Teabagger Retrospective

It's not very often that I get to pat myself on the back for an accurate prediction, but here goes.

Almost two months ago, I left this comment at Sadly, No! predicting that the Teabag Town Hall-apalooza would  turn people away from the conservative movement.  That rather than showing America what strong principled convictions the health care reform opponents had, it would instead showcase them as mouth-breathing k00ks.  It would reveal them to be <shudder> uncivil and thuggish.  I even followed that up with this obtusely ridiculous prediction:
Here’s an interesting note about polling – both daily approval trackers (Gallup and Rasmussen) show an uptick corresponding to the start of Operation Stand and Shout for HMOs. I’m leaning towards “there ain’t enough data points yet to formulate any conclusions” but there will be soon.
That was August 4th.  Now a lot of the liberal media did in fact play the astroturfed FreedomWorks Dick Armey BS as grassroots and these nutjobs got a lotta teevees time - and my prediction was based on the assumption that the American public isn't made up completely of tools - a shaky assumption at best.

BUT, I win a gold star.  It's cookie-time for Dragon-King:
A slew of recent polling data points to a conclusion that might have seemed hard to believe amidst the town hall craziness in the dog days of August and early September: President Obama's numbers have not only stabilized but actually seem to be showing a modest uptick. And by several other measures the political landscape for Democrats isn't nearly as bleak as it was being portrayed just a few weeks ago.
 It's more modest gains than I had hoped for and it took about twice as long as I expected to become evident, but I am an optimist at heart.  An optimist eating a cookie.


WTF: Bill Sparkman - updated

Some thing make you scratch your head.  This is one.  Well, actually it's the bit that comes next.

Bill Sparkman, census worker - found dead with a rope around his neck hanging from a tree with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest.  Could be the workings of some deranged right-wing nutjob that the right blogosphere is insistent that law enforcement not be warned about.  But maybe not - apparently the area is rife with illegal pot farms and other lovely aspects of rural Kentucky.  God Bless The South.

Here is where the confusion sets in.
...saying that investigators had not yet determined even whether the death was a homicide.
Previous reporting "left the impression that [Sparkman] was found strung up in a tree because he was a federal employee," Beyer said. "At this juncture that's not accurate." Beyer added that Sparkman died of asphyxiation.
Seriously investigator d00ds, this is fucking bullshit.  Are you trying to tell us that you are seriously considering the possibility that Mr. Sparkman died of natural asphyxiative causes, or commited suicide by hanging himself in such a way that he was still touching the ground?  I appreciate that you don't want to release any information that might jeopordize your investigation - but right now you are looking like fucking idiots.

UPDATE:  h/t owlbear1 in this Sadly, No! comment thread

"The only thing he had on was a pair of socks," Weaver said. "And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.

"And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder."
Seriously investigator d00ds, WTF are you thinking?  Let's get the official word:
Trooper Trosper said it was clear this wasn't a natural death but said all other possibilities were being considered.

"This case has many facets," he said. "To investigate cases, you have to rule out different scenarios. We are not able to rule out many scenarios at this time, and that's what makes this a difficult case."
Really?  What other possible scenarios are there?


The Week Without Posts: Lessons Learned

Being a loud-mouthed bloviating jerkwad is a lot harder than it actually is.  Dunno why I can spout off at the drop of a hat about any such this or that, but the minute week I start a blog the well dries up.

Okay, the well didn't dry up - I'm just lazy.  I believe I might have mentioned that before.

Sunday Audition: We in the Media Are Not Weasel-like Cowards - You Are

Accountability.  What a strange and powerful word.

In the run-up to the War in Iraq, the media failed, and failed spectacularly.  Even those within the halls of the news business pronounced that they were too credulous of the things they were told by Administration officials.  And yet the profile of those who supported the war has never slipped.  Apparently being wrong on the biggest question of the millenium is a badge of honour and the mark of a trustworthy voice.

This all occured despite widespread opposition.  Those against the war were not just peace and love hippies, but included people as far from the left-wing liberal activist circles as Brent Snowcroft.  And yet every media outlet in the land continued to bang the drum for war with front page above the fold stories that were little more than White House press releases.

But that was all in the past, and now is the time to look to the future.  Has the media learned from its mistakes?  Yes - it has learned that when called on errors, it should strike back as hard as possible.  It has learned that the old ways of "he said - she said" journalism are going to be criticized - and it has learned a new response to that criticsm:  "Our readers are sophisticated enough to know better".

The same readers who believe Obama is the Anti-ChristThese readers.

"Both sides do it".  The call of the false-equivalence throated media apologist.  Their song is about how as objective journalists, they can't be seen as taking sides.  Even if one of the sides is blatantly lying.

Richard Stengel, Managing Editor for TIME states the ridiculousness of the notion:
"One of our jobs as journalists is to be the referee, the honest broker who sorts through the accusations and says, This is fact, and this is fantasy."
Ironically, he does this to introduce the most blatantly ridiculous piece of false-equivalence "journalism" printed since Deborah Howell was Ombudsman of the Washington Post.

Indeed, the media has decided that best defense is a good offense - so they are attempting to be as offensive as possible.  The strategy is never admitting errors and accusing your opponents of any slur and slander you can find until one sticks, a lesson that they learned in eight years of covering the Bush Administration.

