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September 30, 2009

Comments

Nice post.

"It's like bizarro venture capital."

I wish I'd written that.

Two quick points, I dislike the MSM moniker as that was originally coined by right wingers and did you happen to forget 'swiftboating' along with the railroading of Dan Rather over the AWOL story, both of which happened during the 2004 election run-up when you said that things "have gotten much better since 2002" or the "Drudge rules our world" quote from Halperin and Harris in 2006.

Things have gotten so much better that we have to rely on The Daily Show to combat the insanity which is why it is doubly disappointing when they fail us as in this instance.

Yes, the fact that the MSM hasn't countered with the ACORN employee who played along with the human smuggling prank to alert the authorities is pretty disappointing, too.

In my mind it doesn't quite balance the other idiots caught on camera, but it should take a little weight off the scale.

Even Little Green Footballs stood down after that.

--

And of course, not to be outdone, the only group more afraid of right-wing name-calling than the media is the Democratic Congessional Caucus, immediately threw ACORN to the gutter.

So, I'm driving through Wyoming last week (to pay a visit to the Dick Cheney Federal Building in Casper, again with the ironic inversion) listening to an AM radio ranter state that ACORN is bringing 13 underaged El Salvadoran sex slaves into the country -- stated as a fact.

I don't have an AM radio show - but when I do, here's what else is true by pure repetition under the Thullen Fairness Doctrine:

The Republican Party ordered the summary execution and butchering of a U.S.Census Bureau worker in Kentucky.

For good measure, the filth in the Republican Party molested the school children the Census worker taught part-time.

Just like Obama's tail, no on can prove these allegations to be false.

Because I say so.

"The "video" is important not because it reveals some larger "truth" about ACORN, but because it is useful in this larger institutional battle to control national media narratives."

You really are determined not to confront the possibility that the video actually DOES reveal some truth about ACORN, aren't you? That's just inadmissible, I suppose because admitting it wouldn't be useful. http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/29/massive-voter-fraud-in-ny-linked-to-acorn/>Meanwhile...

I mean, seriously, it's hilarious: ACORN's empire is collapsing about us, the rug is being peeled back to reveal all that's been swept under it over the years, and you're still so deep in denial you must be breathing heliox.

Isn't it funny how the headline from the right-wing website that Brett cited above is 'Massive voter fraud in NY linked to ACORN' , but it then includes as a quote: 'There may be as many as 50 absentee ballots that were forged, according to people close to the case.' It's almost as if there were people around concerned to inflate the importance of particular stories regardless of the facts...

Contra Brett, what the ACORN video and reporting actually reveal is pretty typical: an advocacy group designed to help the disadvantaged and the marginal doesn't enjoy massive financial and infrastructure advanatages in doing its work, and it therefore (inexcusably) sometimes cuts corners and looks the other way when financial irregularities occur. I have no problem with smacking them around and holding them accountable for that, but I am a little ticked that we're SO upset about their shenanigans that we need to punish them by cutting off any government funding, while the Fed and the banks benefiting from the bailout get to thumb their noses at Congress when it demands an accounting. The disproportionate reaction to these two situations tells you all you need to know about whose interests really count for anything in this country.

It was all part of the game, yo -- and Stewart got played. Glenn Beck was Clay Davis to Stewart's Strang'.

Sheeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttt!

Brett,

How hard do you think it would be to troll a right-wing group? You don't think I could take a videocamera to a tea party and catch people saying dumb things. How about I go to gun shows and ask people about how to get guns to overthrow the government or start a race war. You don't think I could get anyone to go along with that? They're going to be gullible idiots and any large group and pointing that out doesn't prove much.

Publius, you're still underestimating the true importance of ACORN:

One thing that journalists don’t seem to get about ACORN is that it is a strange, complex creature with tentacles that reach into the highest levels of the United States government, the Democratic Party, corporate America, the labor movement, the nonprofit world, the media, foreign governments, and academia.

There may be as many as 50 absentee ballots that were forged

126 nationwide.

These guys are amateurs. I'll bet that on a good day Rehnquist kept that many brown people from voting without breaking a sweat.

Who needs to troll right-wing groups in person to catch people saying dumb things?

Heck, we have the internet and now the MSM to amplify their dumbocity.

TPM has a deal up this morning telling us that a certain John Perry, a columnist for Newsmax, is calling for a U.S. military coup againt President Obama.

Fascinatin' reading.

He suspects plans are afoot as we speak.

I've wondered where all of the bullets are going to in the national bullet shortage.

I'm hearing rumors that right-wing fringe groups, their members dressed as the late performance artist Timothy McVeigh, are planning coordinated violent attacks on ACORN offices across the country.

See, it's easy to make sh-t up.

I need my own show on FOX so that the sh-t I make up becomes truth.

These guys [ACORN] are amateurs. I'll bet that on a good day Rehnquist kept that many brown people from voting without breaking a sweat.

Exactly. Please, ACORN's transgressions are not even a rounding error when compared to the whole GOP apparatus for suppressing the vote.

The Daily Show now has a possibly fatal problem: its self-awareness as a political vehicle. Some of the crap they run - like what Publius mentions - gives you an idea how strong the pressure to be 'balanced' really is. It also shows Stewart to be, essentially, the mediocrity he has always been, ie he clings to the idea of being a 'radical moderate', in the tradition of Brian Lamb, the MSM in general, Letterman, et. al. It's practically the definition of feckless, standard-issue liberalism. I mean, how hard was it for a competent comedian to ridicule the Bush administration? The jokes wrote themselves! Some of the poking fun at the rather full-of-himself Obama is funny, but the writers often lose their grip.

