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Oh, General John Allen’s emails to Jill Kelley were “flirtatious“, were they?  That doesn’t do anything for me.  For fuck’s sake, The Wall Street Journal is talking about the shirtless photos an FBI agent sent Kelley.  The old stuff that used to grab me just isn’t provoking the same response.  I’m becoming desensitized to the news.

Wait, the Allen/Kelley emails “were like phone sex“?  Mmm, that’s more like it.

Since the more things change the more things stay the same

 

 

I can feel pretty confident predicting at least one of these stories will be published at some point:

NSA intercepts capture “passionate moaning” during Bolton, Power phone calls

NYTimes, 5/14/14 – Two more high-powered Washington foreign specialists have been caught up in the NSA surveillance scandal.  Phone calls captured by the agency between UN Ambassador Samantha Power and John Bolton, who held Power’s position in the second Bush administration, depict the two having multiple sessions of phone sex, some lasting for hours.  A highly-placed official in the NSA described the calls’ runtime as consisting mostly of “passionate moaning”.  When the energy seemed to be lagging, Powers would hurl militaristic insults at Bolton, such as,”You blood-soaked walrus, you don’t care who you hurt, do you”; Bolton would often respond in kind, declaring, “You want to call it “responsibility to protect” but deep down you know you love indiscriminate killing as much as I do you crazy-eyed bitch.”  At which point, the official said, the moaning would resume at greater pitch and volume.

President Rubio nearly breaks bed giving it to First Lady first night in White House

POLITICO, 1/21/16 – President Rubio and First Lady Jeanette Rubio were boning so hard last night after the Inaugural Ball that the king bed in the Presidential Bedroom had to be structurally re-enforced, someone close to the incident said.  No word on what positions were used that damaged the frame.  The Drudge Report has confirmed that the new nickname for Jeanette Rubio among the President’s staff is “The Fist Lady”.  A spokesman for the administration declined to comment.

Paul Ryan’s Prodigious Ejaculation Ability Spells Doom for Democrats

Matt Stoller, Washington Daily TimeWeek Beast Post AOL Slim Jim, 9/16/36 – Americans value a man’s man, someone who can get things done outdoors, in the office, around the house . . . and especially in bed.  Cory Booker, years ago, used to have that kind of can-do gung-ho spirit, but running a lackluster Presidential campaign has seemed to sap his strength.  The sex tape he unveiled during the Democratic convention did nothing to dispel the impression of him that is solidifying among the electorate: his stroke was all over the place, he featured barely any use of the tongue, and the money shot consisted of a few pennies.  He looked like he didn’t want to be there.  In a race that is a referendum on the future of the refugee problem, a solution to which will require Americans rallying behind the virility of their leader, Booker’s anemic performance is a huge liability.

This couldn’t be in greater contrast to the one Paul Ryan premiered last week.  It wasn’t just the three percent body fat and authoritative, almost manipulative commands – it was the masterful way he teased his partner, lying to her every time he seemed to promise a release into orgasm.  For a voting population that is increasingly frightened and looking for someone to believe in, Ryan gave them the type of strong and inspiring sex tape that many will respond to.

George Bush V and Rodham Clinton engagement orgy goes awry

McLean Mimeograph, 4/17/95 – The engagement orgy of George Bush V and Rodham Clinton last night in Shielded Dome 7 featured plenty of thrills, chills and come – at least until it was broken up by security.  Tevye Emanuel’s Community Response Team ushered orgy-goers into security sleds when a breach in the Southwestern gate resulted in a flood of contaminants entering the city.  They were soon beaten back beyond the perimeter, and the janitorial staff have already nearly cleaned up the scraps of leathery sunscarred flesh that had fallen off during the incident.  While they were being evacuated, some of the guests who had been interrupted at the height of their activities availed themselves of the CRT’s truncheons and whips.

While there were no casualties or injuries, a minor scandal looks to be brewing. One contaminant managed to board a security sled in the confusion and Laurie Craig, whose pussy was screaming from an erotic asphyxiation session that had been interrupted, allowed the contaminant to choke her to orgasm while others aboard her sled looked on in shock.  As soon as a member of the CRT was notified of the situation, the contaminant was exercised immediately.  Craig’s fate is much more uncertain, and though no-one expects her to resign from the cotillion committee, her tenure there is certain to be much rockier than it was yesterday.

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One-man human centipede Grover Norquist, author of the anti-tax pledge that Republicans all have to sign in order to eat at Congressional cafeterias, said a very funny thing on a CBS morning show yesterday.

Tsk tsk, how improper.  Thank you for disapproving of that uncivil comment, CBS lady.

(Quick tangent: is it me or is Charlie Rose starting to look more and more like some kind of Death of News Anchors from the Discworld?)

And on some level, she should, because it’s silly.  She could have done the equivalent of a 360 dunk by pointing out Fox News has been screaming about Obama promising socialism and to take all of the money from the rich, a campaign platform that is a bit more expansive than “I’m not Mitt Romney”, but we live in a fallen world.

