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Tony Blair is testifying to the British government about the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal. He had some very nice things to say about the man to whose daughter he serves as Godfather: “He is not actually a sort of identikit rightwing person … you know, he has bits of him that are very anti-establishment; meritocratic, I would say.” Chahhhhhhming. I suppose they hack private cell-phones in a proactive way that’s outside the box in an outrageous new paradigm and totally in your face. Well, maybe not the last one. More like totally sneaky in a matter befitting a major felony.
Well but so it wasn’t a total loss. A protestor somehow made it up to the testifying area and after a quick “Excuse me” started calling Blair a war criminal and accused him of being paid off by JP Morgan to let them fuck with the Iraqi bank.
Other protestors threw eggs at his Rolls when he left. I’m a big believer in this stuff. Part of the reason these assdicks get away with the heinous shit they do is that there’s not enough push-back against the construction of them as serious, thoughtful, considerate, decent people. The more folks that go “huh, I wonder what that was about”, and the more that see breaches of decorum like chicken embryos sliding down their 100,000 pounds sterling cars, the harder it is to portray war criminals as thoughtful statesmen.
Of course there are tactics which have evolved to fight the above. One of which is centrist media portrayals of the incidents which treat the protestors as a common and inevitable feature of the landscape that is nothing anyone has to think about.
The Guardian, for some fucked-up reason, portrayed the protestor as an example of the “placard-wielding critics” that follow Blair around “like little black rainclouds”, though noting that Blair had the kind of tan you can get “when you can source expensive sun year-round.” Blair “barely flinched”, “waited with his chin in his hand,” “another day, another call for extradition to the Hague.” Ha ha people who care about war crimes are funny and come with the territory of being a major politician who must commit war crimes as a matter of course nothing to see here.
The Guardian also, of course, said Blair attempted to “set the record straight”, quoting him as saying, “Um, can I just say, um, actually, on the record, what he said … is completely and totally untrue …” Interesting that they left out caveats Blair said, which is that “what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue. I’ve never had a discussion with them about that.”
Hmm. I don’t think I could use that as a fulcrum for a perjury charge. But if I were detective Lenny Briscoe I would give my partner a wry look.
via Crooks and Liars.
So here are some limpdick phrases from politicians for Memorial Day. “We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free. And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died.””It is their sacrifice that has kept America strong.” “No tribute to these sacrifices is more enduring than a grateful nation determined to live out the promise of liberty.” The identity or party of the speaker doesn’t matter, because all politicians say essentially the same thing about this holiday: the troops in the abstract are the best people ever, and deserve our support and respect, and we should live our lives in accordance with the ideals they fight for. If you want more you can find it at the Huffle Puff.
Well, most politicians stick to that script, anyway. Joe Biden, Rhetorical Anarchist, does not. But sometimes that produces some absolutely fascinating political rhetoric and almost sublime moments of human empathy. Go ahead and watch all twenty minutes if you have the time, it’s that good, from beginning to end.
Yeah it meanders towards the end, but damn. That’s perhaps the most powerful expression of the commonly understood purpose of Memorial Day that I can imagine.
And yet . . . read this quick paragraph about an alternate proposal for Memorial Day celebrations centering around the civilian fighters of slavery and injustice from philosopher Mark Lance at New APPS. Read this open letter written by someone from and about (ewwww) <em>Montreal</em>:
Here is what I have not seen you [the official media] publish yet: stories about joy; about togetherness; about collaboration; about solidarity. You write about our anger, and yes, we are angry. We are angry at our government, at our police and at you. But none of you are succeeding in conveying what it feels like when you walk down the streets of Montreal right now, which is, for me at least, an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness . . . [some anecdotes about people cooperating spontaneously to fight what they’re calling injustice] . . . This is what Quebec looks like right now. Every night is teargas and riot cops, but it is also joy, laughter, kindness, togetherness, and beautiful music. Our hearts are bursting. We are so proud of each other; of the spirit of Quebec and its people; of our ability to resist, and our ability to collaborate.
Why aren’t you writing about this? Does joy not sell as well as violence? Does collaboration not sell as well as confrontation? You can have your cynicism; our revolution is sincere.