Compare the 'Daily Show' with the far superior 'Colbert Report', which is both much funnier, far more cutting satire, and actually more mainstream; the difference is that it thinks for itself and essays its own version of 'mainstream'. The Daily Show has a touch of the Beltway Virus - ick.

TPM has a deal up this morning telling us that a certain John Perry, a columnist for Newsmax, is calling for a U.S. military coup againt President Obama.

I saw that on TPM, but Newsmax took column down.

When someone on the left criticizes an organization for reporting facts that plays into the narrative of the opposition, it is a sign that he has falling into the same self-delusional pit of group think and self-righteous expectation of propaganda with which he (however correctly^) characterizes his opponent.

Exhibit A:

"Compare the 'Daily Show' with the far superior 'Colbert Report', which is both much funnier, far more cutting satire, and actually more mainstream..."

^seriously, JTBC, this characterizes the modern right, and only occasionally the left -- here being such an occasion

"ACORN's empire." That would be hilarious if it weren't pathetic. Brett really just does not like black people.

Troy, NY, btw -- the topic of Brett's EARTH SHATTERING link -- is the county seat of Rensselaer County, which you may remember sent out absentee ballots with "Barack Osama" as the Democratic candidate for President. Yeah, that ACORN sure is some empire.

Also btw, Rensselaer County had 68,888 votes cast for President in 2008. Obama's margin of victory was 5,424 votes. So 50 possibly forged ballots may represent as much as 0.9% of Obama's margin of victory, and as much as 7.25 ten-thousandths of the total votes cast.

Massive voter fraud, my ass.

When someone on the left criticizes an organization for reporting facts that plays into the narrative of the opposition, it is a sign that he has falling into the same self-delusional pit of group think and self-righteous expectation of propaganda with which he (however correctly^) characterizes his opponent.

Oy, what facts? Some frat guy and his girlfriend donned ridiculous pimps-and-hos 70's costumes and started harassing ACORN workers. No one seriously thought the skinny white kid with the blaxploitation getup was actually a pimp. They played along with what was, quite obviously, a joke. One woman told the frat guy that she murdered her husband. The media reported this as fact, but the husband was still alive.

"I mean, seriously, it's hilarious: ACORN's empire is collapsing about us, the rug is being peeled back to reveal all that's been swept under it over the years, and you're still so deep in denial you must be breathing heliox."

Until I read Brett's moniker I thought this was John Thullen doing a send up of Brett.

"TPM has a deal up this morning telling us that a certain John Perry, a columnist for Newsmax, is calling for a U.S. military coup againt President Obama.

I saw that on TPM, but Newsmax took column down."

I read the article on Newsmax last night from a link on Balloon Juice.

I'm glad they took it down. The jist of the article was that Obama could expect--and deserved--and insurrection from with the millitary for his crimes which were listed in the article: nationalizing too many institutions was one.

John Perry was careful to claim that a millitary coup in the US would be polite and nonviolent. He seemed to think that some officers were going to walk inot the White House, sit down with Obama, and arrange a peaceful transfer of power from Obama to themselves.

The scarey thing is that there probably are officers working on just such a vision. Faux had an interview with some paranoid cretin in a uniform yesterday who said that we should rethink our policy of letting a commander-in-chief be in authority over the militray. He also said that Obama avoided service and called john Kerry Hanoi John.


But I guess it is way more important to fear the ACORN empire!

You really are determined not to confront the possibility that the video actually DOES reveal some truth about ACORN, aren't you?

Brett's love of the hasty generalization reveals some truth about "conservatives" in general. without question. anyone who disagrees is probably a terrorist.

BB: Meanwhile...

...the tinfoil set is apparently convinced the black UN helicopters and FEMA camps will be manned by swarthy, inner-city dwelling enablers of sex-slavery [sic]. Thank the good Lord above for civic-minded citizen journalists like Andrew Breitbart, working tirelessly to gin up pageviews by any means necessary expose this vast Marxist conspiracy.

Can almost feel the cold, clammy caress of ACORN's slimy tentacles...

MediaMatters has a whole list of rightwing radio and TV personaities who have to one degree or other called for violent action against the US government: Beck, Limbaugh, Quinn, Savage, etc. They include the quotes: calls for rioting, assault on legslators, claims that armed force might be necessary to fend off the United nations, calls for servicepeople to "run for their lives" because Obama is PResident.."

Brett, what is your response to this? Is it more, or less, a threat to our body politic than ACORN?

I don't think that BRett does't like black people. I think that one of the defining characteristics of consaervatgives is that they need to believe in a boogeyman that makes them feel like they and they alone are the real Almericans; they need an Other to hate and fear in contrast to their real true blue American selves. The Other could be Commies or gays or Libruls or whatever. The essential feature is that the presence of the Other is what makes them good Americans in their own eyes.

That way they can be good Americans without ever doing any of the work of citizenship. They don't have to face uncomfortable facts, think for themselves, or discipline3 their minds to think logically. They don't have to notice, for example, that their boogey man has little real power and that their own side is infested from top to bottom with people who don't really like democracy.

