book is also a predictably firm defense of the elder Bush’s foreign policy, particularly in Iraq and the Cold War, a strategy that laid down even higher stakes for the son’s presidency eight years later.


[T]he younger Bush finds a family silver lining to his father’s defeat in 1992: If the elder Bush had won a second term, George W. would not have run for Texas governor in 1994 and later for president. In 1994, George W. faced a popular incumbent, he writes, “and as the son of the President it would have been distracting to answer questions about whether I agreed with every decision that his administration made.”

Nothing knits this father-son duo closer together than the wars in Iraq. The elder Bush drove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in early 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and then called the American action to a halt. When George W. sought to topple Hussein from power more than a decade later, he faced accusations of one-upmanship with his father.

“I was not trying ‘to finish what my father had begun,’ as some have suggested,” he writes. “I never asked Dad what I should do. We both knew that this was a decision that only the President can make.”
No, we’re not making that foolishness up. That’s as tough as Compton gets regarding that small second war, which “knit this father-son duo closer together.”

Compton’s piece runs 1347 words. She never suggests that this new book is anything other than Bush the Younger’s attempt “to give voice to his modest father’s life and legacy.”

She laments the press corps’ attacks on both Bushes. She never hints that something may have gone marginally wrong in that small second war.

Compton was there to please one of our teams. Henderson catered to the other. Feminists were pandered to twice. Also, why do hipsters all look alike, mathematically speaking?

Outlook did include one gloomy book review.
Stuck on page B6, it bore this gloomy headline:

“Is Earth’s dominant species doomed to self-destruct?”

Without even thinking, we voted yes. But then, we had a good solid excuse:

We’d read B1 through B5!

Tomorrow: Brave new voices on race

Parade pandered too: Parade magazine pandered too.

As its cover story on Sunday, it offered an excerpt from Bush’s new book. Then, it ran this hard-hitting interview.

For whatever reason, the reinvention seems to be on.

Supplemental: Reclusive genius passes away!


Math is still quite hard:
The headline shouted at us from yesterday’s Washington Post:

Reclusive genius a ‘giant’ of math

In an 1100-word piece, Matt Schudel reported the death, at age 86, of Alexander Grothendieck, “whose brilliant mind electrified the world of mathematics in the 1950s and 1960s, earning him the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in his field.”

We’d never heard of Grothendieck! Hungrily, we fell upon the Post report, hoping to learn what his brilliant mind had done.

Basically, Schudel wasn’t saying. He started by telling us this:
SCHUDEL (11/16/14): Mr. Grothendieck (pronounced GROHT-en-deek) emerged from a life of exile during World War II to become one of the most important mathematical thinkers of the 20th century. His contributions to mathematics were often likened to those of Albert Einstein in physics.

His nominal specialty was algebraic geometry, which combines elements of both mathematical disciplines, but Mr. Grothendieck used his remarkable capacity for abstract thinking to make advances across the entire spectrum of mathematics.

He developed unifying concepts that could be applied to a variety of avenues of mathematical thought, including number theory, category theory, functional analysis and topology.

In 1966, Mr. Grothendieck was awarded the Fields Medal, considered the world’s highest honor in mathematics. Two of his major publications, “Elements of Algebraic Geometry” and “Fundamentals of Algebraic Geometry,” are so essential to mathematicians that they are known simply by their initials in French, EGA and FGA.

“He was one of the giants of mathematics, who transformed mathematics entirely with his work,”
Cedric Villani, who won the Fields Medal in 2010, told Agence France-Presse.
We were still a bit unclear. In what way did Grothendieck transform mathematics entirely?

Schudel soldiered on:
SCHUDEL (continuing directly): As a student, Mr. Grothendieck once recalled, he was taught how to calculate the volume of a sphere and other geometric shapes, but he sought a deeper understanding: the definition of volume itself.

When he embarked on his career, he didn’t concentrate on solving age-old puzzles so much as on developing new, simplified approaches to mathematical investigation. Other scholars came to apply Mr. Grothendieck’s theoretical frameworks to such fields as computer programming, software development, satellite communications, classification systems and the study of biological data.

His ideas were instrumental in solving one of the enduring conundrums of mathematics, Fermat’s Last Theorem. In 1637, Pierre de Fermat jotted a mathematical notation in the margin of a book, but its proof had baffled the world’s greatest mathematical minds for more than three centuries.

