Mike Barnicle and Mika Brzezinski: Bloggers != Journalists!!!1one

by matttbastard

Transcript:

BARNICLE: [S]omeone ought to tell governor Palin that there’s a distinction between blogging and what she refers to as journalism. Blogging –

MIKA: Is not journalism!

BARNICLE: I would say 95%; maybe 99% of blogging is basically therapy for the blogger.

MIKA: And it’s anonymous, isn’t it?

BARNICLE: Yeah. You know.

One wonders who serial plagiarist Real Journalist™ Mike Barnicle stole his warmed-over “bloggerz r teh sux0rz” critique from.

Yawn.

Keep the band playing while the Titanic sinks, folks.

PS: ‘pseudonymous‘, not ‘anonymous’. FFS.

h/t Matthew Yglesias, by way of Extreme Mortman.

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I don’t think wingnuts should be anywhere allowed blog.

by matttbastard

DRJ, squatting at Patterico’s pad, plops out this wet, stinky turd-like nugget of what passes for insight deep in the bowels of Outer Wingnuttia, regarding Joe the Plumber War Correspondent’s recent, um, statement on the SCLM and its uber-treasonous war coverage:

I know this drives liberals crazy — they think we’re rednecks. Maybe we are but I love this guy.

No, we actually think you’re an idiot.  The fact that you unabashedly “love this guy” (and have apparently deluded yourself into believing that the Left is collectively pissing its Chinos over the subliterate fauxpulist wisdom of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) perfectly illustrates precisely why we think you’re an idiot–and why you and your fellow travellers are all now irrelevant.

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Dear Conservative Party of Canada

Stop fucking lying:

“Our objective is to get a majority of senators in the Senate who support reform. That is our objective. Once reform is passed, everyone will be standing for elections,” [a Conservative Party aide] told reporters at a background briefing yesterday.

“Our government will continue to push for a more democratic, accountable and effective Senate,” Harper said in a statement that accompanied the list of appointees.

“If Senate vacancies are to be filled, however, they should be filled by the government that Canadians elected rather than by a coalition that no one voted for,” he said, referring to the Liberal-NDP coalition agreement that was signed before Harper sought prorogation of Parliament earlier this month to avoid a confidence vote.

Despite the overwhelming ignorance of a majority of Canadians, we do not ‘elect’ a government; we elect a Parliament by voting for local candidates who, if successful, become Members of Parliament, followed by the formation of a government–which may or may not represent the  party that had a majority of its MPs elected to Parliament.  If a group of MPs (say, a coalition of opposition MPs who represent a majority of seats in the House of Commons) can gain the confidence of the House, they have every right to form a government, regardless of election results.  You know this, and yet you continually lie (yes, lieEd Broadbent sure called it earlier this month) in the process of stating your case as to why you should remain in power.

By now it should be more than apparent that you could give a flying monkey fuck about anything (including the welfare of the nation) apart from clinging to power and furthering your radical right-wing agenda by any means necessary. But what’s truly sad is the fact that, during the course of their report, Tonda MacCharles and Bruce Campion-Smith apparently felt that correcting a blatant falsehood was unnecessary.  When the press colludes with the PMO to spread disinformation, even unwittingly, is there any wonder why the people of Canada are so ignorant of the democratic process?

Look, I know that Goebbels is said to have once famously (and  perceptively) quipped that if you “repeat a lie a thousand times it becomes truth”; but one would hope that our nation’s elite would have higher standards with regards to whom they are channeling their PR strategy through.

With vexation and disgust,

matttbastard

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Beltway Inertia and the Rule of Law

by matttbastard

In a must-read post today, Glenn Greenwald challenges Ruth Marcus and the establishment Washington consensus, in which the pursuit of war crimes charges against soon-to-be-former Bush officials is arbitrarily dismissed as either too polarizing, too partisan, or just too goddamn difficult to successfully prosecute, and thus should be preemptively abandoned.  Greenwald explains why this virtually ensures the perpetuation of an unlawful historical feedback loop:

Along with the desire for just retribution, one of the two principal reasons we impose penalties for violations of the criminal law is deterrence — to provide an incentive for potential lawbreakers to refrain from breaking our laws, rather than deciding that it is beneficial to do so. Though there is debate about how best to accomplish it and how effective it ultimately is, deterrence of future crimes has been, and remains, a core purpose of the criminal law. That is about as basic as it gets. From Paul Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor, and John Darley, Psychology Professor at Princeton, in “The Role of Deterrence in the Criminal Law“:

For the past several decades, the deterrence of crime has been a centerpiece of criminal law reform. Law-givers have sought to optimize the control of crime by devising a penalty-setting system that assigns criminal punishments of a magnitude sufficient to deter a thinking individual from committing a crime.

Punishment for lawbreaking is precisely how we try to ensure that crimes “never happen again.” If instead — as Marcus and so many other urge — we hold political leaders harmless when they break the law, if we exempt them from punishment under the criminal law, then what possible reason would they have from refraining from breaking the law in the future? A principal reason for imposing punishment on lawbreakers is exactly what Marcus says she wants to achieve: “ensuring that these mistakes are not repeated.” By telling political leaders that they will not be punished when they break the law, the exact opposite outcome is achieved: ensuring that this conduct will be repeated.