On another level, though, it doesn’t matter.  What Norquist is doing is just an extension of what Romney’s campaign was premised on: just lie your fucking head off all the time.  And guess what?  It works.  The Romney campaign lied its fucking animatronic zombie-eyed heads off and the media slurrrrrrped it up. Of course they’re saying now that Romney was pushed too far to the right by a rabid Republican party, which not only contradicts the “Romney has successfully re-branded himself” smegma they were slinging a couple weeks ago but happens to not be true; Romney’s share of the popular vote was very close to what the basic measures of the economy predicted he would get.

It’s clear what the basic strategy is: say what’s most opportune at the moment, and rely on media coverage to fart out enough of a smokescreen (like the stinky and sad “fact check” saga that played out) so that in the end it doesn’t matter.  Norquist’s “poopy head” is just extending this past the election; say Obama ran a dirty and hollow campaign enough times and in enough ways and the question of just who really ran a good or bad campaign will become a dense banal cloud that no one can see through.

There’s something else going on here too, though, and it’s just utterly devastating to the typical centrist view of how media and political discussions more generally operate.  A view like Jon Stewart’s Read the rest of this entry »

Q: What’s the worst thing on TV right now?

A: Those fuckin’ trailers for Lincoln that get shown three times every commercial break.

Q: What’s the worst thing about the trailers?

A: It’s not that it looks like Spielberg’s conception of Lincoln was that the yellow Sun of the Earth gave him moral powers far beyond the reach of ordinary men, which is a shame, because Daniel Day-Lewis, David Strathairn, and Gale Boetticher all look like they’re having a ball. It’s that it forces one to remember that Doris Kearns Goodwin exists, and Doris Kearns Goodwin is fucking awful.

Let us draw a merciful curtain across the nagging plagiarism details; not only have they clearly not affected her rise to a comfortable role as a prominent public intellectual, but it is a might unseemly for someone with those connections and fame to have to deal with subjects that crude.

For, verily, she has to keep herself nice and clean in order to spray the fucking shit that keeps coming out of her mouth on television.  Like this recent nugget about the 3rd presidential debate, in which she acknowledges that Romney lied his Byrlcreemed head off but still “did what he had to do to seem presidential”.  Debates are a reliable staple in Goodwin’s wheelhouse, who can always be counted on to counter any naysayers of those misleading and inconsequential snoozefests with “oh no you don’t understand these debates may be incredibly facile and staged more than Danny Boyle’s Olympic ceremonies but you need to keep watching because, uh, here are the greatest hits from the past debates” fluffpieces.

It’s not just that she uses the same model of trite cliche generator Friedman uses but sprung for the “erudition” upgrade, it’s that she knows better.  She has to know better.  Because even though standards have been slipping at Harvard ever since they stopped asking Jews to prove the Riemann Hypothesis as an entrance exam question, presumably they still teach the fundamental basics of academic disciplines.  And presumably Doris Kearns Goodwin, with both an undergraduate degree and PhD in political science, would have been taught enough to know just how much of her Meet The Press appearance yesterday was a big mouthful of donkey come: all of it.

[W]hat the president has to do to build his mandate is to play both an inside game and an outside game.  He should use that political White House as an asset, more than he has done before.  I would have the– I’d have a cocktail hour every night, you have forty Republicans there, forty Democrats there, night after night after night, do what LBJ did, do that more than he’s done.  But the outside game means he has to mobilize that base.  That base was energized on election night.  He said to them, your job is not done.  It’s not just voting.  It’s there to bring pressure on obstructionist if they don’t get a deal done from the outside in.

1) The parties have become so polarized among such a wide variety of policies (PDF in google docs) that the good ol’ boy methods of the past like building coalitions based on personal relationships that relied on significant ideological overlap and lax party discipline taint work no’ mo’.  2) If I hear one more goddamn thing taking the BULLY PULPIT at face value Imma take my frustration out on some innocent nebbish pulpit, and that wouldn’t be fair.  3) “Build his mandate.”  Jeeeeeeeeee-zus.

But the fundamental loss of this campaign probably took place in the Republican primaries when they put out a group of people who were so far off the political cliff on issues that mattered to Latinos, to women and to young people.  And that is the new governing coalition.  And perhaps the fact that the economy got a little bit better is another fundamental fact.  But all these other things preoccupied us for so much time, you can only, looking back, see that.

A necessarily partial list of outlets running stories in real-time which boldly defy Doris Kearns Goodwin’s pronouncement: Salon. Fox News. NPR. The American Foreign Press also somehow got ahold of the analysis no-one did and put this samizdat in papers worldwide.  And I guess when shares of Etch-a-Sketch went through the roof in March it wasn’t because a presidential campaign made a statement about how the extreme things their candidate had been forced to say in the primaries weren’t worrying them.