Finally, in 1995, British mathematician Andrew Wiles published a proof of the theorem. He arrived at his solution using the principles of algebraic geometry, the field that Mr. Grothendieck had redefined to its foundations.
He sought a deeper understanding—the definition of volume itself? We don’t understand that either.

As we said, Schudel devoted 1100 words to his obituary. When we were done, we had no real idea what Grothendieck had actually done, mathematically speaking.

Luckily, Sunday’s New York Times also featured a long obituary. Instantly, Weber and Rehmeyer tackled the problem:
WEBER AND REHMEYER (11/16/14): Algebraic geometry is a field of pure mathematics that studies the relationships between equations and geometric spaces. Mr. Grothendieck was able to answer concrete questions about these relationships by finding universal mathematical principles that could shed unexpected light on them. Applications of his work are evident in fields as diverse as genetics, cryptography and robotics.

“He had an extremely powerful, almost otherworldly ability of abstraction that allowed him to see problems in a highly general context, and he used this ability with exquisite precision,” Allyn Jackson wrote in a 2004 biographical essay about Mr. Grothendieck for Notices of the AMS, a journal of the American Mathematical Society. “Indeed, the trend toward increased generality and abstraction, which can be seen across the whole field since the middle of the 20th century, is due in no small part to Grothendieck’s influence.”
We don’t understand that either. Math remains very hard.

Supplemental: Dumbing the liberal world way down!


Salon crawls to AlterNet:
For many years, conservative entities took the lead in dumbing the public down.

At some point in the past ten years, pseudo-liberals decided to follow suit. As a recent example, consider this pitiful piece at the new Salon, by way of AlterNet.

Sadly, Janet Allon isn’t some wide-eyed kid of the type the new Salon likes to employ. She’s been a political writer for decades. This seems to be her idea of the “worst right-wing moment” of the past week:
ALLON (11/17/14): Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer beat the impeachment drum—by likening undocumented immigrants to murderers.


So, two Fox “smarties,” Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer, were discussing their favorite topic this week, which is how the hell can we get rid of this black president, and when can we start the impeachment proceedings?

This week’s “impeachable offense” that has so addled their uni-brain is the imminent prospect of Obama taking executive action to shield five million undocumented immigrants from being deported. It’s been done before, by both Reagan and Bush, but somehow, when Obama does it, it’s completely different.

“There’s no doubt that what he is doing now is a flagrant assault on the Constitutional system,” Krauthammer said, doing his best imitation of a person who actually knows something. “I’m sure Obama will be able to find a bunch of lawyers who say it is okay. This is clearly illegal. “

We’re sure he will. Those lawyers will say anything. Especially when there are plenty of precedents.

But wait, Megyn Kelly has some law background, and it was her turn to try to sound smart. “There’s no doubt that the president has prosecutorial discretion. But it’s a sliding scale. Just as a prosecutor has discretion. He might decide not to prosecute one murderer. But if he said he is not going to prosecute any of the murderers, that would be unacceptable.”

So, yeah, she’s comparing undocumented immigrants to murderers. And no, that is not a mistake. It is unacceptable and disgusting. Quite apart from the whole impeachment discussion, which is merely ridiculous.
According to Allon, that was the craziest thing the right wing did all last week.

In that passage, Allon says that Kelly and Krauthammer were “beating the impeachment drum.” You’re even told why they did that—because they want to “get rid of this black president.”

You’re told that Kelly, who “has some law background,” was comparing immigrants to murderers for the obvious heinous reason.

Allon was referring to the opening segment of Kelly’s show last Thursday night. To watch the bulk of that segment, click this.

During that segment, Kelly and Krauthammer did discuss Obama’s apparent plans with regard to immigration. Here’s what Allon omitted:

Instantly, Krauthammer explicitly said that he opposes the idea of a government shutdown in response to action by Obama. (“I do think it's important, though, for Republicans to vigorously oppose this but not lose their heads. Do not shut down the government over this...It is always a losing proposition.”)

As soon as the taped interview ended, Kelly stressed the fact that Krauthammer is also opposed to impeachment. (She described impeachment as “a path with huge political risks that conservatives like Krauthammer find too dangerous.”)

Neither Kelly nor Krauthammer ever proposed impeachment. Kelly did play tape of Obama in 2011 seeming to say that he lacks the constitutional authority to do what he now plans to do.

(Obama in 2011: “The notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case. Because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those Congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”)

Kelly and Krauthammer made interesting claims about the proposed action. It would have been interesting to see Allon speak to their actual statements.