[…]

Every time we immunize political leaders from the consequences of their crimes, it’s manipulatively justified in the name of “ensuring that it never happens again.”  And every time, we do exactly the opposite:  we make sure it will happen again.  And it does:  Richard Nixon is pardoned.  J. Edgar Hoover’s lawbreakers are protected.  The Iran-contra criminals are set free and put back into government.  Lewis Libby is spared having to serve even a single day in prison despite multiple felony convictions.  And now it’s time to immunize even those who tortured detainees and spied on Americans in violation of numerous treaties, domestic laws, and the most basic precepts of civilized Western justice.

One would hope to see those individuals who have been granted a national platform that allows them to have a measurable impact on the tone of discourse in Washington be responsible and advocate on behalf of the rule of law. Instead, they collectively sigh, texturally furrow their brows over how hard it is to do the right thing, before finally settling for the cold, easy comfort of doing nothing (shades of grey, children. Shades. Of. Grey.) In an article published yesterday by McClatchy Newspapers, Marisa Taylor starkly lays out the logical consequence of elite apathy towards defending the rule of law:

Without wider support, the campaign to haul top administration officials before an American court is likely to stall.

What this says to the nation, and the world, about the US and its lack of commitment to justice, human rights, and the rule of law is nothing short of staggering.  As Loyola war law expert David Glazier put it,

It is mind boggling to say eight years later that there is not going to be some sort of criminal accountability for what happened… . It certainly undermines our moral authority and our ability to criticize other countries for doing exactly the same thing. But given the legal issues and the political reality, I am hard pressed to see any other outcome.

And because our gatekeepers of ‘reasonable’, ‘serious’ discourse can’t begin to envision any viable course of action other than forgive and (try our goddamndest to) forget, all of this–state-sanctioned torture and rendition, unlawful domestic surveillance, an unnecessary war in Iraq that, thus far, has killed well over a million people–has, in effect, been green-lighted twice.  First, by Bush, Cheney and the rest of those who felt that burning the Constitution was the only way to save it. Then, retroactively, by those in the Beltway press corps, elite Washington society and–most egregiously–the incoming Democratic administration, all of whom would apparently rather practice their statesman-like ostrich pose than risk disrupting the inertial ebb and flow of their delicate political ecosystem.

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Dear Toronto Star

What will those crazy kooky kids think of next?  Smoking cigarettes? Having sex?

April Fool’s Day is just over 4 months away. I’ll charitably assume someone merely jumped the gun with this hyperventilating get-off-my-lawn pearl-clutcher about the “new culture of intoxication”, and isn’t sincerely peddling the notion that getting pissed at home prior to going out on the town is in anyway a ‘new phenomenon’. Still, just to be safe, I’d recommend ordering a Breathalyzer test and having security check his or her desk for funny smelling beverage containers–I mean, there has to be some explanation as to why anyone would purposely greenlight poorly-reasoned alarmist tripe like this.

Besottedly yours,

matttbastard

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This Is What Harper Country Looks Like

by matttbastard

“D’oh Canada” indeed:

A new survey for the Dominion Institute taken in the aftermath of this month’s political crisis in which the word “prorogue” was dusted off political science textbooks suggests a woeful ignorance when it comes to our system of government.

For example, results of the Ipsos Reid survey show 75 per cent of Canadians asked believe the prime minister, or the Governor General, is head of state. Bzzzz – wrong.

It’s actually the Queen.

Only 24 per cent managed to answer correctly, according to the poll provided exclusively to The Canadian Press.

[…]

Given a choice how best to describe the system of government, 25 per cent decided on a “co-operative assembly” while 17 per cent opted for a “representative republic.”

Canada is neither.

Only 59 per cent correctly picked constitutional monarchy.

In a similar vein, 51 per cent wrongly agreed that Canadians elect the prime minister directly.

In fact, Canadians elect local members of Parliament and the leader of the party with the most members by tradition becomes prime minister at the request of the governor general.

Head. Desk.

Please, keep these results in mind the next time y’all wanna rag on our neighbours down south for collective national ignorance.

Srsly.

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Dear Murdoch Times

…ahh, fuggeddaboutit.  Y’all are beyond redemption– making shit up is standard operating procedure for many in the UK press, ethics and standards be damned.   At least folks in the Mother Country readily acknowledge this fact, making its impact far less potent (at least domestically–there are those here in NA, many of whom should know better, who actually treat the Daily Mail as something resembling a legitimate source, rather than discount bird cage liner.  No, seriously!)

Just keep this in mind: according to CNN, Rahmbo “has been notified that he is not a target of the investigation.”  That means that, despite the sordid innuendo of James Bone’s copy, the future CoS wasn’t caught on tape  saying things to Gov. Blagojevich (or Blago’s staff) that could “prove an acute embarrassment to the incoming Obama Administration, even if no illegal deals were discussed”–which obviously weren’t, or else Rahmbo would likely be a target of the investigation–“and could even force Mr Emanuel’s resignation”. Yes, and it could also force winged simians to emerge flapping from Mr. Emanuel’s backside.