When someone on the left criticizes an organization for reporting facts that plays into the narrative of the opposition, it is a sign that he has falling into the same self-delusional pit of group think and self-righteous expectation of propaganda with which he (however correctly^) characterizes his opponent.

Exhibit A:

"Compare the 'Daily Show' with the far superior 'Colbert Report', which is both much funnier, far more cutting satire, and actually more mainstream..."

^seriously, JTBC, this characterizes the modern right, and only occasionally the left -- here being such an occasion

That is an assertion, not an argument. It completely ignores publius' post (which is what I was commenting on). I'm happy to be convinced that I'm wrong, but simplistic stuff like this isn't going to do it. Fetishing the 'middle ground' as a value is a bias. That, in fact, is the whole point here.

Imagine being stuck on the proverbial desert island with someone of roughly the same age and body type as you. There is a fixed daily ration of food and water for you both. The other guy is constantly angry with you, yelling and screaming, and also decides that since you are so unworthy, he will eat/drink 90% of the daily rations for the two of you. He does this, despite your appeals to his sense of fair-play, for months. Finally, you blow your top and get angry yourself. He admonishes you for doing what you criticize him for: being angry. You are duly ashamed of yourself. After you calm down, since you are an American liberal Democrat, you suggest negotiations, since both sides are guilty and the truth is always in the middle, and he sullenly accedes. Final deal? He will, from now on, consume only 75% of the daily rations for you both. Moderation wins the day!

Mike Huckabee and other Republican notables who are planning future infestations of the U.S. Government attended some whackaloon right-wing conference the other day where a crazy, dangerous woman speaker compared Obama to Hitler and encouraged her audience to get their guns and ammo ready to fight the looming Nazi-Stalinist-Pee-Wee-Herman threat.

No word yet on whether or not Huckabee and company alerted the authorities to this possible female killer performance artist -- not even a call yet to the local mental hospital to check and see if a patient had gone missing.

"Frankly, the MSM has gotten much better since 2002 about ignoring the more absurd stories emanating from the Noise Machine."

When I first read this, I thought it must be a typo. Surely you meant "..the MSM has not gotten much better since 2002..". But on further reading, perhaps not.

Let me humbly suggest that the modes of interaction between the Noise Machine and the MSM are significantly influenced by whether the right is currently in power (in the sense of controlling Congress, the WH, etc.) or not, and hence whether the Noise Machine needs to support or tear down the legitimacy of the current govt in order to advance their political agenda. If you go back and take a look at MSM - Noise Machine interactions from 2003-2008 with this framework in mind I think perhaps you will find more effectiveness there than you are giving them credit for.

Certainly their mode of interaction with the media has changed since Nov 2008, for obvious reasons.

Its extremely difficult to do when Thullen has posted multiple comments, but i think jonnybutter @1049am wins the thread!

I wish I'd said that, jonny.

How about I go to gun shows and ask people about how to get guns to overthrow the government or start a race war.

been there, done that.

And no punking or playing dress-up necessary, everybody is quite up front about where they're coming from.

Which is a good thing, I guess, in a weird way.

So Brett, you tell me who I should worry about: a bunch of heavily, and I do mean heavily, armed folks selling 50 caliber sniper rifles and Nazi memorabilia while calling for armed resistance to the government, or 50 fraudulent absentee ballots in Troy NY.

If you're really up for an entertaining good time, search YouTube for the Young Turks episode featuring the pastor of the guy who brought the AR-15 to Obama's speech in AZ.

Seriously, only in America could you call for armed resistance to the government with total impunity, and in the same breath complain about how your liberty is being trampled on.

Poor women scare the hell out of the modern conservative movement.

someotherdude

Actually I think most women scare the hell out of the modern conservative movement.

I mean Hillary, Pelosi, etc. are hardly poor.

Trophy wives are not scary, at least not in public. Nor are women that most of the rest of the world finds truly frightening: Bachmann, Palin, Coulter...

"So Brett, you tell me who I should worry about: .."

I've related this before at OBWI, but what the hoohaa.

George Carlin hated the old saw that "it's the quiet ones you gotta watch".

"Well, officer, he always kept to himself and minded his own business. I guess it's the quiet ones ya gotta watch."

Is that so?

Say you're sitting in a bar and there's a quiet one sitting at a table all by himself, minding his own business, sipping a beer and reading a book.

All of a sudden one of the loud ones crashes through the door, stumbles up to the bar and slams an automatic weapon and a machete down on the bar, and bellows at the bartender: "I'll kill the first motherf---er who so much as moves!"

Carlin: "Who ya gonna watch?"

i think jonnybutter @1049am wins the thread!

thank you efgoldman, that is flattering.

Here's an example specific to Jon Stewart: his interview with Betsy McCaughey. Jon's purpose was to out-argue her, which he sort of did. But he lost the game, because Betsy's purpose was not about argument. Her purpose was to spread FUD, and she succeeded. FUD is about repetition and is oblivious to argument. She got what she wanted. Stewart's final words make the point better than I could [paraphrase]: "I just don't understand how your *brain* works!". Indeed, he doesn't.

Here's an obvious analogy. You have a sibling close to your young age who gets in trouble a lot. You, OTOH, are calm, happy, and it usually doesn't even occur to you to get into trouble. Your sibling hates you for these things, especially your sincere innocence, and bullies you constantly, hitting you, kicking you, taunting you, etc. For a while, you just feel blindsided, unable to understand why s/he is treating you this way - you are always nice to your sibling, after all. Eventually though, you get really mad and get into a physical fight with them. Just then, your mother, who looks appallingly like David Broder, sees you fighting and punishes you both severely. Who wins? The sibling. Yes, he gets punished, but he always gets punished anyway - the point is that *you* get punished. He resents you so much that it's worth it. He wants to pull you down. Then he can try to maneuver.