Instead, Allon took out her toy balloons and gave us the sound-bites that make us happy. This used to be the way Hannity played. Now, it’s our tribe’s preferred course of action too.

The new Salon is a true disgrace. Allon makes things even worse.

Kelly’s summation: Kelly’s “background in law” lies in the fact that she went to law school, then worked ten years as a lawyer. Here’s how she summarized the state of play after her interview ended:
KELLY: Legally, the Republicans do have options to thwart President Obama’s executive actions, although their choices are limited. Here are a few:

Number one, they can file a lawsuit to stop it. They already have one. It's pending now that claims lawlessness by the president. But many lawyer say this is a loser. Andy McCarthy calls it feckless.

Number two, they can impeach the president. A remedy the founders consider indispensable to preventing abuses of executive power but a path with huge political risks that conservatives like Krauthammer find too dangerous.

Number three, they can cut off the funds needed to carry out the executive order. Senator Jeff Sessions who's about to take over as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee in January says, this is where the GOP will fight back the hardest.

And number four, they can punish the President another way, by holding up his judicial and other appointments which require Senate approval until he reverses course. This and the budget measures are the ones advocated by Krauthammer.

All have political risks, which President Obama clearly believes favor his party. But with even liberal legal scholars like Jonathan Turley arguing this president is pushing us toward a constitutional crisis, the public may have the stomach for some pushback. Only time will tell.
Giving us the thrills we deserve and enjoy, Allon described this as “beating the impeachment drum.”

Long ago, only Hannity treated the public this way. Now, we in our own pathetic sad tribe have our own losers too.

BRAVE NEW VOICES: With waves of piddle!


Part 1—Emily Gould is no snob:
The waves of bunk from major news orgs were quite impressive this weekend.

We refer to work we saw at the new Salon and at Slate, at the New York Times and the Washington Post. In this morning’s early hours, the waves of piddle continued to crash on the shore.

That said, of all the piddle we scanned this weekend, one presentation has stuck in our head. We refer, of course, to Emily Gould’s review of The Big Bang Theory, the popular CBS sitcom.

Her piece appeared last Friday night at the new Salon:
FRIDAY, NOV 14, 2014 07:00 PM EST
What’s so funny about “The Big Bang Theory”?
It's the most popular comedy on television—but I have to admit: I just don't understand what everyone's laughing at
According to the headline writer, Emily Gould was forced to admit it. She just doesn’t understand!

Is that really was Gould was saying? Truthfully, we’d be inclined to say no. First, though, a sad admission about our own cluelessness:

Until this weekend, we don’t think we knew who Emily Gould is. For some reason, we read her peculiar TV review, and that got us wondering.

As it turns out, Gould is one of the stars of New York’s exciting new scene. She’s 33, and she started at Gawker. She has just published her first adult novel.

The full story can be found here.

Why was Gould reviewing a sitcom which is in its eighth season? As she started, Gould—who isn’t a snob—gave a quick explanation.

In our view, it largely failed to parse:
GOULD (11/14/14): “The Big Bang Theory” is the most popular TV show in America, consistently ranking in the top two or three TV comedies since its fourth season, and leading the ratings for syndicated content in the last two years, except last year when it was narrowly beaten out by “Judge Judy.” I had never seen it, and so I thought the eighth season might be a good opportunity to find out what all the fuss was about.
That paragraph doesn’t exactly make sense.

According to Gould, The Big Bang Theory has “led the ratings for syndicated content in the last two years.” Except last year, when it didn’t!

Why does she say it’s the nation’s most popular TV show? Apparently, because it has “consistently ranked in the top two or three TV comedies since its fourth season.”

That doesn’t make obvious sense.

Whatever! For reasons which remain murky, Gould decided that this, the program’s eighth season, “might be a good opportunity to find out what all the fuss was about.” In this, the passage which followed, we discovered the roots of despair:
GOULD (continuing directly): I like TV. If it distracts me from my brain-noise without the added stimulus of an additional screen nearby, I’m in. “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” passes this test, as does “Chopped,” as do seasons of “30 Rock” that I’ve already seen up to four times. I have seen more episodes than I’d really care to admit of the Netflix horror-telenovela “Hemlock Grove,” which is about a town in Pennsylvania where some people are werewolves and other people are vampires and no one has ever noticed this or done anything about it, even though there are a ton of mysterious vampire/werewolf-related things happening all the time.