I think what the president needs to do is to bring some CEOs into his top positions, FDR did that.  He brought in the head of Chrysler.  He brought in the head of Sears and Roebuck.  What about bringing Romney in to deal with this whole problem of how do you keep manufacturing here rather than going abroad?  What incentives to use?  What sanctions to use against countries that are not dealing fairly?  I think you bring people in but you don’t lose your conviction.

I’m actually glad she said this because it lets me bring up my favorite thing in the entire world: when David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell and member of the Erskine-Bowles commission, said within a fifteen-second span both that companies are not hiring because of regulation and uncertainty, and that Honeywell wasn’t hiring because there was very little demand for their products.  I can understand why Doris Kearns Goodwin would not want to acknowledge the existence of such things.  Oyez, more of this please, for fuck’s sake.

Literally the only thing I haven’t quoted is her saying she’s sad that important people can’t fuck anyone they fancy to their heart’s content without their careers suffering consequences for it.  So, 1 for 4?  If we’re using pity points?

And Christ maybe if she were actually deserving of the laurels heaped at her feet the constant centrist mist spritzed from her face would be more tolerable.  But the court intellectuals are always hacks, for some reason.  Her annoyance factor is not even about the plagiarism, it’s about the fact that her stuff doesn’t hang together academically, and that she isn’t afraid to do something like soft-pedal the immense racial hypocrisy of her subject in a work partially about his innate moral goodness if it makes for a good story.

Plus if Lincoln turns out to be horrible for that reason, the blame can’t all lie with Senior Spielbergo.  Some of it’s on the source material.  Some of it’s on Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Part 1: The Set-Up

– One consequence of inhaling the fetid gases arising out of the DC centrist swamp is the uncontrollable urge to express support for the “Grand Bargain”, a wide-ranging budget deal that would fiddle with tax rates and cut social spending programs in order to lower the long-term deficit.  Here’s the mad cow pen at Kaplan Test Prep lowing at it’s necessity.  A failure to come to a “Grand Bargain” was in part what led to the stalled negotiations to raise the debt ceiling in 2011.

– A result of the debt ceiling fever-dream was that spending cuts to programs awkward to cut (ie, the military and social spending whose rescission is most likely to cause blood to flow in the street) are to be enacted at the start of 2013.  Ben Bernanke (hereafter: The Lorax) warned last February that the combination of those cuts and the expiration of the Frank Booth* Tax Cuts would create a “fiscal cliff”.  His point in invoking the metaphor was to emphasize that we shouldn’t be enacting these austerity policies, because they would kill the economy.  He said this forcefully.  When the Treasury Secretary says something like “I think you also have to protect the recovery in the near term,” it’s measured policy speak for “you fucking twats, don’t cause another recession by cutting spending.”

* ‘cuz he fucked everything that moves, get it?

Part 2: The Sting

Now.  Centrists think going over the “fiscal cliff” is bad.  Just ask Politico.  But they also think a “Grand Bargain” is good.  Just ask Politico.

Everybody say it with me: THAT DON’T MAKE NO FUCKING SENSE.

The economy will be destroyed if we don’t avoid spending cuts and tax increases, but we need to enact spending cuts and tax increases right away in order to save the economy.

You can’t possibly believe that statement, and worse, you can’t manipulate it somehow to get it to make sense without running into another moat of centrist bullshit.  It doesn’t make sense to consider both dismantling the “fiscal cliff” and reaching a “Grand Bargain” together, but ok, first we avoid catastrophe and then we phase in long-term deficit reduction over time, right?  WRONG says Erskine Bowles in his best McLaughlin voice, doing so would “show markets we can’t put our house in order”, both have to be done nownownow.  Why the prescription for saving the economy is the same as what we have to stop in order to avoid tanking it, or why interest rates in 2020 will give a shit whether a deal was hammered out in January or October of 2012, are left as exercises to the reader.

Well ok but at least then there will be deficit reduction, right, that’s the whole point of this exercise? WRONG says Peter Orszag, in his virile high-pitched voice, “the most promising approach may be to compromise on Social Security — even though it is not a significant driver of our long-term deficits.”  The “fiscal cliff” needs to be used as an opportunity for a “Grand Bargain” of deficit reduction, even if there’s no deficit reduction.

Part 3: The Highest Form of Patriotism is to Punch Veterans in the Mouth

“Austerity will harm the economy, so we need to avoid it, but in the process of avoiding it we need to do it in order save the economy.  And even if it won’t save the economy, we have to do it.”  How much clearer could it possibly be that the centrist braying for dealing with the “fiscal cliff” and in the process instituting a “Grand Bargain” does not come from sober or reasoned economic analysis, and that looking for a through-line of logic from centrists in their incessant neighing for austerity is like trying to follow a single trail of slime in a slug orgy.

The purpose is not deficit reduction, or economic stability.  It’s what it always is: the transfer of wealth and security from the public to the private, from the masses to the few, from the base to the top.