The politics of resentment is not really much more complicated than that. American liberalism seems to be stuck at the blindsided-innocence stage. Maybe not (I hope).

"ACORN has, at long last, delivered the goods (much like Dan Rather before it)."

I don't like the ACORN psuedo-gotcha journalism, but I don't see how invoking Dan Rather helps your case. Are you defending the use of forgeries in national broadcast journalism? Are you defending the lack of fact checking regarding those documents even after they were exposed? Are you in favor of the initial smears that Dan Rather and company used against those making the correct observations about the forgeries?

The reason the right was able to use those against the main stream media is because they really did look like tactics that wouldn't be used against someone that the MSM liked--say Roman Polanski.

(BTW the Roman Polanski thing is fascinating. Right and left on the blogosphere seem to be relatively united in condemning him, while all sorts of MSM outlets are defending. Does that mean anything?)

I'm glad to see that others have noticed Jon Stewart's rather annoying tendency to suck up to so many who deserve the full blast of his satire and sarcasm (Newt Gingrich and Bill Kristol come immediately to mind).

And I am glad that I am not the only one who has noticed another annoying tendency, as demonstrated by his ACORN piece -- the (apparent) willingness to accept the CW as gospel truth. In the instant case, he made no mention of such things as the obvious playing along (the woman who "murdered" her husband; the fact that one of the workers in question had actually contacted the police and was told to string them along [this would be the worker who was fired]), the ancestry of the "pranksters" (in particular, Hannah Giles, daughter of well-known wingnut Doug Giles), and any sense of proportion with what was at stake. I mean, c'mon Jon -- ACORN received a TOTAL of $53 million in 10 YEARS, and this was the most important story of the day? Really?

TDS is certainly better than at least 90% of what passes for "news" on the MSM -- but I believe that falls into the category of "damning with faint praise".

Just then, your mother, who looks appallingly like David Broder

I'm by no means a violent person, but if you said that to my face I'd be hard-pressed not to deck you.

"So Brett, you tell me who I should worry about: a bunch of heavily, and I do mean heavily, armed folks selling 50 caliber sniper rifles and Nazi memorabilia while calling for armed resistance to the government, or 50 fraudulent absentee ballots in Troy NY."

I worry about the 50 fraudulent vote more.

The government worries enough about those other guys, we have an FBI and at leasst five or six other agencies who know who all those guys are and they really aren't hard to identify.

No one seems to worry about 50 fraudulent votes becoming 50,000 as long as they aren't Republican votes.

No one seems to worry about 50 fraudulent votes becoming 50,000 as long as they aren't Republican votes.

Right you are, Marty. No one on this thread has written "Now if it were 50,000 votes instead of 50, that would be serious." Therefore, we can surmise that no one here would care about 50,000 fraudulent votes, as long as they're for their own side. QED.

You should run for office--you're a natural.

No one worries about that poor goat Marty raped becoming 1000 goats Marty's raped, either.

"(BTW the Roman Polanski thing is fascinating. Right and left on the blogosphere seem to be relatively united in condemning him, while all sorts of MSM outlets are defending. Does that mean anything?)"

It is an establishment (MSM) vs populist (blogs) split over whether somebody should enjoy the benefits of being a member of the elite in a two-tier system of justice. Since the political implications are obscure at best, for one moment at least the blogs on the left and right have nothing to fight over and so both are venting populist discontent with the establishment whose mouthpiece and court jester the MSM is.

No one seems to worry about 50 fraudulent votes becoming 50,000 as long as they aren't Republican votes.

Y'know, am actually missing d'd'd'dave. At least his *cough* concerns were (marginally) entertaining.

You know, I want to defend Marty at this point, although, quite honestly I find his last point ludicrous. After all, there are people in the government watching for voter fraud.

The problem for ACORN is that, despite it being probably the most honest and ethical of the non-government voter registration organizations, it has been libeled into something else and nobody is allowed by the right to defend them. And actuallu, neither does the so-called MSM allow them to be defended to any extent.

But back to Marty. Marty has never, to my mind, been uncivil in presenting any of his opinions and has even been very interactive and considering of other viewpoints. He reminds me a lot of somebody we haven't seen around here for a long time and who I, quite honestly miss, OCSteve.

Re: Rather. First point is that the documents were never proven to be forgeries, although the probability is high. Secondly, in presenting the documents, Rather explained where they came form. Thirdly, they were a small part of the overall presentation, but, as usual, the right focused on one thing and one thing only and ignored the other evidence presented. The right does not believe in discussing facts, only in distracting from them.

And the so-called MSM abets them in it. Look at the 2004 debates. Bush lies about never saying he didn't think about bin Laden very much and Kerry compliments Cheney regarding his daughter. You would have thought Kerry brought something up that nobody knew about. And all the ocverage focused on how horrible Kerry was and ignored Bush's lie. But that is the liberal media for you.

How many stories did you read about the angry town halls? How many about the mass demonstrations in favor of health care reform? But that is the liberal media for you.

The media is neither liberal or conservative. It is money oriented and the biggest story sells.

