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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.
Scumbag asshole Glenn Kessler writes a column called “The Fact Checker” for the Washington Establishment Stooge Subsidized by Shady Education Materials Company. Why is he a scumbag asshole?
The occasion for the column, of course, is the recently concluded Lies-a-thon of a convention the Republicans held between marathon lap dances in Tampa. Every single substantive claim or reference to policy made by Paul Ryan was completely empirically false, fer instance. So of course someone who writes a column called “The Fact Checker” in the second most important newspaper in the country says that it doesn’t matter.
The Washington Post’s political coverage cannot induce embarrassment in its proprietors at this point, but let’s look at what would embarrass another paper should this piece have appeared anywhere else:
– It’s always like this! Because Zell Miller made a few claims about Kerry’s agenda in a speech at the ’04 Republican convention that extrapolated too much on old votes or statements. And that crazy Sarah Palin and her on-again off-again relationship with that bridge to nowhere. And Obama referenced McCain voting 90% of the time with Republicans while remaining silent about his 97% rate voting with Democrats.
Let’s start with that Obama thing first, because it illustrates just how goddamn mendacious this whole exercise is. Ask me if the next fucking sentence in that 2008 speech after the 90% reference makes Kessler look like a gaping asshole. Because I have the answer.
But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
A C-average 8th-grader would be expected to understand the mistake Kessler’s making. How can you argue with such a person? They’re either too stupid to understand what they’re doing, too dishonest to care, or too lazy to give a fuck about it. Who the fuck thinks Kessler has any credibility or integrity after doing something like that?
Zell Miller was making claims about Kerry’s approach to the world. His Weltanschauung. This last convention lied non-stop about facts. Picking two among dozens of others, Romney said Obama raised taxes on the middle-class, when Obama lowered taxes on the middle class. Ryan contradicted the stated reasons of credit agencies for downgrading US credit. In a CBS interview afterward, he contradicted the words of the report as they were read to him. You should watch the clip of that interview if you want to see a sort of nightmare vision of a political figure’s refusal to acknowledge reality.
Doghouse Riley, The Best Pundit In America, makes a similar point about the Palin stuff.
Palin’s comments underlined a personal dishonesty so thorough that no one would trust her to make the proper change. This was a subject the Press, naturally, stayed the hell away from; her wardrobe grifting got some play, but also the required faux-balance pushback. When she told Katie Couric she read “all” newspapers it was taken as evidence that she couldn’t name any (possibly true, extemporaneously, anyway), but not so much as evidence that she’d lie to anyone about breakfast, if she felt she needed to (“C’mon. She’s a politician!”).
Ryan, on the other hand, simply misrepresents inconvenient facts in order to push his apodictic Randian certainties on the rest of us, and those certainties collapse the moment facts are applied. That’s an exponentially greater lie than Palin’s fictional bio (or Marco Rubio’s), and several orders of magnitude more consequential.
Bieberdamnit I wish I could write like that.
But really the only point that needs to be made here is
SO WHAT IF THIS IS THE WAY THINGS ARE USUALLY DONE YOU FUCKING DOLT
THIRTY MILLION PEOPLE WATCH THIS FUCKING SHIT AND DON’T REALIZE THEY’RE BEING LIED TO
IT’S HARMFUL, IT SHOULDN’T BE ACCEPTABLE, AND PEOPLE IN YOUR POSITION ARE AMONG THE FEW WHO CAN CHANGE IT. STOP WALLOWING IN THE CULTURE OF POLITICAL OPERATIVES AND DEFENDING THE PRACTICES OF PEOPLE YOU SOCIALIZE WITH. DO WHAT FUCKING TEENAGERS KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
– Tone is more important! Bob Dole’s ’96 speech was much more acerbic. And Romney didn’t include in his speech all the lies that his campaign uses in their commercials. And anyway these things are just giant commercials, no need really for nitty-gritty details to intrude in them.
I summon Thers and Whiskey Fire’s many years of archives about tone and civility in politics. The big guns. Concern about tone is a cudgel centrists resort to when there’s no other argument to make. Because what effect does tone have? When Dole said that Clinton was taking money away from families so they couldn’t afford to pay the bills, what were the negative consequences? Mm-hmm. Meanwhile the negative effects of the kind of lying about facts the Republicans just spent three days doing prevents democracy from functioning in a competent manner. Why the fuck should tone matter instead of lying about facts? Kessler doesn’t say, for some reason. And why the fuck should it matter what tone anyone takes when they lie their fucking heads off? Kessler doesn’t say, for some reason.
In the meantime all this gibberish about not including the maximal amount of lying and lying being ok in this format because I said so that’s why is so fucking stupid and obsequious I can’t even force myself to type a response to it.
Really this is a prime example of maybe the biggest centrist media crime: confusing their role with being a political player. If the centrist media person’s job is part of the professional political establishment, it’s their responsibility to defend political institutional practices adopted for their own interests against scrutiny. If the centrist media person’s job is to report the facts about the professional political establishment in a way that serves the public good, it’s their responsibility to scrutinize political institutional practices and critique them when they’re deficient. Kessler’s irrational toadying makes it clear where he falls.