Hey, anything’s possible in the Murdoch Times (Drudge siren!!11one)

Here’s the thing: It is all too apparent that  Obama (and the Village) is already quite aware of Rahmbo’s, ah, colourful reputation.  That’s likely why he’s CoS, not Secretary of State.   So you’d think it would take a whole lot of, ah, colour to embarrass the incoming White House, acutely or otherwise.
Or, as fakerahmemanuel colourfully puts it:

In a word: NOTAFUCKINGCHANCE.

with bemusement and resignation,

matttbastard

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Return of the Midnight Appointments

by matttbastard

(Current) Prime Minister Stephen Harper is quickly going nuclear, apparently about to play his one possible trump card–18 vacant seats in the Senate just waiting to be filled:

“It’s outrageous,” said New Democrat MP and reform critic David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre), whose party advocates abolishing the Senate. “I can’t believe that the Prime Minister is just literally giving Canadians the finger.”

Christopherson was angry over both Harper’s change of position and his timing.

“This is about a blatant power move by someone who does not have the legitimacy of the Canadian people in terms of the votes he got, nor does he have the confidence of the House,” Christopherson said.

“I can’t believe that the Prime Minister is just literally giving Canadians the finger.”

Why are we still surprised by the depths in which Stephen Harper will sink in order to further his partisan Conservative agenda? Ever since the election, he has comfortably settled into the role of a Nixon-like figure, veering wildly between equally potent expressions of partisan aggression and grievance, his deliberately divisive calculations polarizing the nation and Parliament along increasingly unstable regional and ideological faultlines with apparent disregard to the long term consequences.

This latest maneuver is precisely why Liberals–especially Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff–must remain firm in their commitment to taking down this government.

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Nothing to See Here…

by matttbastard

So I’m skimming Memeorandum, wearily chuckling at Ben “$400 haircut!!1one” Smith’s apparent inability to properly distinguish between ‘censorship’ (Eek!! What does teh Obama has to hide aboot teh Blago?!) and ‘burying‘, when I spot the following Salon headline on the New Item Finder sidebar:

What Do The Clintons Have on Obama?

Thinking it’s time to once again break out the trusty Em Ess Em clue stick, I click, only to discover that it’s just the latest moldy Camille Paglia time-slip from the Alanis Morrisette era (yes, yes–you! you! you! oughta know not to click a Salon link on the second Wednesday of every month, unless it’s Glennzilla). So, I figure, why waste the effort? I have many, many other tasks awaiting my attention that are far more worthwhile than tying myself up in knots trying to untangle Paglia’s typically twisted reasoning.

Seriously–these cuticles won’t tend to themselves.

Oh, and just to briefly satisfy your perverse curiosity, yes, she’s still Madonna-crushing hardcore on the neo-feminist ex-mayor of Wasilla, spouting some blather about “the quick, sometimes jagged, but always exuberant way that Palin speaks — which is closer to street rapping than to the smug bourgeois cadences of the affluent professional class.”

*blinks*

Apparently Pags is trying her goddamndest to be hailed as popademia’s answer to John Hinderaker.

You betcha.

(Oooh. Jagged yet exuberant!)

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A Liberal Government Without a Coalition: Clear, Refreshing and Zero Calories!

by matttbastard

pogge nails it–behold, the birth of the uncoalition:

[CTV News Ottawa Bureau Chief Bob] Fife also said senior Liberals have told him that they may not need a coalition to form a new government.

“If they do defeat the Conservative government… Ignatieff will go to the Governor General and say ‘We think we can form the government but we don’t have to do it with a coalition,'” Fife said.

“In other words we don’t have to give the NDP any seats in a Liberal government.”

He said the NDP and Block (sic) would have to support the Liberals because they already have expressed their hatred towards the Conservative government.

Y’know, I get the impression that this mysterious gaggle of “senior Liberals” who go running to Fife every time a gnat cuts a fart during a caucus meeting have an ongoing bet on who can convince CTV’s 1337 stenographer to breathlessly relay the most outrageous load of horseshit, no matter how absurd. Yes, the NDP will dutifully prop up the Grits without having a say in shaping policy. And Stephen Harper truly has the best interests of the nation at heart.

Tell me another one, Bob.

Anyway, Iggy just reiterated his (tepid) support of the coalition, stating in his first news conference as Liberal interim leader that “the ball is in Mr. Harper’s court” and that the (un)coalition is fully prepared to form a “stable” government, should the Governor General make such a request. So even though pogge’s skepticism is likely warranted (based on both Liberal scuttlebutt and Iggy’s equivocation about whether he will actually invoke the coalition option), I’m not quite ready to write off the coalition as DOA just yet. What Iggy has made abundantly clear is this: over the next several weeks the overtures and maneuvers undertaken by Harper and his minions will determine the fate of this Parliament.

One wonders if the current Prime Minister, based on the hubris he’s displayed over the past several weeks, will be able to resist hanging himself with the rope he’s just been handed.

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