I’ve seen every episode of “Don’t Trust the B (In Apt. 23)” and I cried when it was cancelled. When I see a headline along the lines of “Has this Episode of American Horror Story Finally Gone Too Far?” I already know that my answer will be ha-ha, no. I watch all the critically acclaimed usual suspects, too, usually gulping them down as soon as they start streaming. But that leaves a lot of time for trashier fare, even in this golden age of Quality Television. I’m not just making sure you know that I’m not a snob. I’m trying to say that it’s kind of a miracle that I’ve never dipped into the wealth of “Big Bang Theory” episodes available to me before now.
One or two commenters recorded our own reaction to this passage:

How could anyone, let alone a budding novelist, possibly spend so much time watching so much trashy TV? That’s what those commenters asked.

Gould, of course, not being a snob, was quick with her answer. These TV shows “distract [her] from [her] brain-noise without the added stimulus of an additional screen nearby.”

To us, that sounded like a way of suggesting that something is happening inside Gould’s brain which may not be happening inside yours. Meanwhile, do you believe she actually cried when that (misnamed) TV show was cancelled?

We can’t say we believe that either! Quickly, she reached her deep thought:
GOULD (continuing directly): Too bad it’s the millionth thing this week to make me do complicated mental gymnastics in order to avoid having the banal, snobby thought, “Are most Americans just plain dumb?” I don’t think people are stupid, really—I believe that some of us are ignorant, and many of us vote against our own interests. It’s a lot easier to understand why people do this in the realm of public policy, though, than to get why they do it in the realm of private entertainment.
Please try to follow:

Gould clogs her days with every low-IQ show ever brought to the screen. But just last week, a million things made her wonder why so many other people are so dumb.

Indeed, she engages in “complicated mental gymnastics” to avoid that snobby thought! Do you find yourself doing that, the way this novelist does?

Gould is some sort of emerging star of the emerging New York scene. What can this fact possibly mean?

Tomorrow, on to those mountains of drivel, which seemed to emerge from all across the publishing world this weekend.

Tomorrow: Prime drivel, from every direction

For extra credit only: In the passage we’ve posted, did Gould say that Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a quality TV show?

We were struck by the number of Salonistas who seemed to think she had. What does it mean when so many readers stampede in that direction?

Supplemental: Balls and bowls!


An obvious right-wing scam:
At long last, we’re prepared to admit it:

We sometimes think the new Salon must be a right-wing scam. It must be an effort to create a new “progressive” politics—a politics which will convince the entire country to vote for Republican candidates.

Surely, the kids can’t be this daft, we say. Hence our conspiracy theory!

Alas! A few of the kids may be this daft—and this disconnected from the country. What can you say about work like this from adorable Joanna Rothkopf?
Animals that kill their babies have bigger balls
It's science—we promise
THURSDAY, NOV 13, 2014 03:57 PM EST
What can you say about work like that? It made us think about a few of her earlier posts:
Listen to Bryan Cranston narrate an excerpt of “You Have to F**king Eat”
It does not disappoint
WEDNESDAY, NOV 12, 2014 03:03 PM EST

Giant new London café will serve literally nothing but cereal

I want to go to there
THURSDAY, NOV 6, 2014 12:07 PM EST

Man eating nothing but Olive Garden speaks out: “I have not had one meal that was not just perfect
Alan Martin explains to Salon why he has eaten more than 100 meals from the Olive Garden in the past six weeks
THURSDAY, NOV 6, 2014 11:10 AM EST
People, we aren’t making this up! For this, we sent her to the Sorbonne?

The new Salon has loaded its lineup with young, sex-obsessed female writers. But ow! Despite its own lineup, Salon sometimes goes outside the fold to get even more of the same—from AlterNet, for example:
4 fascinating new things we learned about sex this week
Men now have a cancer-based justification for sleeping with lots of women. Plus! A wild discovery about the penis
FRIDAY, NOV 14, 2014 06:45 AM EST
In that silly piddle-jumper, Halper explains why snakes have two penises. Silly girl! Sarah Gray beat her to the topic last week:
Science may have uncovered why humans only have one penis
Snakes have two!
THURSDAY, NOV 6, 2014 05:40 PM EST
For the record, we don’t believe the new Salon is a right-wing scam. At least, we don’t believe that theory every day of the week.

But good God, what a remarkable site! We’d love to know how the play is working on a financial basis.

IMITATIONS OF NEWS: Burning not especially bright!


Part 5—The suits are selling the product:
Last evening, on her eponymous TV show, Rachel Maddow was killing time right from the jump.