The politics of resentment is not really much more complicated than that. American liberalism seems to be stuck at the blindsided-innocence stage. Maybe not (I hope).

One of the problems at hand is that if you have a sort of blindsided-innocence, you are drawn to American liberalism. In the same way that all the resentful racists have to end up voting for someone, so, too, are the naive innocents who don't have the stomach for a partisan fight going to end up choosing a party to represent them and, sadly, having politicians who reflect their political aesthetic.

Marty has never, to my mind, been uncivil in presenting any of his opinions and has even been very interactive and considering of other viewpoints.

Agreed.

To Marty's point, as Uncle Kvetch has pointed out, 50,000 votes is not the question at hand. 50, or maybe 126, votes are.

Conversely, the FBI estimates that there are something like 200 million firearms in private hands. There are not 50, or 500, but something like 5,000 gun shows a year in the US.

I got no problem with people owning guns.

I do have a problem with people who think we're living in an emerging authoritarian socialist state, and the best thing for them to do is stockpile as much ordinance as they can get their hands on to prepare for the coming civil war.

I have a problem with them because now and then one of them looks at a Unitarian, or an abortion doctor, or a Holocaust museum, or a federal office building, and sees a target.

There are, conservatively, tens of thousands of those folks.

So, to be perfectly honest, in comparison ACORN doesn't even show up on my personal radar. Nobody from ACORN ever shot anybody that I'm aware of, or blew up any federal buildings, or openly called for violent armed resistance to the US government.

I'm not a particular fan of ACORN. I think their mission is fabulous, they just don't seem to be a very well run outfit.

But you don't see people wearing ACORN T-shirts waving banners calling for the tree of liberty to be watered with anybody's blood.

So 50 -- not 50,000, but 50 -- fraudulent absentee ballots in Troy NY just don't get much of a rise out of me.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ: "(BTW the Roman Polanski thing is fascinating. Right and left on the blogosphere seem to be relatively united in condemning him, while all sorts of MSM outlets are defending. Does that mean anything?)

McCafferty on CNN pretty much castigated him a few minutes ago; and an editorial in today's NY Times wasn't too kind to him either:

"Yet where is the injustice in bringing to justice someone who pleads guilty to statutory rape and then goes on the lam, no matter how talented he may be?"

...stockpile as much ordinance as they can get their hands on to prepare for the coming civil war.

Not so sure what good "ordinances" are going to do you in a civil war. They're more for civil society than civil war ;)

"Right you are, Marty. No one on this thread has written "Now if it were 50,000 votes instead of 50, that would be serious." Therefore, we can surmise that no one here would care about 50,000 fraudulent votes, as long as they're for their own side. QED."

keeping in mind that it was presented as one or the other, I stand by my answer. In general, neither keeps me awake nights. The great thing about the "the coming war" guys is that they really aren't very secretive. I am a lot more worried about real terrorists.

"Re: Rather. First point is that the documents were never proven to be forgeries, although the probability is high. Secondly, in presenting the documents, Rather explained where they came form. Thirdly, they were a small part of the overall presentation, but, as usual, the right focused on one thing and one thing only and ignored the other evidence presented. The right does not believe in discussing facts, only in distracting from them."

Sorry John, I think you really missed the point. Rather made a big, fundamental mistake that brought into question his credibility. At that point he couldn't be the nightly face of a network news program. The right wing didn't do that to him. He did, whoever pointed it out.

My opinion is he spent a lifetime being a good journalist, but he always pushed the limite. He wasn't really that popular (with his network) in the first place so he had no backing at just the wrong time.

Sorry John, I think you really missed the point. Rather made a big, fundamental mistake that brought into question his credibility.

Im not sure what you expect from journalists; he had multiple sources backing the story up, and then received some documents which corroborated. Journalists don't normally do font analysis on every document handed to them by sources.
Me, I've always figured that the faked docs were ratf&cking (ie they were forged with the intent of revealing them as forgeries to debunk a true story). Either that or clumsy attempts to give the story more legs, but the former seems more likely- when you've got witnesses and documentation, why gin up more documents?

keeping in mind that it was presented as one or the other, I stand by my answer.

Your answer that voter fraud is more dangerous than militias? Fine.
Your answer that no one (ie liberals?) don't care about voter fraud as long as they benefit from it? Not so fine.

I mean, seriously, it's hilarious: ACORN's empire is collapsing about us,

Yeah, that is pretty hilarious. ACORN's empire? You make a tiny organization trying to help poor people sound like the Sith.
Which apparently, they are in your mind. Weird place.

Marty, with all due respect, you missed my point. Rather, ACORN, the 2004 debates that I referenced are all examples of how the right absolutely (in its present incarnation) refuses to talk about actrual facts, policy or anything else of real substance. They will take any little thing they can and totally distort it and put so much effort into the process that everything else of substance is drowned out.

And the so=called liberal media buys into it because noise and anger and violence sell. People respond to accusations not factual, dispassionate debate and the media knows it. After Rather's piece, the only thingtalked about was the "forged documents" (personally I agree with Carleton as to the provenance of the documents). GThere was no discussion of the other 95% of what Rather presented.

With ACORN, they only talk was about the fake registration forms they turned in. No discussion about how they were required to by law, how they separated the registrations and marked them as fake, how they not only fired the workers who turned them in but also helped the legal authorities prosecute those workers.

