Monday, January 24, 2011

Open Thread


Olbermann out at MSNBC for getting on MOMCOM's nerves
and of course Comcast had nothing to do with it
Evidently Keith had been fired once before in 2008
The scuttle-butt is that he left to start a new media empire, that he was not fired ... expect a link to Keith Blog on a browser near you soon
Robert Reich says run when you hear the term "improving American Competitiveness" ... does it mean that MOMCOM wants everyone to be paid minimum wages so we can "compete"?
Just Us Clarence Thomas failed to disclose as much as a million dollars of his wife's income from conservative groups ... a clear and present violation of law
Professor Jonathan Turley explains why Thomas and Scalia are a problem in our legal system
New words for the future of the planet
TSA loses court case against citizen who raises Kane


  1. Never got in to Olbermann all that much. Too much hyperbole and too many grandiloquent rhetorical flourishes. He always came across to me as a the ultimate snooty liberal academic who seemed like he was trying to make everyone in the room feel stupid for not being as smart as he was, regardless of whether you agreed with him or not.

    It's especially important for liberal commentators to remember that if they're actually trying to convince the masses of the validity of a liberal argument - an uphill battle under the best of circumstances - rather than just add another voice to the echo chamber where all partisan political supporters typically spend all their time, you have to at least make an attempt to speak their admittedly crude language.

    As in, long, incoherent diatribes that come across as something delivered by an extremely pissed off Oxford Queen's English professor are not gonna win you the "hearts and minds" from even moderate conservatives (i.e, defected "democrats"), never mind the conservative blue/no collar base. Olbermann was pretty much an unknown among that crowd, except as an object of ridicule by FOX News analysts, who will no doubt have some great fun with his firing as well.

    Sad to say, but liberals just don't do "rage politics" very well at all. And if NoBama and his cohorts are any indication (and they're the poster boys), they do capitulation and sell-out so much better that they seem to have a patent on the process. The dems have been permanently relegated to their rightful role as class clowns; the humorous little fringe group we allow to hang around for their faux opposition to mainstream corporate-capitalist-militarist-fascism, which, unfortunately, is revealed for the sham political posturing that it is whenever we switch up and actually give them the political majority once every twenty years or so.

    NoBama is currently in the process of a complete political makeover for the party, having already transformed it into the moderate wing of the GOP in his first two years. He's already clearly signaled where he's headed in the next two, after which the transformation will be complete.
    We now have one party rule in the US, with individual lawmaker differences based less on ideology or party affiliation, but almost exclusively on special interest affiliation, local district politics, and future ambitions. In other words, a staged comedy/drama where none of the actors' motivations can be reliably known or trusted and the outcomes are universally a farce, often tragic at that.

  2. Strange about Olbermann, he was their most popular show.

  3. Looks like Olbermann quit now, or that his exit was a mutual falling out.

    Keith Olbermann Has Reportedly Been Negotiating His Exit For a While, Now

    Still not a big deal, unless you spend a lot of time on MSNBC listening to hysterical political talk. To tell the truth, I don't think FOX wields that much power these days either. There's a limit to how much of that stuff you can ingest before you acquire immunity. Especially since so much of it is faux outrage these days anyway.

    The truth of it is, the political wars in the US have been settled. The corporatists won, and political parties are no longer relevant to the discussion. We're all corporatists now, whether we like it or not, and the only thing left to be decided is whether they have any use for us little people at all, other than consuming their corporate shit to keep the profit engines running. That's gonna be increasingly hard to do with jobs hemorrhaging overseas to benefit from low cost third world labor, but I'm sure they'll think of something.

  4. disaffected,

    "We're all corporatists now, whether we like it or not, and the only thing left to be decided is whether they have any use for us little people at all, other than consuming their corporate shit to keep the profit engines running."

    Very well said.

  5. Looks like I'll have to split this one into two comments:

    I've always loved Robert Reich for his ability to cut through the economics gobbledygook and make his points in plain English. He's also been onto the corporate conservative scam for as long as I've been reading him, and doesn't pull his punches when exposing their self-serving doublespeak.