Maddow is devolving rapidly, and she’s doing so right on the air. Here’s how she burned Minutes 4 and 5 of her “imitation news” show last night:
MADDOW (11/13/14): I mean, the news is just nuts today. Even like the quirky, sidebar human interest stories today have a “guh” component.

You may have seen headlines today about a tiger being on the loose near EuroDisney in France? You know, you see those headlines, and you think. “Oh, I didn’t know that EuroDisney had live tigers as part of the Disney experience.”

Turns out, they don’t. There’s a live tiger that has been spotted near EuroDisney near Paris, but it did not escape from EuroDisney. They don’t have live animals like that at EuroDisney!

So then you read into the story. “OK, that’s interesting, where did the tiger come from?”

Two paragraphs into the story, it turns out, “Ohhhh, OK! There’s a Parc des Felins.”


Forgive my French. A Parc des Felins, a wildlife park, with felines, with lions and tigers and stuff, that is only about twenty miles away from where they have seen this tiger on the loose in France.

So you think, “Oh! That’s where it came from! The tiger didn’t come from EuroDisney! It must have come from the Parc des Felins.”

No! Turns out they’re not missing any of their tigers! All of their tigers at the Parc des Felins are present and accounted for.

So then you’re wondering, “Where did this freaking tiger come from?” Then you read a few more paragraphs into the story and it turns out, “Ohhh, there was a circus in town! The tiger must have come from the circus!”

It was not from EuroDisney. They do not have tigers. It was not from the Parc des Felins. They have not lost any of their tigers.

Was it your tiger, Circus? It must be from the circus in the area!

Except no! The circus also says they have not lost a tiger!
To watch this pile of piddle continue, you can just click here. But by the time this piffle ended, we were more than five minutes into the program.

This exciting tale about the tiger was utterly pointless, of course. For unknown reasons, Maddow pushed it to the top of her show.

As her source, Maddow kept showing the headline of an AP report which had appeared at 5 P.M. Eastern. She forgot to mention paragraph 3, which was written exactly as shown:

“Still on the loose by nightfall, some began to doubt whether it really was a tiger.”

By today, everyone seems to agree. The animal, which is still on the loose, apparently isn’t a tiger.

Whatever! Last night, Maddow was killing time early and often. Eventually, she reached her latest, long-running scam, in which she plays misleadingly doctored bits of tape, pretending that major figures on Fox are calling for Obama’s impeachment.

These tapes are getting older and older. But so what? Rachel just keeps playing them, pimping her bogus idea.

Increasingly, Maddow’s show is an overt scam—an eye-popping corporate embarrassment. But as Maddow’s performance and ratings devolve, the suits have scrambled into action, trying to sell their product.

In Monday morning’s New York Times, a half-page multicolor ad tried to make us rubes believe that we need to watch this wonderful program. In the ad, three unnamed sources shout their praise for Maddow’s obvious brilliance:
Endorsements of Maddow in New York Times ad
“She’s a complete inspiration on so many levels.” Glamour
“Rachel Maddow knows how to tell the whole story.” NPR (Boston)
“We’d be lost without her.” Huffington Post
Has it really become this hard to find glowing tributes to Maddow?

As best we can tell, the statement that she’s a “complete inspiration” wasn’t made through the auspices of Glamour, unless you count this on-line citation, where the endorsement seems to be getting mocked. (To peruse the full text of the silly endorsement, see fuckyeahrachelmaddow.)

The other two endorsements are real, if somewhat sad:

“Knows how to tell the whole story” can be found in this blog post, offered by a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. (That’s the Bay State’s own house of reps, not the national chamber.)

“We’d be lost without her” appears in this 14-month-old blog by D. R. Tucker at Huffington Post.

That’s a fairly underwhelming group of endorsements. But thrown into a half-page ad, these endorsements urge us the people to watch Rachel every night.

If you watched Maddow last night, you were met with instant clowning, followed by the same old cant about Fox stars urging impeachment. The doctored tapes used to make that sale just keep getting older.

The Maddow Show has become a weirdly poisonous product. Its host seems to be having a breakdown on the air, which isn’t a good thing, of course.

Still and all, we liberals love Our Own Rhodes Scholar, who loves to tell us she’s blindingly honest. And the corporate suits are back on the prowl, trying to remake the sale.

This is news in the post-news age. It’s faux news on the pseudo-lib side.

Supplemental: Weeping over our New York Times!


First Bauerlein, then Collins:
All too often, it’s painful to read the op-ed page of the New York Times. We’ll offer two examples.