Even with the present examples, the so-called sting operation, how much mention was there that in at least two of the situations, the employees called the police.

How much coverage, OTOH, has there been of the speaker at the recent Values Conference basically telling people to be ready with their guns and get plenty of ammunition because that is what it takes sometimes to wrest back control of the country? How much coverage of the same conference of a Republican Congressman stating that Obama is "an enemy of humanity"? How much coverage of the fact that three prominent potential candidates for the Republican nomination in 2012 were there and never disavowed those remarks?

Remember when Senator Durbin was castigated for telling the truth about the interrogations at Gitmo and was basically foerced to apologizew? Remember when Move-ON posted a commerciasl that showed Bush morphing into Hitler and was loudly condemned even though they took it down as soon as they bdiscovered it? Remember when the Dems were forced to vote to condemn Move-On because of the General Betray-us campaign?

Tell me, how many Republicans have condemned the over the top rhetoric out there? How many have condemned the call to arms issued by the Becks and Hannitys of the world? And you worry about what may be possibly 50 fraudelent absentee balots?

Some people here mocked me when I said this current era scares me more than the 60's did with the potential for violence. But I stand by that claim. The FBI and USSS may know the big groups out there, but what about the twos and threes and singles who have are being stirred up by this crowd. And the media and current Republican party are complicit in this. And what about those killings already done due to this incitement?

Marty, as I pointed out above, I respect you and what you bring to this site, but you are worried about 50o f**king votes?
Give me a break.

Sorry, rant finished. (And russell rants better than I do anyway.)

john miller says: "Tell me, how many Republicans have condemned the over the top rhetoric out there?"

Glad to hear you're upset about incendiary political rhetoric, John. Therefore I'm sure we'll hear from you ASAP, condemning the over-the-top rhetoric from Alan Grayson, the Orlando, Florida Democratic Rep who accused Republicans of wanting Americans who get sick to 'die quickly' -- insinuating their opposition to ObamaCare indicates they want Americans to die.

And a one thousand... and a two thousand...

Yes Jay, although that rhetoric was no where near as over the top as the other stuff that is out there, I think he crossed the line. BTW, there is no such thing as Obamacare.

Steve Benen notes:

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) said Dem plans would tell seniors to "drop dead." Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said Democratic plans for a public option would "kill people." Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said Dems' proposals might "put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government." Plenty of other House Republicans have made similar remarks, and not one of them has every apologized. House Democrats haven't even asked.

Grayson may have been deliberately provocative to highlight a larger point, but if "die quickly" is beyond the pale, the GOP should probably start lining up now, asking for forgiveness for months of dishonest fear-mongering.

Rep. Grayson is factually correct: about 45,000 Americans do die each year for lack of health insurance and the R plan (obstruct! Obstruct! Tell Lies and obstruct!) will perpetuate that sad reality.

Meanwhile, even if we pretend your false eguivalence is valid, you are playing the usual rightwing game of pairing one Dem to one R and acting like that makes both parties equivalent in bad behavior.

Bullshit.

Coulter
malkin
Limbaugh
Beck
hannity
The guy that shouted "lie!"
Bachman
Mean Jean
Boehner
Ensign
Assrocket
The Corner nutcases
the Newsmax nutcases ( who, according to emails set by the NRCC, are sponsored by the R party)
Erick Erickson
Palin
The death panel lie and all of the Republicans who perpetuated it
O'Reilly

And on and on and on--eliminationist language, over the top rhetoric, outright lies, and even calls for violence.

It is intellectually dishonest to pretend that the Repulcian party has not engaged in more incendiary rhetoric for a longer period than the Democratic party has. In fact, the Republican party has been taken over from top to bottom with people who engage in over the top rhetoric--and those who enable the bully tactics by minimizing or ignoring or putting up false equivalencies.

Bullies and their enablers. That's the Republican party.

What took Alan Grayson so long?

More Alan Grayson.

Louder Alan Grayson.

Alan Grayson on the House floor during the day, chewing the scenery.

Alan Grayson at townhall meetings flaunting the second-amendment bulge in his pants.

Alan Grayson going across the table on FOX causing Hannity, or O'Reilly, or Beck, to have an early onset pre-existing windpipe problem.

If he crossed the line, draw a new line. The Republican will corss it tomorrow morning and I hope Alan Grayson draws yet another new line.

wonkie, that rant was better than mine, and a lot fewer words too.

It's the list format John. You also get the feeling that there were no pauses in writing that list.

Just watching Grayson on Maddow, and watching the original clip. She's being all, this was out of line (but making sure to note that the Republicans are out of line too), and Josh Marshall took the same line, and they're entitled to their opinion, but you know what, I disagree. I watched the clip, and he's right.

The Republicans have no plan whatsoever to provide healthcare to the 30 million uninsured in America. None. And they're working as hard as they can to prevent the Democrats from doing anything about it. So in what way is it inaccurate to say that their entire plan for the uninsured (and for the general problem of rising healthcare costs and inadequate coverage) is that you shouldn't get sick and if you do you should die quickly. It's true. It's a fact. Alan Grayson is one of the few Democrats willing to say so, and it may be incendiary, but you know what else is incendiary? 45,000 people a year dying of preventable diseases in the richest country in the world.

Glad to hear you're upset about incendiary political rhetoric, John. Therefore I'm sure we'll hear from you ASAP, condemning the over-the-top rhetoric from Alan Grayson

Well played off-topic "look over there" troll, Jay Jerome!

