Friday, May 18, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #441

"Don't ever say anything you don't want played back to you someday."
-- John Gotti, mobster

Don't forget to visit our new website -- -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


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Silly Shit Andrew Sullivan Says

Mr. Sullivan has not left the cozy, well-appointed confines of his tiny, ideological terrarium in 30 years.  So who better for NY Magazine to employ to  tell us all what Liberals and Progressives all secretly really believe deep down in crevasses of our intolerant, jackbooted little souls.

Sure Republicans are bad...
Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed

In one respect, it seems to me, the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erased Barack Obama’s two-term legacy.
But of course, as with every sickening regurgitation of Big Lie of the Both Sides Do It, we know who other villains of this tale must always be.  See, Donald John Trump has not just fucked up the Republican party.  He has also cleverly baited us Libtards into becoming terrible, terrible people!
More profoundly, Trump has managed to shift our cultural politics. He has baited the left to occupying new territory, thereby cementing his triumph.
So how bad haz we Libtards become?

Real bad.

Fifth column bad.
The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Trump - is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.
The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.
Hey, you know what?  Maybe I owe Mr. Sullivan an apology.

Maybe I have this all wrong

After all, so much has happened in the last 17 years -- so much of the Liberal critique of the Right has been proven over and over again to have brutally accurate -- that perhaps this silly little goof who never leaves his Washington D.C. hobbit hole but somehow believes that he has mastered the intricacies of psyche of the nation has finally figured out that we on the Left who actually live in the world really do know what the fuck we are talking about.

...the animating goal of progressive politics is unvarnished race and gender warfare.
Nope, definitely not.  

Yes, for Mr. Sullivan, peering out at a country he does not begin to understand from between the slats in his ossified Both Siderist prison, nothing has changed.  
Today’s left-liberal consensus is that Obama, however revered he may still be as president, was and is absurdly naïve in this respect: that there is no recovery from the original sin, no possible redemption, and certainly no space for the concept of an individual citizenship that transcends race and can unite Americans. There is no freedom here. There is just oppression. The question is merely about who oppresses whom.
To him, we on the Left are still just a buncha fifth-columnist goons.
What matters before anything else is what race and gender you are, and therefore what side you are on. And in this neo-Marxist worldview, fully embraced by a hefty majority of the next generation, the very idea of America as a liberating experiment, dissolving tribal loyalties in a common journey toward individual opportunity, is anathema.
Yes, American fascism has finally arrived in all its braying regalia.  But all Mr. Sullivan can find in it his desiccated little heart to do about it is to make sure every paragraph he writes about the rise of the authoritarian Right is leavened with another paragraph about how those on the Left who will look that evil in the eye and bluntly call it out by its true name are somehow Donald John Trump's Marxist collaborators in ruining the legacy of President Barack Obama.
If Trump has destroyed Obama’s substantive legacy at home and abroad, the left has gutted Obama’s post-racial cultural vision.
Well fuck you, Andrew.

I'm sorry at this point in your  career, the only thing you have left -- the only thing footing the bills and keeping you in the style to which you have become accustomed -- is hanging on to that poisonous Both Siderist lie with both hands.

You're not giving it up, no matter how much damage that monstrous lie does.  

You're  not giving it up, no matter how powerfully it energizes and enables Trump and his supporters.  

You're not giving it up, no matter what.

Golly, Andrew, how very...tribal of you.

One might even say that, safe within in your decadent coastal enclave, your career is not dead.

In fact, Andrew, you may well be the vanguard of a Both Siderist fifth column.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Today In Republican Detachment Disorder: Michael Gerson

In which former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior Republican policy adviser and reliable Beltway Republican stalactite, Michael Gerson, once again takes up his pen and inkpot to proclaim that his Republican Party just all of the sudden became a racist shitpile a couple of years ago.

From Mr. Gerson today in the Washington Post.
The Trump era is a renaissance of half-witted intolerance 
...Yes, these are fringe figures. But they are fringe figures in a political atmosphere they correctly view as favorable. 
Sorry, Mr. Gerson but we must interrupt your adorable fairy tale about the history of your Republican party with this important, late-breaking news from 1988!