This morning, Gail Collins was killing time at the start of her alleged column. This is the way she began, sad-sack headline included:
COLLINS (11/13/14): The Lame-Duck Dynasty

How am I going to get you interested in the lame-duck Congress? Did you even know they came back? Perhaps it’s like reports that Randy Jackson is leaving “American Idol”—the amazing news is that “American Idol” is still on the air.

See? You’re already a little more engaged because I mentioned an old hit television show. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Collins is expert at killing time while blaming her readers for the need to do so. From there, she padded her column with endless examples of real and imaginary TV reality shows.

That left one paragraph in which she could state her “point.” This is the way she did it:
COLLINS: Wow. Who knew that was the message? Many environmentalists are violently against the Keystone project because it would carry oil to the Gulf refineries from the tar sands of Canada, which is particularly bad when it comes to carbon emissions. The pipeline may wind up getting built anyway, but nothing is going to happen until a court case over its route is resolved in Nebraska. A vote right now by Congress would be meaningless, and it’s a terrible moment to take a symbolic stand, since President Obama was just in China, announcing an agreement on fighting global warming.
Tell the truth! From that presentation, do you know which aspect of the Keystone project “is particularly bad when it comes to carbon emissions?”

Truthfully, no, you do not. Neither does anyone else who read this column. On the other hand, you did enjoy a lot of fun as Collins fought her way through another piece.

In fairness, Collins’ column was world-class brilliant as compared to yesterday’s column by Mark Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory.

Bauerlein is best known for his thoughtful book, “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30).”

That book appeared in 2008. Six years later, Bauerlein offered the bewildering set of statistics shown below. He was trying to show that the Democratic Party’s “grip on the young may be loosening:”
BAUERLEIN (11/12/14): Six years ago, voters aged 18 to 29 favored Barack Obama over his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, by a ratio of two to one and justified Time’s announcement that 2008 was “The Year of the Youth Vote.” Two years previously, in midterm races for the House, the same demographic went for Democrats 60 percent to 38 percent.

In 2012, President Obama’s advantage slipped, but under-30 voters still gave him a 23-point edge, 60 percent to 37 percent. No wonder this year the president appeared two days before the election at Temple University, where he exhorted the crowd, “So I need all of you to go grab your friends, grab your classmates... I need you to vote.”

But it turned out that 2012 was no anomaly. Turnout for young voters this year was around 21 percent, typical for midterms, but the breakdown was disappointing for the left: Exit poll data show that young voters backed House Democrats 54 percent to 43 percent, half the advantage of 2006 and two percentage points lower than in 2010.
Granted, he’s an English professor. Still.

Are Democrats losing their grip on the young? Everything is possible!

But in that passage, Bauerlein is mixing an array of statistics—from presidential elections and House elections, from “Republican wave” and “Democratic wave” years, from White House campaigns and mid-term elections.

Everyone knows it’s very risky to compare such statistics from presidential and mid-term elections. That’s especially true in the case of younger voters, who turned out heavily for Obama, tend to stay home for the midterms.

Let’s compare apples to apples! Here are the totals for younger voters in 2010 and 2014. Each was a “Republican wave” mid-term election year:
Voters aged 18-29, House elections
2010: 55 percent Democratic, 42 percent Republican
2014: 54 percent Democratic, 43 percent Republican
Those are approximations, of course, derived from exit polls. Do you see a major trend playing out in those numbers?

Bauerlein doesn’t seem especially good with numbers. Rather quickly, he moves on to this:
BAUERLEIN: Last April, Harvard’s Institute of Politics found a growing gap in party loyalty between younger millennials and older ones. In 2010, 18-to-24-year-olds chose to self-identify as “Democrat” over “Republican” by 15 percentage points, or 38 percent to 23 percent. By 2014, that gap had narrowed to 10 percentage points, 35 to 25, even as older millennials, between 25 and 29 years old, maintained that 15-percentage-point split. What’s more, 18-to-24-year-olds who called themselves “moderate,” not “liberal” or “conservative,” climbed five points, to 31 percent.
You can find the full data here. Please note:

In Bauerlein’s passage, we find no data which demonstrate “a growing gap in party loyalty between younger millennials and older ones.” All through his column, Bauerlein is seizing on relatively small changes in data and suggesting that big changes may lurk there.

It seems to us that Bauerlein isn’t especially savvy with numbers. To us, it’s sad that he actually wrote this piece, tragic that the New York Times stampeded off to print it.