    Whenever you hear a business executive or politician use the term "American competitiveness," watch your wallet.


    It's politically important for President Obama, as for any president, to be available to American business, and to avoid the moniker of being "anti-business." But the president must not be seduced into believing -- and must not allow the public to be similarly seduced into thinking -- that the well-being of American business is synonymous with the well-being of Americans.

    Won't here many of the corporate-shill economists saying that these days. It's pretty much orthodoxy now that as big business (with minimal lip service usually paid to small business as well) is the key to prosperity in the US, and indeed, the world over. And the sad thing is, the titans of industry actually believe their own bullshit! (The politicians, money whores all, are paid off to do what they're told, so what they do or don't believe is largely irrelevant.)

    NoBama's is now clearly signaling that he know's just who's buttering his bread, and is now clearly committed to wining them over to ensure his successful reelection in 2012. Thing is, and this is the same story with all successful pols, if you spend all of your life aspiring to attain a certain office but then realize that you have to sell-out all your core principles once you get there to keep that office, what was the point of it all in the first place?

  6. Now I don't know at what point NoBama made the conscious choice to sell himself as a liberal but govern as a corporate conservative, but the fact is, he's clearly made that decision, and apparently has no trouble at all living with it either. Showing no signs of a conflicted personality or anything of that sort, I can only assume that his whole political persona was concocted before he ever got on the national stage, with the realization that this would be his key to fame and fortune, realizing full well that a black man would never get elected as a Republican, and that a dem would never get reelected governing as a liberal. A high stakes gamble of a political strategy every bit as brilliant as it is cynical!

    So, the question is, can he pull it off? He has now made his bed with moderate Republicans for better or worse, having pretty much burned his bridges with the "lunatic liberal fringe" that got him elected in the first place. Will they - outside of the corporate executive class who should absolutely LOVE the guy - actually support a black man who is still nominally a "liberal dem" (wink, wink, nod, nod)? Especially in a race where the other side has time and again revealed their propensity for dirty election tricks. I simply don't think there's any way possible for that to happen, no matter how bad the other choices will be.

    All of which leads me to believe that this was all an inside set-up job from the very beginning. Somewhere along the line during W's waning term, NoBama was approached by conservative corporate interests about filling the role of a one and done dem president, whose primary role would be to grease the wheels during a time of turmoil for a GOP resurgence of epic proportions in 2012. He would of course get eternal fame and glory as the first US minority President, after which he could retire to the infinitely more profitable private sphere as an elder statesman and titan of industry. A pretty damn good gig, no matter how you slice it.

    NoBama has proven to be eminently pragmatic in his first two years, and as was pointed repeatedly during the 2008 election, he had almost no legislative record at all to evaluate, the traditional bane of Senate presidential candidates. NoBama as puppet candidate? I think the evidence is strong, and it wouldn't even involve a "conspiracy" per se. Just a well worked out business arrangement made between powerful actors several years in advance, from which all stood to profit handsomely. Similar arrangements are made at the corporate level all the time.

  7. Looks like Tuesday's State of the Union (or SOU as the acronymers are calling it these days) is going to be some sort of symbolic love fest, with dems and Repubes sitting together, holding hands, and singing kumbaya while the oracle NoBama pontificates, and GOP budget-whiz up and comer Paul Ryan waits in the wings to say "don't listen to any of that" in his "official rebuttal" on the behalf of the GOP. Rumors that members are going to retire to the WH Rose Garden afterward to the refrains of Led Zeppelin and the faint but distinctive scent of sensimilla are entirely unsubstantiated, and SHOULD NOT be repeated.

    Not to be deterred, Minnesota's resident idiot and public embarrassment Michele Bachmann has deemed herself worthy of delivering an "alternative official rebuttal," which should really be the highlight of the night, given her propensity for "public senior moments," in spite of the fact that she's only in her mid-50's. (Rumor has it that NBC has a show in development for next year called "America, YOU deliver the rebuttal!" telecast appropriately from barrooms across the nation) One should never underestimate the effects of years of alcohol and/or prescription drug abuse, not to mention plain old stultifying discourse in the ranks of the Republican rank and file.