Do please go on, Mr. Gerson.  This is all so terribly interesting!
In the Republican Party, cranks and bigots are closer to legitimacy than at any time since William F. Buckley banished the John Birch Society.
I do apologize, Mr. Gerson but we must once again interrupt your hilarious Republican creation myth with this importantlate-breaking news from 1990!
The Politics of Slash and Burn
Published: September 20, 1990

'Sick.'' ''Traitors.'' ''Bizarre.'' ''Self-serving.'' ''Shallow.'' ''Corrupt.'' ''Pathetic.'' ''Shame.'' The group that urged political candidates to use these epithets has since regretted suggesting the word ''traitors,'' in response to inquiries from the press. But the others were allowed to stand; they appear in a glossary that a conservative Republican group recently mailed to Republican state legislative candidates.

The group is Gopac, the G.O.P. Political Action Committee. Its general chairman is Representative Newt Gingrich. With the pamphlet, ''Language: A Key Mechanism of Control,'' comes a letter from Mr. Gingrich himself. Its message to candidates: Step up invective. Use words like these to describe opponents. These words work.

Mr. Gingrich's injunction represents the worst of American political discourse...

The Gopac glossary may herald a descent into even lower levels of discourse. It comes blessed by a politician of some influence - the Republican whip in the House - and it is intended for candidates on the state level, many of them presumably running for the first time. Even though Mr. Gingrich himself may not have seen the list before it was mailed, this is a disturbing document...
Please continue, Mr. Gerson.  You have my full attention!
For some of us, this was a concern from the beginning of President Trump’s rise -- not just the policies he would adopt but also the attitudes he would encourage and the passions he would provoke.
Gosh darn it, I am so sorry, Mr. Gerson but we must once again interrupt your spellbinding Republican superhero origin story with still more importantlate-breaking news, this time from 1994!
Republicans Get a Pep Talk From Rush Limbaugh

BALTIMORE, Dec. 10 -- To all the advice for the new Republicans coming to Congress, add this from Rush Limbaugh: A hostile press corps lurks inside the Beltway.

"You will never ever be their friends," the talk-show host warned most of the 73 Republican freshmen at a dinner here tonight. "They don't want to be your friends. Some female reporter will come up to one of you and start batting her eyes and ask you to go to lunch. And you'll think, 'Wow! I'm only a freshman. Cokie Roberts wants to take me to lunch. I've really made it!' " The audience laughed.

"Seriously," he added. "Don't fall for this. This is not the time to get moderate. This is not the time to start trying to be liked."

The freshman class, which included not a single "femi-Nazi," one of Mr. Limbaugh's favorite epithets for supporters of women's rights, whooped and applauded, proving itself one big fan club of the man it believes was primarily responsible for the Republican avalanche in November.

Mr. Limbaugh was made an honorary member of the class as its members tonight finished a three-day orientation here sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and Empower America, two conservative Washington research organizations.

Barbara Cubin, an incoming freshman from Wyoming, told Mr. Limbaugh that because 74 percent of the nation's newspapers had endorsed Democrats, "talk radio, with you in the lead, is what turned the tide." On behalf of the women in the class, she gave him a plaque that said, "Rush Was Right." He also received a pin like the ones the freshmen wore, saying, "Majority Maker."

"Rush is as responsible for what happened here as much as anyone," said Vin Weber, a former Representative from Minnesota, now of Empower America. Citing a poll taken after the election by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, Mr. Weber said that people who listened to 10 hours or more a week of talk radio voted Republican by a 3-to-1 margin. "Those are the people who elected the new Congress," he said...
Seriously, Mr. Gerson, you are an incredibly well-paid and respected member of the elite Beltway punditocracy who is read my millions every day, while I am a disreputable Libtard blogger who ekes out a few bucks here and there thank to some of my dozens of readers hitting a tip jar when they can afford to.  And it is just unacceptably bad manners that your august personage should be so rudely interrupted while you are a guest in my house.  So I have barred the door and I have taken the phone off the hook.  

Now please, do continue with your fascinating saga!
Whatever else Trumpism may be, it is the systematic organization of resentment against outgroups. Trump’s record is rich in dehumanization...

This is more than a disturbing pattern; it is an organizing political principle. And it has resulted in a series of radiating consequences...

First, it has given permission for the public expression of shameful sentiments...
Excuse me, Mr. Gerson, but Jesus Christ on a UPS truck, you are not going to believe what happened!  

Funny story, actually.  

It seems that some Liberal asshole bundled together the record of your entire Republican party during the Obama Administration.  You know, long before Donald Trump ever oozed down the escalator and into the hearts of the reprogrammable meatbags who always have been the base of your party.  

Anyway, this person piled it all together.  Your party's conspiracy to sabotage and destroy all Obama initiatives -- a conspiracy they hatched the day President Obama was inaugurated.  Your party's theft of Merrick Garland's supreme court seat by the smirking ghoul who leads your party in the Senate.  