How these broken-down jackasses are able to whine so incessantly for their plutocratic nightmare while holding up as paragons of virtue and civic responsibility the very people that will be destroyed by their policies is beyond me.  Two things are certain, this Veterans Day: David Gregory will blither staggeringly through his list of talking points to obscure the above analysis as much as possible, and he will praise veterans as the highest form of humanity yet attained, and I will vomit.  Three things.

I won’t be able to top Jon Schwarz: “I guess when you spend all day at work blowing up weddings, it’s hard to know when to stop.”  Obviously.  But I can try.

Petraeus must have been incredibly conflicted.  The CIA is “the tip of the spear”, but he’s the architect of the Surge.

Conservatives are outraged, and trying to create a scandal by framing this as an excuse to avoid testifying about the Libyan consulate attack.  The name of the scandal? Bang-ghazi.

Drone surveillance or it didn’t happen.

O christ what is this, fucking Andrea Mitchell.  No, Petraeus didn’t do that, too, he’s not an objectivist so he doesn’t hate himself enough to stoop that low.  But, in the more general sense: fucking Andrea Mitchell.

Call it power-worship, call it the emotional response of an authoritarian when her hierarchy wobbles a bit, call it the pain of one Villager seeing another get cut down (which just is not supposed to happen), call it knowing Petraeus socially on a personal level, but that kind of simpering response is exactly the problem with the centrist media.  Petraeus is part of the club so when he fails, even if its entirely his own doing, it’s a “tragedy”. Christ on a crutch. It’s not just that only bad things involving the people Mitchell represents with stuffed animals at her imaginary tea parties with the pink pot and cups generate an emotional response. It’s the militaristic deep-throating. All the people he’s killed devising and enacting military strategies that increase the destruction of entire societies to make wars more politically palatable, well, a “life of valor” is measured by such deaths, and they certainly do not cause tears to spring to the eyes, and words to catch in the throat, of Andrea Mitchell.  That’s why she’s there.  That and because she lets Alan Greenspan do the same things to her with a clarinet that he did to Ayn Rand.  With the same clarinet, too.  And you can’t wash those things, not really.

And with that, more jokes:

Proposed names of the Petraeus biography rejected in favor of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

Humping It: The Rise of General David Petraeus, In and Out of the Military

The Hard Thrust: How General David Petraeus Bucks Convention

A Commitment to Honor: General David Petraeus and Restoring Honesty to Military Strategy

David Does Dawlatābād

Petraeus is extremely competitive and his career aspirations know no bounds.  How fucking attracted must he have been to Broadwell to put all that at risk? There must have been some *very* dark psycho-sexual stuff going on between them, like Broadwell putting on brown body paint and Petraeus fucking her using a robotic dildo he controls from three thousand miles away.

Petraeus’ pet names for his and Broadwell’s genitalia are “the military-industrial complex” and “America”, respectively.

It’s hard to know how many times Broadwell came, because Petraeus counted every time she moaned as an orgasm.  Amnesty International is attempting to compile a complete list of Petraeus’ ejactulations, although there are obstacles to collecting data.

Those aren’t as funny though as these actual lines Broadwell wrote in the biography:

I took full advantage of [Petraeus’] open-door policy

Petraeus progressively increased the pace until the talk turned to heavy breathing

But it just starts to get weird with this NYTimes Ethicist column from July in which Chuck Klosterman gives advice to someone whose letter begins “My wife is having an affair with a government executive.  His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.)”  Probably a coincidence, but still . . . I agree with this Slate guy (damn you, Petraeus, how many lives must you ruin) that in any event Klosterman says some insightful stuff about the letter-writer probably having ulterior motives and wants some specific people to read about the scenario and deduce what’s going on.  He better hope it’s just a coincidence, otherwise he’ll be getting a one-way flight to Diego Garcia where someone will enact a clear, hold and build strategy on his rectum.

And my stars, this Daily Show interview of Broadwell from January.  She talks about her husband, and . . . it is too obscene, knowing what we know now, I cannot embed or discuss it, there are limits.

In all seriousness the announcement of the affair and the resignation (on a Friday, no less) are intended to encourage jokes like this and a tittering focus on naughty bits that obscure the enormous institutional faults that took place, and the extremely messy issues that crop up when the federal domestic criminal investigation branch is snooping on the foreign intelligence service. Try to focus on the important stuff.  And keep Holly Petraeus in mind, David’s wife, not only for the personal cost she’s paying for someone else’s mistake but because she’s has been doing yeoman’s work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It might turn out that she’s the vector for the largest damage to American political institutions that this incident causes, and there’s no strategy David should be able to implement that can win back our hearts and minds after that kind of collateral damage.

First: Wonkette and Charlie Pierce.  Read them now and always.  They get it.

Second: I have to piss at all times.  Such is my reaction to alcohol.  But I endure it, because I believe in swearing at centrists.  WOLVERINES!