Accountability. What a strange and powerful word.  I wonder what it means.


9-11, the day that I honour the First Responders.

Good evening. I just listened to Dr. Charles Boustany, and I'm going to need a BRANES surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, to reassemble the bits.

Republicans are pleased that President Obama came to the Capitol tonight, because this means he’s not fucking their daughters. Did you know that he’s black? Anyways. Republicans are ready – and have always been ready – to work with the President so long as he’s not a socialist commie as indicated by the little (D) after his name.

Afford is an important word. It means Fuck You, I’ve Got Mine. Can’t afford Health Care? Neither can the government, so just die already. That’s called Personal Responsibility, i.e. if you’re poor then Fuck You. Obviously with a negro in the Oval Office, you leachers have got time enough to vote – if you instead spent that time selling your blood or scavenging returnable bottles for their deposits, you’d be able to afford health care too. Plus the recession would be over. Fucking poor folks. Get a job already.

It's clear the American people want health care reform, but the GOP doesn’t. Really, they DO NOT WANT.

Replacing your family's current health care with government-run health care is not the answer – and that’s why in the text of Obama’s speech – available well before Boustany had to churn out this POS – clearly states that he’s looking for reforms that will not replace people’s existing coverage. In fact, he's against it even though it’ll make health care much more expensive. That's the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – the neutral scorekeeper that determines the cost of major bills.

The President had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table. Republicans can do better, with a targeted approach the GOP can kill Medicare like they’ve been trying to do since it was first proposed.

This Congress can pass meaningful reform soon to reduce some of the fear and anxiety families are feeling in these very difficult times, but why bother? It sure as hell ain’t gonna get the Republicans any more campaign monies – so the only available option for the Repubs is to kill this thing with lies, scare mongering and obstructionist procedural bullshit.

I'm Dragon-King Wangchuck. Thanks for listening.


Sunday Audition: Media by Us.

In recent days, the axiom of liberal bias in the media has been tested.  The seminal work exposing the complete domnance of left-wing liberal views in the media, The Media Elite by Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman, and Linda Lichter was published in 1986 but a lot can change in twenty three years.

At the center of this firestorm is the complete lack of coverage given to 9-11 Truther Van Jones.  Jones was President Barack Hussein Obama's choice to head up the White House Green Jobs program, but he has since resigned his position when evidence connecting him to the 9-11 Truther movement was exposed.

The 9-11 Truther movement is a group of conspiracy theorists who believe that the US Government planned the terrorist attacks of 9-11 to provide a cassus belli to initiate a war with Iraq.  That a senior White House advisor could be part of this movement is so beyond the pale, it easily qualifies as the single-most important story of the decade.  And yet the sum total of coverage of this scandal in the pages of the nation's media is nearly zero.  Indeed, if it weren't for the diligent work of objective conservative bloggers and the fair and balanced coverage from Fox News, this story would have disappeared completely.

Countering this argument is a "good offense is the best defense" strategy from MSNBC's own Chuck Todd, who uses The Van Jones Affair as an example of how conservatives can get the media to address their posted issues, despite the media being liberals.  In fact, Todd claims that the bias in the media is actually conservative-biased based on this argument.

Clearly Todd has lost the narrative.  In regards to how outside the mainstream the Truther movement is, the media often compares this group to the Birther movement, a group of people who believe that Obama was born in Kenya.  This is clearly an example of liberal bias in the media as the Truther movement is far more radical.  A simple demonstration of this basic fact is that the Truther movement is so toxic that Jones had no choice but to resign when connected to it.  In contrast, the Birther Movement enjoys widespread support from many Members of Congress.  Indeed, the Truther movement is so bad that Jones spent much time trying to distance himself from the group, claiming that he never held any such views.

Then again, Todd's argument is to be expected.  Todd is himself, part of the media, so it is not unexpected to see such a liberal and left-wing view as his to be expressed so openly.  Compare this to Pat Buchanan's recent opinion piece where he provided a fresh and unconventional perspective on the causes of World War Two.  At first MSNBC was promoting the interesting piece on their own site, but they have since removed it, likely as a response to death threats from the far Left.

Twenty three years have indeed passed since The Media Elite was published and times have changed quite a bit since then.  But it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sunday Auditions

I'm hoping to make this a regular thing, but I kinda thought that I'd have more to say in the first twenty-four hours of this blog too.

The Sunday Audition is going to be a place to pitch my enormous talents at disseminating conventional wisdom.  These will be in the form of the classic major media outlet op-eds.  Maybe one day, I'll write one pithy and disingenious enough to get a call from Fred Hiatt.


Whatcha knowing? I've come to watch your flowers growing.

One of the things about blogs that I find interesting is the conversational feel they all have - despite responses being spaced by hours or more.  Thus if you do think of the absolute killer rejoinder to end all snappy comebacks, you can Publish Post at that time and look really clever - instead of feeling like a twit on the staircase.

IOW, think of this as yet another source for almost timely responses to the day's outrages.  Or possibly yesterday's.  Or maybe even longer back than that - I'm kinda lazy.