Bauerlein enjoys sounding off about how dumb the younger folk are. “Never trust anyone under 60” is more the way we’d phrase it.

IMITATIONS OF NEWS: Live and direct from Maddow Land!


Part 4—The lamest of all our ducks:
For those who watched Rachel Maddow last night, we’ll start with heartfelt apologies.

For the second straight night, Maddow began her program with a rant about Democrats’ lack of plans for the current “lame duck” session of Congress. Before long, the empress was telling us this:
MADDOW (11/12/14): There is one thing that Senate Democrats definitely can do right now, alone, with this last bit of power that they’ve got before the Republicans take control of the Senate. They can confirm President Obama’s pending nominees.

I mean, the Republicans certainly are not going to do that when they’re in control, right? But the Democrats could do that now. That’s what they could spend this time doing.

There are about 160 Obama nominees of various kinds pending right now, including a couple dozen judges. One of the highest profile nominees is, of course, the president`s choice for attorney general of the United States, Loretta Lynch.

As we reported last night, Senate Democrats have inexplicably decided to not even try to confirm her while they’re still in control [of the Senate].
They’re instead just going to hope that Mitch McConnell will do it. He seems really nice now!

It’s not clear on what Senate Democrats plan on spending their time doing, instead of confirming the attorney general or any of these other nominations that the White House says are their biggest priority and that are in the power of the Senate Democrats to pass if they want to. What else are they going to do besides that?

So far, the only concrete thing we’ve heard is they want to work on the Republican idea for the Keystone pipeline because Mary Landrieu wants to lose her Senate seat with a feather in her cap.
To watch that segment, click here.

To Maddow, it’s all “inexplicable.” And it isn’t clear what Democrats want to do in this lame duck session.

“So far, the only concrete thing we’ve heard is they want to work on the Republican idea for the Keystone pipeline because Mary Landrieu wants to lose her Senate seat with a feather in her cap.” So said the magnificent Maddow, treating her viewers like fools.

Why do we say she was treating her viewers like fools? In part, because we read the New York Times yesterday morning.

In that well-known newspaper, Carl Hulse presented a full-length “Congressional Memo” about the two parties’ plans for the lame duck congressional session.

Hulse can always be wrong, of course. But he seems to inhabit a different realm, light years from Maddow Land:
HULSE (11/12/14): Democrats want to use the remaining days of their majority to pass a government-wide spending bill, advance nominations, consider a Pentagon policy bill and perhaps enact surveillance law changes. Republicans want to clear away much of the legislative underbrush and renew some tax breaks so they can have a clean start in January. The White House would also like to see government funding assured through next fall and to fill some of its executive and judicial branch vacancies.

“The key to it is finding something that both sides can agree on and understanding that the end result has to make both sides look reasonably good or at least not too bad,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.

Republicans said they were pleased that Democrats seemed increasingly inclined not to use the lame-duck session to press for the confirmation of the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta E. Lynch, as the new attorney general, a move that Republicans were seeing as just one last bit of nomination hardball on the part of their adversaries.

Democrats now indicate that given the press of other priorities, there may not be time to bring the nomination to a floor vote. They say that given her strong credentials, Ms. Lynch should be able to win confirmation from a Republican Senate. And if Republicans block her, Democrats see some political advantage because Republicans would be killing the nomination of the first African-American woman to head the Justice Department—a move that could provoke a backlash.

For their part, Democrats and their allies would like to see Republicans allow some leeway on nominations, particularly career Foreign Service officers waiting for ambassadorial confirmations, rather than force Democrats to consume hours of floor time pushing them through.
If you watch the Maddow show, you’ve been propagandized for two straight nights about the Democrats’ lack of planning for the lame duck session.

If you read the New York Times, you’re suddenly in a different world. You’re in a world where Democrats have a long list of plans for the lame duck session. Where Democrats say they think Lynch will get confirmed through regular order, where Democrats say they’ll gain a political advantage if that doesn’t occur.

What do Democrats actually think? We have no idea. But as of last night, Maddow seemed to have heard about none of the things reported in the Times.

She still hadn’t heard about Democrats’ plans “to pass a government-wide spending bill, advance nominations, consider a Pentagon policy bill and perhaps enact surveillance law changes.”

She hadn’t heard that Democrats say that Lynch will get confirmed under McConnell. She hadn’t heard about the possible political advantage in the event she doesn’t.