Third: It is abundantly obvious that every single person on the TV knows that Obama is going to win, but no-one is saying it.  We will soon see who I will not want to play poker with, if I were ever invited to a poker tournament at David Gregory’s house.

10:05 Fox News: their panel talking about how a hypothetical President Romney will negotiate the fiscal cliff is sadder than all the puppies ever born drowned in a river of radioactive sludge.  To their credit: one of the blonde anchor dolls says that the Republican party was never interested in crafting policy that both parties could agree on, both in past sessions and in the future.  Although Y-delivery-system Megyn Kelly immediately says, “Well so what, even given that, doesn’t that mean Barack Obama will not be able to govern from the center in his second term.”  It’s evil, but it’s the kind of evil that I’m glad is being given airtime tonight.

10:12 MSNBC: Calls it for Obama by calling Ohio.  So did Fox News.  CNN is still clueless. I love it.  No one needs to pay attention to CNN ever again.  THERE ARE FIREWORKS BEING SET OFF IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, and John King is still saying that “Virginia could still put Obama over the top.”  Fuck CNN.  This is the exact moment when it dies.

10:19 Fox News: the rapid reaction spin is that “Obama’s campaign did a good enough job campaigning to keep it’s job.”  Megyn Kelly: “Obama’s campaign defined Romeny as a venture capitalist, and didn’t let people see the person who spent his life helping others.”  They’re also expressing their profound disbelief that the polls turned out to be right.

I’m concerned.  There was lots of discussion of whether Romney would be blamed for a loss, or whether conservatism as a philosophy would be blamed.  Steven Heyes is giving the “Romney didn’t push the contrasts enough; the exit polls says that ‘53% of the exit polls say that the government is doing too much of what could be done by private business” line, but every other person on Fox is giving the “Romney’s a pussy” line.  The Token Blonde says “maybe voters haven’t realized things like . . . maybe I shouldn’t complete that thought”.

The conservative response might be to game the media EVEN MORE THAN lying in every clause and muddying the very boundaries of what is campaign apparatus and what is a news division.

But those are concerns to take up in at least a few hours.  Right now everyone needs to get as drunk as possible and fuck someone they care about.

10:35 PBS: Ok, chicks and cocks, I was wrong.  We can’t take off a fucking second.  Because this is the moment when the deficit hawks are going to start dominating every stray electron available to get their message out to the public that DA FISCAL CRISIS must be addressed.  PBS is doing it’s part by having David Brooks and Mark Shields agree, more in sorrow than in anger, of course, that Obama’s election means that the nation is much more likely to go over the “fiscal cliff” in the coming months.

What is the fiscal cliff?  Naked Capitalism’s got your back.  It’s a set of policies whose internal triggers all trip at once, so it looks like we’re going to be hit by the Bush Tax Cuts expiring at the same time that the trillion dollar sequestration cuts are due to come into effect, along with a few other inconsiquential measures.  IT’S THE SCARIEST THING EVER.  Except agreeing to stop the sequestration cuts is the easiest thing ever, since no-one wants them, and everything else is an unalloyed good.  (Rich people have more cash they’re hoarding now than at any other point in human history; it would be much more efficient for the state to deploy it through tax-n-spend programs than having the rich park it in stocks and bonds).

Despite the fact that the “fiscal cliff” has an obvious-to-all path to follow in order to benefit the nation, it will be used as an excuse to institute austerity, tax cuts, budget cuts, pain for the hoi polloi and free money for the top .1%.  DO NOT LET THEM DO THIS.  CALL YOUR HOUSE AND SENATE REPRESENTATIVES, AND LET THEM KNOW YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR AUSTERITY OR CUTS. 

Voting is an incredibly crude tool for letting the powers-that-be know your preferences for how the country should be run.  If you voted, you should also call your representatives, at all levels of government, letting them know that you will not stand for further budget cuts in the name of austerity.  We are the ones we have been waiting for, and we have been given a republic, if we can keep it, and future generations will wonder what you did in order to stop the thieves and petty thugs from stealing economic wealth away from you.  Whatever cliche touches your heart, repeat that to yourself as you dial your congressman, demanding she fight for you.

11:10 CNN: They’re still talking about how county-level results might affect the election, even as they acknowledge the outcome won’t be changed.  IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER, DIPSHITS, TALK ABOUT OTHER RACES, BALLOT INITIATIVES, ETC.  This is yet another indication that CNN doesn’t understand the age they are operating in, that news networks are portraying policy positions and possible future paths as much as facts, and that it is inevitable they will whither and die if they don’t change their outlook.  Fox News and MSNBC were talking about future policy and political implications in the same sentence that they were announcing Obama won.

11:13 I have drunk all my wine.  Judged it pretty good, if I say so myself.

11:27 PBS: This is completely epiphenomenal but there is a huge slapfight among presidential historians (read: there is vocab like “i strenuously disagree”!) about concession speeches in the past forty years.  Even in matters where it completely does not fucking matter, there is a “both sides do it” ethos among network news coverage.  I need a drink.