Talk about a fucking beat that would sap anyone’s strength . . .
Had you caught Paul Ryan’s speech to the Republican convention last night (and if you missed it figuring you were all full up on egocentric monsters luxuriating in their own righteousness, more sympathetic I could not be), had you braved the speech you could not fail to notice Paul Ryan flatout lying on every substantive point he brought up.
Not errors of omission, either, like how a half hour earlier Cloud of mushroom with a side of Rice had just kinda not mentioned Iraq or how Osama Bin Laden has not been livin’ for the past year. No. Ryan told straight-up fuckin’ lies. A sample:
– The “Obama took $715 billion from Medicare” chestnut that Michelle Bachmann got called crazy for peddling in 2010, and which cuts in any case Ryan put into his own Granny-starving plan.
– A GM plant in Ryan’s hometown was closed, AFTER Obama said that “if government helps [this situation] out, this factory will stay open for another hundred years.” GOODNESS. But uh the plant closed in 2008 so uh yeah.
– Trashing Obama for failing to follow the Simpson-Bowles commission, a commission which did not actually issue a final recommendation because it was blown up by a certain zombie-eyed House member from Wisconsin.
– Trashing Obama for getting US debt downgraded by a few agencies. Oh if only the agencies issued reports specifying in detail why they downgraded that debt why they might have specified that their decision was because of the Republicans’ willingness to treat the debt ceiling like the Lindbergh Baby which would eliminate any excuse for a barely sentient person to avoid calling this stinky bullshitty lie what it is.
Prudence demands drawing the curtain on the freak show at this point, but rest assured there are plenty more where those came from. Those links are all compendiums of lies, by the way, and they don’t overlap very much.
(Update – Can’t believe I forgot this: aside from the fucking lies, Ryan just flat-out contradicts himself within a few sentences.
Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you . . .
When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
In other words, “it’s Obama’s fault that you’re such a fucking moocher.”)
At this point the only sane, rational, honest response to Ryan taking out his cheddar cheese dick and slapping every American in the face with it is the one of Timothy Bryce, the only interesting person I know:
This, of course, is a character from the cinema movie film American Psycho, expressing similar sentiments toward Mr. Ryan that he expressed toward a speech in which Ronald Reagan was lying in said movie film.
Does the reaction of centrist media types meet the lofty standards of a character from American Psycho? Read the rest of this entry »
via lots of folks but the precipitating factor was Atrios.
The deal here is that an ABC news correspondent gave three minutes to Honeywell CEO and member of Obama’s debt commission David Cote: asked him a few questions, got a few answers, put it on the air. Of course Cote said within thirty seconds of each other “The reason there’s so little hiring is because of uncertainty about the debt” and “The reason Honeywell is not hiring is because of slow orders”, ie lack of demand. So the reporter, Devin Dwyer, or asshead Devin Dwyer to use his professional title, could have asked a quick follow-up to explain that contradiction. Or he could have asked Cote about whether there is a lot of debt reduction to be had by performing an audit on the 15% of its revenues Honeywell gets from government coffers in the form of aerospace contracts, one of the ugliest wings of the military industrial complex in which no-bid offers and unnecessary procurement have the run of the place. Of course the next question he asked was “What advice would you give to President Obama?” And the little cherry on the sundae was Cote’s answer, “I’m not going to tell you that,” and Dwyer’s response, “Fair enough.”
Cote also let himself indulge in a bit of centrist rhetoric to just make this latest boning of the public discourse extra special. “Republicans and Democrats need to come together and, I think, quit saying that the hole is on the other guy’s side of the boat. We’re all in the same boat.” Yeah, but some of us are in the filet mignon dining area and some of us are in the rape chambers. Why they put rape chambers on the boat, I don’t know, but there are a lot of them, filled to capacity.
And look this is another instance of getting all sweary and invoking the metaphor of testicle consumption over insignificant media production which is just designed to fill up space, a three minute clip of an interview that maybe tens of thousands of people actually saw, and about twenty-seven actually paid attention to.
But that’s the thing again, isn’t it. If the centrist equation holds for even this; if reporters value access and not-giving-a-fuck-ness to this extent; if public figures are not called to task even when they flat out contradict themselves or have the grossest conflicts of interest in even a quick little story; then of course the stuff that matters will be so thoroughly integrated within the centrist framework that it will be more centrist spin than fact, its viewpoint twisted and evil.
I am the Cameron Frye to Rebecca Elliott’s Ferris Bueller: she’s my hero.
She compiled a nice little list of pundits making grandiose claims about the centrist equivalent of seasteading, Americans Elect, which after delaying their schedule of implementation by several planting seasons features a front-runner who is a mere 9,700 votes shy of getting the 10,000 votes needed to become the Americans Elect candidate. Frye did little summarizing of the pundits’ views toward Americans Elect and just let the their words speak for themselves beneath tasteful photos.
Several of those characteristics will be kept in this post and several will not.
As the sailor said to the native girl, there’s much more below: Read the rest of this entry »