According to Maddow, it was still “inexplicable” that Democrats aren’t going to rush the Lynch nomination along. Just so you’ll know, here’s the way she portrayed the state of affairs during the endless opening segment of Tuesday’s TV show:
MADDOW (11/11/14): A top-ranking Democratic Senate aide telling NBC News today that they will not put Loretta Lynch’s confirmation up for a vote during the lame duck session because, according to the Democrats, there just isn’t enough time. The lame duck session is short. They say it’s a lot of work to confirm somebody and so they don’t plan on doing it. They don`t even plan on trying to do it.

That puts the confirmation of President Obama’s attorney general nominee in the hands of this nice man, Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who will take over control of the United States Senate in January.

Who here thinks it bodes well to President Obama’s nominees to help Mitch McConnell in charge of whether or not they get confirmed now? Raise your hands! I can’t see your hands.

Everybody who thinks that Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are going to happily confirm President Obama’s nominees, especially for really high-profile, really controversial jobs, raise— I can’t see any—

Raise your hands up higher! I can’t see any of your hands at all. Anybody?

But that is apparently what Democrats are going to do to Loretta Lynch and to this nomination for attorney general. They’re going to hand it over to Mitch McConnell. Let him do it. Because as they say, there’s no time to do it in the meantime. Can’t possibly be done. The lame duck session is very, very, very busy.

For example, when Congress comes back tomorrow for Day One of the lame duck session, the House put out this very imposing document about what they’re going to be taking on in the lame duck.
As you can see, there’s the Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse Conveyance Act. There’s something Darrell Issa wants to do, which is called the Government Reports Elimination Act.

There’s also, how could I forget, reauthorizing the National Estuary Programs.. Now I bow to no one in my appreciation for our nation’s estuaries. But this is not actually a chock-a-block schedule. This is not actually them running full out. Can`t squeeze in another vote! We know it’s important, but there’s just no time!
To watch that segment, click here.

Just for the record, the House will have nothing to do with the confirmation of Lynch. That's a Senate function.

But so what? Maddow went on and on from there, helping us learn to adore her more fully through her incessant clowning. Her portrait was rather hard to square with the portrait which appeared in the Times the next morning.

As a final point, please understand: Maddow made little attempt to explore her highly unflattering representations of the Democrats’ alleged lack of planning for the lame duck session.

On Tuesday might, she introduced Connecticut senator Chris Murphy for one of her famous 60-second interviews. But she only asked about a particular proposal concerning ISIS.

Last night, she spoke with Sabrina Siddiqui, “political reporter at The Huffington Post.” After asking about a gun issue, she finally let you hear this:
MADDOW (11/12/14): From your reporting about what could happen and what Democrats do prioritize right now, the Loretta Lynch vote right now, it sounds like Senate Democrats are not planning on moving on that at all, that they’ll wait for the Republicans to take it up and see what happens there.

Do you have any insight or any reporting into what the strategic thinking is there? Because it doesn’t seem to make much sense, if they do really want Loretta Lynch to be confirmed.

SIDDIQUI: Well, the strategic thinking is to focus on a lot of the judicial vacancies right now, which Republicans will outright oppose when they take control of the Senate. So Democrats really want to use this narrow window they have, they’re only going to be in session for a total of two weeks, to try and confirm as many of those pending nominations as they can with a simple majority while they still have it.

Republicans have said that they don’t—that they will give Loretta Lynch a fair shot and they just want more time, they want more hearings, they want more meetings. And I think that Democrats believe that Republicans won’t have much reason to oppose her, so long as there aren’t any missteps when it comes to her confirmation hearings.

I think what Republicans want to do is kind of take her temperature on the subject of immigration since the president is potentially pursuing executive action on immigration. But otherwise, they have said that they have little reason to oppose her.

MADDOW: Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter at the Huffington Post, thanks very much for your time tonight. I appreciate you being here.
After two long nights of propaganda, you were finally allowed to hear that handful of words. They contradicted everything Maddow had said during the course of those two nights.

In Maddow Land, that’s “fair-and-balanced.”

Maddow asked no Democrats about their plans for the lame duck session. She didn’t speak with Hulse about his understanding of the matter.

Instead, she dished reams of propaganda before turning to interviews on specialized topics. In this way, the Queen of Snark retains her control of a devolving empire.

Technically, Maddow is bright. With normal supervision, she could presumably be an outstanding journalist.

That said, there seems to be no supervision in Maddow Land. Tomorrow, we’ll show you the way the suits are trying to peddle their very strange corporate product.

Tomorrow: “We’d be lost without her”