 

First, I don’t want to worry anyone about the title: I’m about a bottle in.

Second, you shouldn’t be reading this, you should be reading Charles Pierce and Wonkette instead, both of who have been talking about voter suppression much more than any television coverage in the last few weeks and who will be posting commentary throughout the night.

Third, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Grape or Grain, but ne’er the Twain; Vine with Corn, Beware the Morn.

Let’s Go!

5:47 MSNBC: The graphic for the Republican candidate for Senate in Montana is wearing a flannel shirt.  I’m not sure this portends good omens for his chances.

5:58 Just a reminder: as they start reporting results, New Hampshire is likely to have its outcome known fairly soon, and if Obama wins the Old Man State or whatever the hell it is, Romney’s path to 270 shrinks to basically “win everything except Iowa and Colorado”

6:00 AAAAAAAAND we’re off! Wolfie is pretending he can’t call Indiana yet.  Integrity!

6:01 CNN: Wolfie is going to have an aneurism if he keeps screaming “LOOK AT THIS” at exit poll results.  Saying that Virginia is going to be close is not worth killing yourself, Wolfie.  Actually, strike that.

6:02 Sorry, that was mean. I hope Wolfie doesn’t hurt himself.

6:10 My local Fox affiliate isn’t starting its coverage until a half-hour after all the other networks, choosing to air an episode of The Simpsons instead.  The episode is from 2011, and obviously that’s good news for John McCain.

6:15 Actually John King is making a persuasive case that Indiana shouldn’t be called, with 80% of the vote counted and the margin between the candidates so far is only a few hundred. MSNBC already called it though.  Either way: I wish everyone talked like James Carville.  He just sounds so sincere. There would be no hipsters, if everyone talked like James Carville.

6:22 It’ll be interesting to see which network first calls Virginia, since if Obama wins it’ll basically mean the election’s over.

6:28 Every network is skeeting about Ohio.  IF OBAMA WINS VIRGINIA MITT HAS TO WIN EVERYTHING ELSE, WHICH WON’T HAPPEN.  Th’ fuck?  Actually it’s pretty clear race is the problem there.  Jeezum crepes, motherfalconing sons of birds.  And as I’m typing that CNN gives the “estimates” for North Carolina and Ohio. It’s a stupid thing to do since their methodology for determining it is as shit as the exit polls, but they have Obama tied with Romney in North Carolina, which is very encouraging.

6:35 Both Fox News and MSNBC are not doing the “estimate” thing CNN is doing, preferring to just say “too close to call” and reporting results as they come in.  CNN is so fucking awful.

6:44 The coverage across networks when they have time to fill is fairly similar.  “We’re receiving reports, ALL ANECDOTAL, of this one county in this one swing state whose results so far, WHILE WE ONLY HAVE A FEW PERCENT IN SO FAR, are off by 2008 by a couple hundred.”  Thanks, guys.  It’s not like anyone’s listening, you could talk about structural issues like first-past-the-post or our shameful “let every method of counting votes bloom” electoral system and actually serve the public discourse.  But I suppose that wouldn’t involve a huge monitor with a fancy touchscreen, would it.

6:54 PBS has a woodworking show on, which I respect.  CSPAN has it’s regularly scheduled programming but with the results running across the bottom of the screen.  Work that wood, PBS.

7:22 CNN: David Gergen is expressing surprise that the exit polls are shifting momentum from one candidate to another.  I wonder why he hasn’t been replaced by a talking dog hologram.  Wolfie throws it to commercial with a shot of the Empire State Building, whose spire is colored on different sides based on how many electoral votes each candidate has.  Literally not a single person on Earth gives a shit about that; I wonder how many people who are going hungry tonight could have been fed with the money which changed hands to make that happen.

7:29 PBS: Going from the network coverage with more graphics than a NASCAR race to PBS, which has 1980s graphics, is like going to one of those historical re-enactment sites where people in bonnets try and make candles.  Mark Shields is talking about how much pride folks from Jersey take in the Shore, because why not.

7:35 Al Jazeera: Why aren’t you watching Al Jazeera’s coverage.  The clause in which the anchor announced Arkansas went to Romney mainly dealt with polling methodology.

7:46 MSNBC: Ken Blackwell is, well, a black Republican who was a former Secretary of State in Ohio.  He has being interviewed on the MSNBC cable news network, and he has been saying that “of course the voting procedures in Ohio are fair, and they couldn’t have been run any better in this election.”  “There were long lines in 2008.  Elections have long lines.”  Ken Blackwell is a fucking liar.  Ken Blackwell knows damn well that the current Secretary of State in Ohio, a Republican, is intentionally making it harder for people to vote in this election.  Ken Blackwell knows damn well that efforts put in place after 2008 to alleviate long election lines were rescinded in the past few months for the 2012 election once Republicans controlled the Ohio state government.  And to MSNBC’s credit, every. single. person. on their panel immediately challenged Ken Blackwell’s lies and conveyed the immense stench of the bullshit Ken Blackwell was slinging.  Hope you sleep at night on a pile of money with many beautiful ladies, Ken Blackwell; I don’t know how you would get to sleep any other way.

