And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
"So why support negotiations? First: They just might work. I haven’t met many experts who put the chance of success at zero. Second: If the U.S. decides one day that it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, it must do so with broad international support. The only way to build that support is to absolutely exhaust all other options. Which means pursuing, in a time-limited, sober-minded, but earnest and assiduous way, a peaceful settlement."
And: I basically agree. Except for all that stuff about “Second.” There is no “Second” choice available; unless, that is, you support a nuclear Iran. Our only tenable option is “First:” negotiate in good faith and hope it works. Otherwise you get a nuclear Iran. In fact, the fastest way to a nuclear Iran is if “the U.S. decides one day that it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.” Doing so, even assuming we temporarily succeeded at it (a prospect that is itself is vanishingly unlikely unless we choose to do so by exterminating all human life in Iran) will only cause them to First re-double, triple, or quadruple their weaponized nuclear efforts, and furthermore do so in sufficiently distributed, fortified, and or completely secret facilities as to obviate any attempt at said facilities’ destruction without resorting to “destroy all human life in Iran” methods.
So, that’s it. Negotiate. Period. The end. Our only choice also happens to be the best choice. It is not a sign of weakness, it is not a capitulation. It is quite literally the only option remaining that does not include the words “results in a nuclear Iran.” Only the GOP seems incapable of seeing this.
""Context" is not a safe word that makes all your other horse-shit statements disappear. And horse-shit is the context in which Richard Cohen has, for all these years, wallowed. It is horse-shit to claim that store owners are right to discriminate against black males. It is horse-shit to claim Trayvon Martin was wearing the uniform of criminals. It is horse-shit to subject your young female co-workers to "a hostile work environment." It is horse-shit to expend precious newsprint lamenting the days when slovenly old dudes had their pick of 20-year-old women. It is horse-shit to defend a rapist on the run because you like The Pianist. And it is horse-shit for Katharine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher, to praise a column with the kind of factual error that would embarrass a j-school student.
Richard Cohen’s unfortunate career is the proper context to understand his column today and the wide outrage that’s greeted it. We are being told that Cohen finds it “hurtful” to be called racist. I am sorry that people on the Internet have hurt Richard Cohen’s feelings. I find it “hurtful” that Cohen endorses the police profiling my son. I find it eternally “hurtful” that the police, following that same logic, killed one of my friends. I find it hurtful to tell my students that, even in this modern age, vending horse-shit is still an esteemed and lucrative profession."
— Ta-Nehisi Coatesputs Richard Cohen and a lot of other bullshit into crystalline context in 245 words. That, ladies and gentlemen, is writing.
"You should thank God [for bank bailouts]. Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies. There’s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, ‘My life is a little harder than it used to be,’ […] At a certain place you’ve got to say to [those] people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’"
— Charles Munger, billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in a discussion at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14.
Would be breathtaking if the view weren’t so pervasive. The rest are just smart enough not to say it. We can all rest easy in the knowledge that Charlie will never, ever have to suck it up and cope about anything. Such a thing just wouldn’t be moral.
"[Nate Silver’s] entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that The Times specializes in: polling, the horse race, campaign coverage, analysis based on campaign-trail observation, and opinion writing, or “punditry,” as he put it, famously describing it as “fundamentally useless.”"
— Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor of the New York Times and quoted on Political Animal by Ed Kilgore, helpfully points out just how fetid a swamp modern “journalism” has become. If you’re not a stenographer, specializing in “horse race […] or ‘punditry’” you need not apply and your brand of, uh, being right and pointing out just how wrong our gang of Wise Serious People are is entirely inconvenient and works against our business model, such as it is. Sad.
Juan Cole runs down the Top 10 differences between the treatment of Edward Snowden and recently outed (suspected) Stuxnet leaker General James “Hoss” Cartwright:
No one will obsess about the exercise habits of Gen. Cartwright’s wife.
Gen. Cartwright will not be characterized as “a 63-year-old hacker.”
Gen. Cartwright will not be described as “nerdy” or “flaky.”
David Gregory will not ask that David Sanger be prosecuted for espionage because he aided and abetted Cartwright’s leaking.
We won’t get stories every day about where in McLean, Virginia, Gen. Cartwright is living.
Gen. Cartwright won’t be accused of being a spy for Iran.
No lurid stories will be rehearsed on the Sunday afternoon shows about Cartwright’s allegedly overly familiar relationship with a young female aide in 2009, with heavy innuendo as to what the episode said about his reckless character.