Count me with Liberal Japonicus. No, I don't condone Grayson's remarks. But I have to sort of relish the Republicans getting a taste of their own medicine and seeing how they like it. Grayson should offer to apologize just as soon as the Republicans apologize for equally incindiary remarks.

And a one thousand . . . And a two thousand . . .

John Thullen: "If he crossed the line, draw a new line. The Republican will corss it tomorrow morning and I hope Alan Grayson draws yet another new line."

Thre you go again, Thullen, expressing your Rambo masturbation fantasies, the violent ones you've been expressing on this blog, about strapping big honking precision firepower to your leg and shooting people, etc. You should seek psychiatric help, really you should: psychologically, the truth is often masked in jest; clinical profiles of mass killers indicate they often cloak violent intentions by joking about them.

"UnEnlightened Layperson says: "But I have to sort of relish the Republicans getting a taste of their own medicine and seeing how they like it."

Right. That's exactly the same rationalizing BS I heard from the Fuxs at Fox defending Joe Wilson, who at least had the decency to apologize. You and the rest of the Lefty Idiologues here defending Grayson are part of the same problem Thomas Friedman described in his NY Times column today, of creating "a poisonous political environment" which ratchets up the hatred, and makes it impossible to reach consensus on the important issues facing us.

In other words, you are them.

Jacob Davies says: "The Republicans have no plan whatsoever to provide healthcare to the 30 million uninsured in America."

And the Democratic plan coming out of the Baucus hearings is a Rube-Goldberg mess of proposals that's worse then NO plan. And if enacted into law in less than a decade it will destroy Medicare for the elderly. Shorter term, it will cause havoc in the present private insurer system: and anyone who has insurance now will see higher primiums; and anyone making more than $65,000 a year will be paying higher taxes because of it.

And after watching the hearings, I know who I'd like to see as next President -- the senior United States Senator from Maine.

If he crossed the line, draw a new line.

Now you're talking.

Thre you go again, Thullen, expressing your Rambo masturbation fantasies

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

And the Democratic plan coming out of the Baucus hearings is a Rube-Goldberg mess of proposals that's worse then NO plan. And if enacted into law in less than a decade it will destroy Medicare for the elderly. Shorter term, it will cause havoc in the present private insurer system: and anyone who has insurance now will see higher primiums; and anyone making more than $65,000 a year will be paying higher taxes because of it.

I love reading policy recommendations written by someone who finds the posting rules on this site to be too intellectually challenging to follow. It feels like having a conversation about Kant with a parrot.

Waiting for Jerome to offer ANYTHING more constructive than "I know you are, but what am I?" Not holding my breath though....

Isn't the definition of a troll 'an inflammatory poster who adds nothing but heat to any conversation'? This guy's just a baby Brett (howler? dining-room table?) - I'd like to trade both of them in on another pair of vons and a Marty, please.

Nah, Brett's much better than Jay. I think BB is serious in his views, he's just kind of out there in lala-libertarian land. JJ is a troll, pure and simple. Turb's 9:29 is right on the money.

TRue story: there once was a girl I will call judy who was the biggest bully in the seventh grade. Even the boys were afraid of her, except, of course, the suck-up-to-bully types who thought she was funny or admired her.

Judy had her circle of syncophants who laughed while she hurt people, explained her hurtfulness away, or joined in.

Then one day a big quiet girl named Lorena had enough. Judy said something to Lorenna and Lorena responded by putting Judy in a headlock and proceded to swing her fist into Judy's face. The watching teachers counted softly to themselves--one, two, three, four,--five slams of fist to the face before they called the fight.

The Republican party has for two decades now engaged in bullying and thuggery tactics as a matter of policy set by the leadership of the party, encourgaged and vocalized by the media mouthpieces, and cheered on by grassroots supporters and excusers and enablers. It has reached the point where straightforward calls for violence are the new norm.

And Jay Jerome wants us to get excited about Grayson.

One, two, three...when we get to five slams in the face we can pause and see if the Republican party is going to behave itself. If not, then time for more slams.

Jay:

"You should seek psychiatric help."

My health insurance ends in a little over three weeks. Whoops! I might be able to extend it for awhile in exchange for a kidney. May I borrow one of yours?

"Clinical profiles of mass killers indicate they often cloak their violent intentions by joking about them."

First off, this is awfully rich of you to engage in such elitist claptrap. I'd watch out for Quentin Tarentino if I were you.

You could always try and pry my rhetoric from my cold dead lips.

I like Sebastian's theory of "ironic inversion" better, but on the other hand, it's nice to keep certain folks a little off balance. When the Republican Party asks the NRA to go back to being a hunting interest group with a polite interest in preserving a reasonable Second Amendment, instead of serving as the threatening, militant wing of their "Party" to influence policy discussions at public meetings, I'll stand down.

I agree with Tom Friedman on the "poisonous rhetoric" theme. But, I'll leave it to others to hash out the issues with calm, reasoned discourse (the preferred course).

My theory is that the body politic's rhetoric is already so poisoned that it might be necessary to extract the venom from the main perpetrators and inject it directly back into their veins as an antidote.

Anyway, you proved George Carlin's theories about the quiet ones versus the loud ones.

Also Jay:

I agree with you that the Baucus bill is a Rube Goldberg dog's dinner of a mess. Some good things, but .....