7:57 CNN: James Carville turned the conversation on the panel from voter suppression to how people “feel” about the chances of each person being elected.  Fuck James Carville.  And Ken Blackwell.

8:09 I’m really kind of surprised no network is even mentioning the ballot initiatives.  Exit polls don’t go into those but they can mention the polling at least.  They’re saying fuck else.

8:23 All the networks are at commercial.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT.  We’re through the looking-glass here, people.

8:25 As you can probably tell the coverage just kind of alternates between inane county-level reports with 15% of the vote counted and inane interviews with campaign operatives where everyone’s confident their employer will win.  This might be the most persuasive evidence possible that network news is a sort of club that follows its own norms.  Why not talk about structural issues that affect turnout or the issues at stake in the campaign, or the ballot initiatives at stake at the different states, or the issues at stake in judicial elections, or the various merits of different kinds of voting methods besides first past the post, or the national popular vote initiative that a fair number of states have signed up for that would get rid of the electoral college, or the issues that haven’t been discussed in the campaign like the drug war and the fact that we imprison more people at a higher rate than any other country, or or or or . . . ?  Because, obviously, everyone making those decisions is recurited from the same small pool of people, and they’re looking at what everyone else is doing and just trying to not stand out.  Like NFL coaches, or people who just got their first pubs in middle-school.

8:37 I’m surprised but not surprised at how big of a deal the networks are making of calling New Hampshire and Wisconsin for Obama.  Romney’s paths to victory focus much more now on the larger electoral votes of Florida and Ohio and Virginia, and if they lose Colorado they can’t lose Iowa or else they lose. This is a Tipping Point, as Malcolm Gladwell might arrogantly say, and no-one is treating it as such.  I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but it’s another data point to throw on the humungous fucking pile of data points that news coverage serves their corporate interests first and foremost.

9:04 MSNBC: Chris Hayes is shouting about Senate filibuster reform.  If MSNBC can somhow de-politicize the “good government” ethos it’s been pushing tonight it will make a trillion dollars.  Of course if they try they will be politicized by Rush et al, which will filter up to Fox News and from there to CNN and Bob Schieffer  and so forth.

9:15 PBS: Austan Goolsbee has lost an immense amount of hair in the past three months.  Poor guy.  Not really.  I’m commenting on Austen Goolsbee’s hair because everything else is pretty much set: Obama’s gon’ win, Senate and House retain their previous party control, too early too call anything else like ballot initiatives.  And instead of talking about important things the networks are talking about . . . nothing.  PBS has some historian about how Reagan offered a model for Obama about “running on an economic record that was not objectively good, but getting better”.  WHY NO TALKEE ABOUT IMPORTANT THINGS, is my question.

9:21 CNN: It’s really weird listening to these pundits talk, since they all switch from “who’s gon’ win” to “why Romney lost” without acknowledging that Romney lost.  Like that scene from 1984 in the public square where thousands of people are gnashing their teeth about how awful their enemy Eastasia is, and they switch on a dime to hating Eurasia.  There are so many little artifacts littering the media landscape indicating how in-step they all are without telling the public what’s going on.

9:34 Fox News: EVERYONE, HUSH! Peggy Noonan has the floor.  “We won’t know what’s happening until everything’s done, and, goodness, two billion dollars spent and we end up with the same government!” Peggy Noonan, recall, used to be the most important person in the world: Reagan’s speechwriter, a young woman, guaranteed a top post in the next Republican administration where she gave George H.W. Bush the best speech he ever gave.  She grew up hearing her words echoed down the corridors of power, still just a child in some ways when the words she came up with, solely the product of her own imagination and drive, helped change the course of the world.  And know she’s reliable filler that bridges two hundred seconds of dead air between the commercial break and Dick Morris.  Peggy Noonan is the true loser tonight, and she should be in your prayers.

9:42 Al Jazeera: They’re talking about the politics of the timing of Romney’s concession speech while CNN is running a graphic saying Romney has more electoral votes than Obama.  Jus’ sayin’.

10:00 I made a new post,  before I deal with the dietetic effects of alcohol on the human genus.  Thank Christ Obama won, if Romney were president nerdy jokes would not be tolerated.

There’s no God, honey is taking on the metallic taste of radioactivity, and Major Garrett has a job.  Clearly nothing matters, so fuck it, let’s go.

3:16 MSNBC: Dana Milbank’s head has more bulges than Christina Hendriks’ body, my stars.  He looks like Peter Sarsgaard in Green Lantern.

3:24 CNN: Wolfie’s talking about long lines in Florida.  Will there be a mention of Governor Luthor’s conscious decisions to increase those lines?