Every Fox News lie.  Every Breitbart hit-piece.  Every "respectable" bit of hate-mongering slander pushed out through The Weekly Standard and The National Review.  

The daily bile-geyser broadcast non-stop, coast-to-coast on Conservative Hate Radio.

Every shitty lump of Conservative prose by written by scumbags like Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Jerome Corsi which the base of your party sops up with a biscuit. 

Every unhinged...


...Republican Fake Tea Party screed.

And every Beltway Both Siderist asshole who enabled every bit of it by dealing every new Republican atrocity by demanding to know "Why won't Obama lead?!?!"

Bundled it all up.  

Tied it up with a ribbon.

Spray painted "It's Not 'Trumpism' And You Damn Well Know It You Shitheel!" on it and tossed the whole thing right through my front window.

Once again, Mr. Gerson, I am so very, very, very sorry for the all of these terribly shrill and impertinent interruptions.

Please do go on...

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Concern-Troll-a-Palooza Tickets Now Available!

What happens when the cruelly-silenced doyenne of the intellectual dork web, Christina Hoff Sommers, meets up with America's most famous Gay Catholic Tory True Conservative, Andrew Sullivan, on the stage of an elite American university?

Honestly, who really cares?

But if you are in the area and inclined to drop by and ask a provocative question or two, tickets are are available. 
Cardinal Conversations May 23 Guest Speakers

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she studies the politics of gender and feminism, as well as free expression, due process, and the preservation of liberty in the academy. Before joining AEI, Dr. Sommers was a philosophy professor at Clark University.

Contributing Editor at New York magazine, blogger, and author Andrew Sullivan is a popular source of provocative, astute political and social commentary. The Washington Post called him “a media pioneer,” and The New York Times said, “Andrew Sullivan might deserve to be remembered as the most influential political writer of his generation.” His New York essay, America Has Never Been so Ripe for Tyranny, is a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

From 2000 to 2015, Sullivan chronicled every major political and cultural moment in real time on his blog, The Dish. During the blog’s life at Time, The Atlantic, and independently, he helped to legitimize and advance the medium by publishing 250 to 300 posts a week. In assessing his body of work, New York magazine said, "[T]he archive makes a case for Sullivan’s outsize influence on the politics of the new century."
  • Many a socially constructed convention will be daringly pooh-poohed.  Others will be boldly defended.
  • Many an inferior domestic Chablis will be waved away.
  • On whatever issue comes before them, Both Side will be found Guilty!Guilty!Guilty!

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Matthew Dowd is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person

A couple of years ago Mr. Matthew Dowd no only blocked me because I routinely and publicly  calling him out over the Both Siderist, Trump-enabling horseshit he peddled for a living.

Not only blocked me (which is fine by me; I've been thrown out of much classier joints than that) but went out of his way to insult people who read my little blog.

Apparently the idea that some nobody blogger out in the middle of Middle America could run rings around his fatuous bumper-sticker-grade political drivel did not sit well with ABC News' chief political analyst.

And yet, a year later...
Beltway Math is such that "a few months" = "nearly two years", because that's the direction the bandwagon is heading, and by God Almighty, Mr. Dowd is damn well gonna be on that God damn bandwagon retroactively no matter how much history he has to redact, rewrite or simply ignore to do it. 

But whether it was a few months ago, or a year, or slightly longer, step back soak in the fact that  ABC News' chief political analyst now wants credit for catching up with where Liberals were 25 years ago.  Including one Liberal who Mr. Dowd blocked and insulted less than a year ago for saying exactly what ABC News' chief political analyst  would now like a pat on the head and a fucking lollipop for finally figuring out.  

There really is a Club, boys and girls.

And you and I are absolutely not welcome there.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

She Loved Big Brother

From CEO Mary Buchzeiger in Crain's Detroit Business
How my president's tariffs would cripple my company

I am a business owner, a proud Republican, and a voter who supports President Donald Trump's campaign to level U.S. trade imbalances.

I am also angry, frustrated and a little scared, because the unintended consequences of the president's $50 billion tariffs on China would cripple my business in Auburn Hills and strip my 50 employees of their good-paying jobs.

This is crazy...
From "1984" by George Orwell
'That's the one you ought to be taking, not me!' he shouted. 'You didn't hear what he was saying after they bashed his face. Give me a chance and I'll tell you every word of it. He's the one that's against the Party, not me.' The guards stepped forward. The man's voice rose to a shriek. 'You didn't hear him!' he repeated. 'Something went wrong with the telescreen. He's the one you want. Take him, not me!'
Back to Crain's Detroit Business
... I wonder: Does President Trump know that his tariff on imported components threatens almost every manufacturing job in Michigan?