No FBI informants will be placed inside the elite Alfalfa Club in DC that Cartwright was known to attend.
Cartwright’s loyalty to the United States won’t be impugned by anchors or congressmen.
Dirt won’t be dug up on David Sanger’s private life in an attempt to discredit his reporting on Cartwright’s Stuxnet.
It’s not what is done. It is who does it that matters in Washington. Even past closeness to power covers a multitude of sins.
"[Politico’s] Harris and VandeHei seem to lack very much curiosity for the world outside of the [Washington DC | Beltway] bubble. Harris claims it’s not worth his time to read 538, and VandeHei characterizes my work as “trying to use numbers to prove stuff”. Instead, what 538 is really about is providing a critical perspective, and scrutinizing claims on the basis of evidence (statistical or otherwise). In order to do that, you have to believe that there is some sort of truth outside the bubble — what would be called the “objective” world in a scientific or philosophical context. Politico, by contrast, sometimes seems to operate within a “post-truth” worldview. Some people think that is the very essence of savvy, modern journalism, but my bet is that journalism is headed in another direction – toward being more critical and empirical."
— Nate Silverfairly destroys the Politico “brain trust.” Hope he’s right on that last point. I sorely doubt it.
Tangentially, I love that Harris, who is setting out to “revive long form journalism” on a Politico spinoff thinks the actual, hard facts and occasionally long-form journalism on 538 isn’t “worth his time.” Those two don’t just lack curiosity re: Outside the DC Bubble. As far as I can tell, they lack curiosity about actual information in all forms.
"Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious — which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class. The idea is that they will finally drop the false equivalence, and admit that he’s reasonable while the GOP is mean-spirited and crazy.
But it won’t happen. Watch the Washington Post editorial page over the next few days. I hereby predict that it will damn Obama with faint praise, saying that while it’s a small step in the right direction, of course it’s inadequate — and anyway, Obama is to blame for Republican intransigence, because he could make them accept a Grand Bargain that includes major revenue increases if only he would show Leadership (TM)."
— Paul Krugman gets it right on the rumored Obama budget. This is the classic misstep; sure, it’s purely symbolic, but it moves the discussion to the right, damages what should be a through-line about the worth (and therefore the inviolability of) Social Security, and sets the stage for a Grand Bargain that is even further to the right than this “symbolic” proposal. After all, this is now Obama’s starting position. Any “compromise” will by necessity “hurt” Obama a little more in exchange for exactly zero GOP concessions and, additionally and without regard to any possible outcome, hands the GOP a readymade 2014 advertising campaign about Democrat cuts to your Social Security. It’s just the way Washington works now. And Obama’s people still haven’t figured it out and, apparently, never will.
"Republicans have very decidedly not agreed to any kind of tax reform that raises federal revenues. This is the whole crux of the debate. They have never agreed to anything other than revenue-neutral tax reform."
— Kevin Drum, saying what should be printed in the maximum size possible, laminated in armor-strength plastic, and posted on the wall of every news agency large and small. Every single news outlet gets this simple, straightforward fact utterly and completely wrong every single time they venture here. Wishing hard and clapping louder will not make the GOP sensible. Neither will acting as though they want a “sensible” deal when they have made no such overtures, large or small.
Reporting this as though both parties are equally at fault is doing The Republic no favors.
"If you stabilize the debt in some reasonable way, we’re going to have growth. The unemployment rate should come down."
— Bob Woodward, very serious person, opines on the economic situation during a Meet the Press appearance.
While I certainly don’t anticipate David Gregory will ever produce a substantive followup, one could at least assume anyone in the employ of a major media conglomerate could muster the five whys. You wouldn’t even have to break out all five to demonstrate that Woodward is comically wrong and furthermore has not one fucking idea about what he’s saying.
"[David] Brooks begins [his column today] by noting that the Grand Bargain on the deficit, which he has spent the last two years relentlessly touting, is not actually possible. Why is it impossible? Because, he writes, “A political class that botched the fiscal cliff so badly are not going to be capable of a gigantic deal on complex issues.”
Oh, the political class? That’s funny. In 2011, Obama offered an astonishingly generous budget deal to House Republicans, and Brooks argued at the time that if the GOP turned the deal down, it would prove their “fanaticism.” Naturally, they turned it down. Obama continues to offer a bargain including higher revenue through tax reform in return for lower spending on retirement programs, but Republicans refuse to consider higher taxes. So, in summary, this proves “the political class” is to blame."
— Jonathan Chait thoroughly destroys David Brooks. You should really treat yourself to the whole thing.