3:26 CNN: No.  But there’s a shortage of pens at a random polling place in Miami!  Thanks Wolfie.  I’d suggest a drinking game every time obstacles to voting are mentioned without talking about conscious policies deliberately undertaken to depress voter turnout and make it harder for votes to be cast and counted, but there is not enough grain in the world to make that much alcohol.

3:32 MSNBC: Ana Marie Cox!  Her outfit looks like it was chosen by the costume designer on Girls.  (How’s it feel, Ana Marie Cox, now that the shoe is on the other foot)

3:37 CNN: oh my god Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is wearing an electric rainbow dream bolo tie.  And Van Jones says long lines are like a “poll tax” but attributes them to “structural causes”.  One of these is funny and one of these is sad.

3:52 CNN: Another drinking game that the categorical imperative insists should not be undertaken: take a drink every time someone talks about “increased turnout from 2008” without talking about the increase in population in the last four years.  Fer instance saying Virginia’s showing “more turnout than 2008” without mentioning there are half a million more people in Virginia now is, uhm, silly.

3:59 CNN: They’re talking about the Mitt Romney vote vending machine in Pennsylvania!  And they have a second confirmed case!  Oh but wait they’re “fixed” now.  Thank goodness, I’m relieved.  But what was wrong with the machine?  Was it software, hardware?  Was it one from Josh Romney’s company? Wolfie: “Hard to believe this could happen, in the United States of America.”  Only if you watch CNN, Wolfie.

4:06 whoops it’s Tagg Romney that has the shady ties with the investment firm that owns the voting machine company.  Of course Glenn Kessler’s outfit says there’s no need to worry.  Hey Kessler should go on CNN, it’d be a good home for him to piss out fires caused by plutocratic voting processes.

4:15 CNN: Mary Matalin is literally gritting her teeth when her husband the Cajun Lizard King is talking.  Have some more Maker’s Mark, Mary.

4:22 MSNBC: Chris Matthews you fucking idiot.  Joy Reid’s been doing the hard work at whatever the hell NBC thinks The Grio is, documenting the day-to-day voter suppression stuff and doing it in a way that names names, and when you interview her and she’s preaching the Good Stuff you cap it off with “That’s what I tell young people, whenever I talk to them, the act is voting, that’s the actual event, it’s not watching it on TV, you have to get out there and do it.”  Thank Christ America is lucky enough to have Chris Matthews be the guardian of the flame of conscience for young people, and that he focuses on it with such fervor.

4:26 CNN There’s a cute little fat kid in a bomber jacket in a polling place some dickhead correspondent is at in New Hampshire.  God speed, cute little fat kid.  Don’t fill up on civic pride, you’re eating dinner soon.

4:41 CNN Wolfie’s been teasing these first exit poll results like they show Michelle Obama saying “whitey”.

4:49 Fox News: Both Sides Do It Department: apparently there’s an elementary school that has a mural of Barack Obama in the room that’s serving as a polling place.  Voter intimidation!  I want to drink some Coors Light with someone who is concerned about this.

4:53 MSNBC: these guys are actually doing a fairly good job of talking about voter suppression.  Matthews is a cack but everyone he’s interviewing is bringing it up.  The slow transition from “objective” media to ones that are not controlled by those dynamics will not be without its upsides.

5:01 CNN: Holy shit Encyclopedia Brown is relevant to this election! Apparently Obama wiped away “three tears” at an Iowa rally on Monday night.  But in “The Case of Hilbert’s Song”, a chapter from Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace, Encyclopedia Brown deduces a little girl must be lying about something because she cries multiple tears from an outer duct, and multiple tears induced from sadness always fall from an inner duct.  And guess what you guys! Obama’s multiple tears all fell from his outer duct.  They must have been due to the cold, or the wind.  Thanks, Encyclopedia Brown, you have officially been more useful to analysis of this election than John King.

5:08 CNN: Candy Crowley is at the Romney campaign headquarters!  Awwwkwwwaaaaaarrrrrrrrrd.

5:17 Exit poll results are starting to trickle in.  Don’t trust exit polls, about anything.  CNN has a hologram of what Romney and Obama’s baby would look like clicking through how “satisfied” exit polls show Virginia voters to be with Obama.  MSNBC is not mentioning them at all.  Advantage: MSNBC.

5:23 CNN: YESYESYES As if on cue CNN is starting to break out it’s “virtual” graphics.  Right now they have some guy talking in front of a “virtual Senate”, which is a green screen that looks like a 3-D model of the Senate chamber.  Keep in mind: this is just a green screen that happens to have a 3-D perspective, the guy talking is not moving or anything.  Hopefully CNN will break out true AI later as results start to trickle in.

5:26 CNN: WAIT the guy talking in the “virtual Senate” just rested his arm on one of the 3-D “virtual desks” in the “virtual Senate”.  Their technology is more impressive than appears at first glance.  I think this indicates CNN will inaugurate the Singularity once the Nevada polls close.

5:45 Made a new post for the actual results, here

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