The fundamental problem is that our political culture really has zilch sense of the common good and the common welfare.

Thus all legislation becomes hostage to every monad's desire to compromise the general welfare to secure their piece of the action.

Single payer, paid for mostly by taxes.

I like Wonkie.

Thre you go again, Thullen, expressing your Rambo masturbation fantasies, the violent ones you've been expressing on this blog, about strapping big honking precision firepower to your leg and shooting people, etc. You should seek psychiatric help, really you should: psychologically, the truth is often masked in jest; clinical profiles of mass killers indicate they often cloak violent intentions by joking about them.

Look, I know flirting with libel technically isn't against the posting rules (which, lately, must be sopping from perpetually being pissed on). But, seriously, what does JJ have to do to finally get his dipsh!t troll @ss banned from this place -- denigrate a main-pager's patriotism? Call someone *gasp!!11* a liar?

JJ's deliberately and defiantly disruptive behaviour is sinking the discourse here quicker than Lehman brought down the Dow last September.

Hilzoy's unfortunate departure may not kill ObWi, but a continued lack of action on the troll front will.

I admire JT's restraint.

I like you, too, John!

And yes, I fully accept that 'dipsh!t troll @ss' isn't doing much to reinforce the structural integrity of the posting rules. But, at this point, the amount of invective that JJ has directed towards both commenters and posters during his dubious tenure here at ObWi (going all the way back to the nomination battle last year) supercedes the consideration I'd normally extend to those posting in good faith.

Of course, there's no evidence that JJ ever posts in good faith, so, um, yeah.

Drop the motherfncking ban hammer -- like, yesterday.

Mattbastard,

I don't know why you refer to JJ as a troll. I don't think he's trying to mess with people. I just. . . I'm trying to think of a way to say this without violating the posting rules myself--he doesn't seem extraneously intelligent. I think he thinks that any political discussion just boils down to left vs. right insult trading, so he's incapable offering any alternative. When someone makes an actual ad rem point, instead of grasping the point and thinking about it, he simply takes it as a shot against his "side."

I dunno, seeing the amount of projection in the comment about Thullen

expressing your Rambo masturbation fantasies, the violent ones you've been expressing on this blog, about strapping big honking precision firepower to your leg and shooting people, etc.

is like watching some huge sinkhole open up and swallow a Walmart and its parking lot. (also note the little 'etc.' at the end, which is sort of like a McDonald's teetering on the sinkhole's edge)

If Jay gets banned, I'm not sure where we will get this comedic gold in the future. A number of folks are starting to climb to thullenesque heights, but the unreflective nature of Jay's comments is Gary Power's U2 soaring over a bunch of dogfighting WWII fighters. It's a force of nature.

The fundamental problem is that our political culture really has zilch sense of the common good and the common welfare.

Thus all legislation becomes hostage to every monad's desire to compromise the general welfare to secure their piece of the action.

Game, set, and match.

Thanks John.

Come to Boston so we can buy you dinner. Bring the family.

Come to Boston so we can buy you dinner.

Come to New York so I can buy you a kidney.

Well, I would if I could. You're deserving.

Therefore I'm sure we'll hear from you ASAP, condemning the over-the-top rhetoric from Alan Grayson, the Orlando, Florida Democratic Rep who accused Republicans of wanting Americans who get sick to 'die quickly'

Here's more Grayson. It's not quite 11 minutes, get a cup of coffee and have fun.

Here's my comment ASAP.

We need a House full of Graysons. He's a kick @ss and take names kind of guy, he doesn't mince words, he keeps the discussion focussed on the issue, and he doesn't take sh*t from squirrely sycophantic weasels like the folks on Blitzer's show.

I love that he recycled nattering nabobs of negativism. I hope Safire's ghost got a good laugh out of it.

A House full of Graysons. Senate, too. Then something useful will happen.

LJ: If Jay gets banned, I'm not sure where we will get this comedic gold in the future. A number of folks are starting to climb to thullenesque heights, but the unreflective nature of Jay's comments is Gary Power's U2 soaring over a bunch of dogfighting WWII fighters. It's a force of nature.

"Comedic gold?" I dunno. d'd'd'dave was unintentionally funny; BoB (who now lurks in comments at Balloon Juice) was, in hindsight, brilliant performance art; Even Brett can be a laugh-effing-riot of paranoid glibertarian stereotypes run amok.

JJ's routine is banal, childish button-pushing; he simply tries too hard to get a negative reaction by any means necessary. This is why I believe the 'troll' designation is accurate, Sasha. One can be dumber than a bag of brass doorknobs and still dwell under a bridge.

In pro-wrestling parlance, JJ is 'heeling' on everyone -- indeed, I believe him to be no more sincere in his hyperbolic assertions than the average red-faced, man-pantied ring general is.

Bored now.

"Heel" is good term, Matt.

I, for one, am glad people don't get easily banned on ObWi.

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/10/acorn_embezzlement_was_5_milli.html>Nothing to see, move along...

Larv: Nah, Brett's much better than Jay. I think BB is serious in his views, he's just kind of out there in lala-libertarian land. JJ is a troll, pure and simple. Turb's 9:29 is right on the money.

I agree. I've never thought Brett was a troll.

But I figured from fairly soon after he showed up that Jay Jerome wasn't even worth arguing with, not because of his views but because he is just a troll: I can't even be arsed to figure out what side he thinks he's on, because really, who cares?

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