Does he know that my little company in my little corner of Michigan would lose 90 percent of its business overnight? Does he understand that a 25 percent tax on the components Lucerne uses would evaporate my profit margins? That it would shut us down?

I don't think he does. Because I know my president cares...
Back to "1984"
He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
Something about sowing.

Something about reaping.

Something Ms. Buchzeiger would never, ever understand.

Digby picks up the story here.
Reality Bites: Trump screws his own voters

Behold, a Tip Jar!

The New York Times Hires Epstein's Mother

Some of you fans of nostalgia teevee out there (or some of you survivors from back in the day when it was just teevee) will know about one Welcome Back Kotter's most famous running gags -- "Epstein's Mother".*

Never seen on-camera, the only other thing we ever knew about Epstein's Mother was that, whenever her son -- Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein -- got into a jam,  he would deliver into his teacher's hands a ludicrous work of short fiction excusing his behavior, and that excuse would always be signed,  "Epstein's Mother".

Well through dint of sheer hard work, at long last Epstein's Mother made it out of the tenements of Brooklyn all the way to the tony Manhattan offices of The New York Times.
Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think
Yes, Epstein's Mother has finally stumbled onto a scam where the invention of absurd excuses for inexcusable behavior is a staggeringly profitable endeavor.  In this case, Epstein's Mother is working under the pseudonym "Gerard Alexander" who The New York Times tells us " a professor of political science at the University of Virginia."  

What the NYT does not mention is that "Gerard Alexander" is also a Visiting Scholar at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute and a frequent guest columnist in such august pillars of the Wingnut Brain Caste as The Weekly Standard and National Review.  

Also "Gerard Alexander"'s previous contributions to the flourishing and immensely lucrative genre of  "Libtards Are Always To Blame For Every Horrible Atrocity Conservatives Commit" fan fiction include such gems as (h/t Alert Reader Paul G.) --
Why are liberals so condescending? 
This condescension is part of a liberal tradition that for generations has impoverished American debates over the economy, society and the functions of government -- and threatens to do so again today, when dialogue would be more valuable than ever.
-- and:
Conservatism does not equal racism. So why do many liberals assume it does?
And this very Sunday "Gerard Alexander"'s once again boldly ignored decades of actual Republican Party history in order to publish the  umpteenth retread of this same fatuous hoax in which we learn that...
Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.
So damn you Barack Obama for, y'know, wearing that damn suit and otherwise being so, well, y'know, suspicious.

And holy crap!  Even as I was writing this, Epstein's Mother went and got a gig at the Washington Post too!
The Daily 202: Trump voters stay loyal because they feel disrespected
And holy crap again!  Even as I was writing the thing about the Washington Post, Epstein's Mother scooted across town and landed a sweet interview gig at Politico under the name "Arthur Brooks"!  This time Epstein's Mother mixes it up a little bit and instead of blaming Liberals for every act of Conservative depravity catastrophe in American politics, she goes goes with the biggest and most reliable Beltway Lie of them all...
‘Americans are Being Held Hostage and Terrorized by the Fringes’
An exit interview with the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks.

Brooks: I have a book coming out next year called The Culture of Contempt. We’ve created a culture of not anger, not disagreement, it’s contempt. And we need to strike back. We’re the majority. We don’t want this. Americans are being held hostage and terrorized by the fringes. That’s what’s going on here. It’s not like 50 percent of Americans thinks one thing and 50 percent thinks another thing. No, 15 percent on each side are effectively controlling the conversation...
From here, it sure looks like Epstein's Mother is out to hit every single serving station at the Wingnut Welfare cafeteria. 

Which is damn impressive for a woman her age.

Hell, if she keeps up this pace, pretty soon she may have to start calling herself "Bill Kristol".

*Thanks for the catch!

Behold, a Tip Jar!

David Brooks Is Trolling Me

Since the day I opened this little blog out in the far, weed-choked exurbs of respectability, I have maintained -- often quite bluntly and with salty language that would make my pastor blush -- that understanding how America's Most Ubiquitous Public Intellectual maintains his position at the top of the American pundit food chain despite always being wrong all the time is not much of a mystery once you understand that whether or not Mr. Brooks is ever right about anything is irrelevant to of The New York Times.

Because "being right about things" is not, in fact, his job.