This quick scene accompanies the letter and shows the environment the author is talking about.
Imma wax magniloquent, and you need to know you’re in for that before you read any more. So, as the hermaphrodite in the komono said, you now know what to expect if you look below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »
So Cory Booker did on Meet The Press what politicians do on Sunday shows: distort the media to benefit his political donors.
Then he made a youtube response to criticism where he distorted what he said to benefit his political donors.
I mean this isn’t really the discovery of the Higgs Boson. This is what the media is for. But the smug self-righteousness of preening about money in politics and superPACs in the middle of DECLARING CRITICISM OF YOUR DONORS OFF-LIMITS just pisses me off. Plus there are some people who seem not to notice what is going on.
One of those people happens to have a national cable news show who interviewed Cory Booker the day after he did all this shit. Guess who it is! And guess which bodily function the interview resembles!
Maddow’s interview is here I ain’t embedding it because both times I loaded it there were commercials for a Fuck Public Education Company and Boeing. I’m not having that on my conscience.
Suffice to say the vast majority of the interview is “You’re now a political football on both sides” and “How do you feel about your role in the Obama campaign at this point” and all that bullshit. The one question which could possibly be construed to be in the public interest comes about 3/4s of the way through the interview and is “What would you say the limits are to criticism of the private equity investment industry.” Which isn’t exactly “Did you order the Code Red” but it’s not out of place in an interview which doesn’t actively try to mislead the public.
Of course, Booker responds to that question with the same line of bullshit he slung in his youtube response: he’s tired of “negative advertising” and “the money in politics” and “the flood of SuperPAC money” and “the negative campaigning that is turning Americans away from politics”. And of course Maddow follows it up with an unrelated question about how the Obama campaign is using him at this point.
Fuck Rachel Maddow. If you want to prance about as a serious journalist who gives a shit from a progressive perspective the absolute fucking minimum requirement for that is to point the fuck out when politicians are running interference for their political donors in the name of “objectivity” and “caring about the political process”. Especially when it’s on the platform of a Sunday morning show. And especially when the politician issues a response video that slings the same obfuscatory bullshit. And especially when you’re doing the first interview after all this shit drops.
And again this isn’t the biggest thing in the world but I’m tired of being intellectually insulted. Especially by someone who promises not to do that.
So Cory Booker released a follow-up video to his execreble Meet The Press appearance in which he refused to even acknowledge that Romney’s business practices involved taking over companies, liquidating labor and assets, finding buyers or declaring bankruptcy, and pocketing modest eight-figure consulting fees in the process. Said it made him “very uncomfortable” to talk about.
He released a follow-up video “after getting social media feedback” and . . . ugh just watch.
You can’t even use this to play Centrist Cliche bingo, because everyone would win.
“My political superiors have done a fantastic job”
“This negative campaigning hurts the process”
“I don’t like the SuperPACs that I am currently pandering to”
“My biggest concern is for the voices that are not being heard and voices not being shared”
“Let’s not bicker over small things, let us not denigrate each other or paint with a small brush, let us unite around ideas”
Some of that is typical politico pablum but is kinda jarring to hear IN A VIDEO APOLOGIZING FOR ACTING TOO MUCH LIKE A POLITICIAN.
But my favorite absolute best part is when he actually gets around to his Romney remarks 3/4s of the way into the video. “Romney’s not being completely honest about his business record, and I encourage examination and discussion of that record.”
So. He’s on a show where Romney’s record is being discussed. When Romney’s record is being discussed accurately and fairly he says “private equity in general is a bedrock financial institution and my wallet is on a centrist diet and gets queasy when we start criticizing this stuff.” Then he makes an apology video 5/6s of which is claiming to rise above partisan muck and saying “I encourage examination of Romney’s record.” None of which, I hope it is unnecessary to point out, contradicts or qualifies his earlier “open for business” statement to private equity firms he’s apologizing for.
Fuck Cory Booker.
Stefan Culbert has the funniest piece of TV analyst video I’ve ever seen. It’s from two weeks ago. I just saw it today, and if you haven’t you owe it to yourself to take the four minutes to watch.
The intro dies down around :40, and the footage starts around 2:20
Just remember: she and Mark Shields are doing the exact same thing.