So if "being right about things" has nothing to do with the reason The New York Times and NPR and PBS and NBC shower Mr. Brooks with wealth and influence, then what exactly is his job?

I'm glad you asked! 

From me,  several years ago... is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.

And odds are he'll get away with it too.
Also from me, some years ago 
David Brooks:  The Great Project Continues, Ctd.

Longtime readers know of my crazy theory that Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times does not write editorial columns twice a week per se, but is instead engaged in a massive, long-range project to assemble an entire, fictional alternate history of Modern Conservationism, which is being created right before our eyes by the slow, steady accretion of one godawful Whig Fan Fiction column at at time.

I make mention of it every now and then --
To David Brooks' ongoing, long-range project of radically revising modern history by removing all the Republican treasony bits, you may now add this little gem of falsification which was partially buried under his woozy praise for Hillary Clinton's "muscular" ideas about foreign policy...
-- not because I am under any illusion that I can do anything to stop it --
These stories are not about the world as it actually exists, but the world as Mr. Brooks wishes it to be.  And since he is not a very good fiction writer, there are many, many points where the gears of the real world and his fake Whig World grind and howl, forcing Mr. Brooks to apply gallons of fictive lubricant to keep the keening noise of the real world ripping Whig World off its hinges from drowning out the tepid drone of his writing.

When Mr. Brooks needs an imaginary moral high ground of Centrism on which to stand, he conjures an imaginary army of Dirty Fucking Hippies on the Left that exactly counterpoises the very real mob of Pig People on the Right. 

When he wants to redress what he believes to be the immorality of the deficit, he wishes away the entire, debt-drunk Bush Era and instead pounds away at naughty people having sexy sex time in ways Mr. Brooks does not approve of and invents Whig FanFic "grand bargain" and "austerity" sub-genres wherein he expounds his on his rustic theories about money and cutting social programs.  After which he regularly has his ass absolutely sawed off and served up on the fine china by people like Dean Baker and Paul Krugman and myriad others who actually know what they're talking about....
-- but simply because it is sickening to see such a brazen slow-motion theft and mutilation of history --
University of Chicago history baccalaureate David "Even David Brooks" Brooks has written a genuinely remarkable and revealing column about the rise and fall of American Conservatism.

What makes it remarkable and revealing it is not its scholarly depth or historical breadth or scathing, confessional honesty, but rather that it is a work of almost pure fiction being passed off as fact in America's Newspaper of Record

In his fairy tale, Mr. Brooks describes and eulogizes a fictional Conservatism built from a tense but harmonious fusion between what Mr. Brooks refers to as "economic conservatives" and "traditional conservatives" -- 
The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure base — a society in which families are intact, self-discipline is the rule, children are secure and government provides a subtle hand.
-- that never existed in the real world...

...whereas the real American Conservatism that has blighted this land for +30 years -- the Conservatism  of Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schlafly, Newt Gingrich, Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy -- is to be found nowhere at all in Mr. Brooks' telling.

-- taking place in broad daylight, with no one else saying or doing a damn thing about it.

Which brings us to Mr. David Brook' column in the in today's NYT:

I have nothing further to add to my previous statements.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Monday, May 14, 2018

driftglass vs. SPECTRUM

Related image

If nothing changes, in the future, this is what the spectrum of political opinion as presented by the corporate media will look like.

On the "Right", unrepentant Trump lackeys.

On the "Left", unreconstructed Bush Regime Dead Enders who are fundamentally soft and weak and prefer the dirty work of their depraved politics to be discretely jobbed out to Lee Atwater or Rick Wilson or Karl Rove of Rush Limbaugh and not flaunted in all it's bloody, racist splendor on the White House lawn.

The plum job of "moderating" these puppet shows will be gifted to hard-core Both Siderists, whose eyes will be perpetually dewy with nostalgia for the Good Old Days of George W. Bush --
George W. Bush reminds us how decent leaders sound
--  and which the Beltway Pundit Hegemony manufactures --
‘Americans are Being Held Hostage and Terrorized by the Fringes’
An exit interview with the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks.

And what of actual Democrats?  Those tens of millions of Liberals on the actual Left? 

With a single snap of the Beltway Pundit Infinity Gauntlet, as far as the corporate media is concerned, outside of Rob Reiner in old reruns of All in the Family, we won't exist at all. 

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Professional Left Podcast #440

If you’re gonna be a criminal, do your homework."
-- Mike Ehrmantraut, Better Call Saul
Don't forget to visit our new website -- -- for all of the sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!


The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" 
and real listeners like you!