« how do you solve a problem like Nikki? | Main | Deep in the heart of Texas »

February 16, 2021

Comments

the right's hatred of Harris is amazing. they've built all kinds of myths around her to justify it, too.

my favorite is that the whole election was to get her into the VP spot so that she can take over when Biden (who is too sick to function, in the GOP mythology) keels over. they think the whole thing was a plot to get her into the Presidency. a variation of this is that Harris is a schemer who is planning to use the 25th to get Biden out, as soon as she can.

but it's the same old classic GOP racism and misogyny. it's why all the Biden/Harris road signs around here had "BITCH" is red paint over her name.

and Graham is, as always, hamming it up for the GOP rubes.

the whole fucking party is insane.

the whole fucking party is insane

Yes. And now, when (hopefully) enough people are sickened after watching the Trump incitement stuff at the impeachment, is the time for the Dem organisers to go all in for the 2022 senate races, a la Stacey Abrams. With a continuing program of brilliant, funny but pointed advertising (a la Lincoln Project) from now to then showing what is behind so many of the GOP's ongoing moves. Every non-RWNJ billionaire should be clubbing together to fund such a public education ad campaign. If the Dems can only get a decent majority, maybe then will be their best chance to actually start putting nails in the TrumpGOP coffin. I say start, because God knows there is still an endless reservoir out there of hate, resentment and willingness to do anything at all to further their aims. Graham is only one face of it.

Every non-RWNJ billionaire should be clubbing together to fund such a public education ad campaign.

Overall, these super-rich types look to me to be rather stingy, and those leaning Dem would be doing more by deeply and permanently funding community organizing a la' Stacey Abrams vs. big donations to their favorite candidates.

Every non-RWNJ billionaire should be clubbing together to fund such a public education ad campaign.

"(((Far-left liberal elites))) are plotting to indoctrinate American children!"

Well, bobbyp, I certainly agree on the community organising front, and about big donations to their favourite candidates. But I do think the ad campaign would be worth a go: something meticulously fact-checked, but funny and catchy, for every sneaky underhand chess move (if that isn't giving them too much credit) of the GOP aimed to gerrymander, cheat, lay groundwork for illicit power grabs, smear prominent Dems etc etc. The non politics-obsessed (i.e. not us) public needs to be shown some of this stuff in action, while it's happening or being mooted. And if that's done in a funny, clever way for the next two years, maybe, maybe, it will move the needle a bit.

"(((Far-left liberal elites))) are plotting to indoctrinate American children!"

Of course, that is exactly what they would say. Which is why a) it would have to include some reasonable non-lefties (like wj - and there are a few around who have seen the light since the Trump phenomenon), and b) be fact-checked to hell and back, with immediate rebuttal tactics baked in.

"(((Far-left liberal elites))) are plotting to indoctrinate American children!"

Nonsense! It's far worse than that! They're plotting to educate adults!

Oh, the horror!

maybe, maybe, it will move the needle a bit.

Perhaps, but the early evidence does not look all that encouraging.

That, plus the idea of begging billionaires to open their wallets in the first place is a bit offensive to me, but that's just me being a curmudgeon.

They could do both without breaking a sweat.

"The whole fucking party is insane."

They are armed, racist, subhuman, conservative republican vermin.

They are EVIL.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/02/the-christian-life-2

Kinzinger himself voted for Trump and voted with Trump and the malign conservative movement to murder Americans, his fellow Iowans, by removing their health care coverage.

Trump and his co-conspirators must be executed, put to certain death, via the constitutional rule of law for the attempted overthrow of the United States Government, or America does not go forward mercifully and in peace.

Murdoch News and the entire conservative fascist hate media machine must be removed from the face of the Earth.

The Lincoln Project hits the shoals.

Money is power my friends, and power corrupts.

Kinzinger himself...

man, i could sure use a nice scolding about cancel culture.

bobbyp: That, plus the idea of begging billionaires to open their wallets in the first place is a bit offensive to me, but that's just me being a curmudgeon.

Whether you're a curmudgeon or not, what's really offensive is that wealth is so obscenely concentrated that there's no other way to get enough money to get things done than to beg the people who've grabbed most of it to part with a dribble or two.

It's to the point where fundraising by nonprofits is often manipulative and sometimes outright dishonest. ("Time to renew" -- six weeks after my previous donation, which wasn't a subscription, i.e. renewable, in the first place.)

Take away my agency by lying to me -- you will never see another dollar of mine. Luckily there are still plenty of people doing good work who have integrity as to both ends and means.

bobbyp: begging is not my style, but I take your point. Too bad their involvement would even be necessary, but where else would you get the dough for such an expensive, and long-term, campaign?

Whether you're a curmudgeon or not, what's really offensive is that wealth is so obscenely concentrated that there's no other way to get enough money to get things done than to beg the people who've grabbed most of it to part with a dribble or two.

As the resident (small c) commie, I agree wholeheartedly. My comment above was a deliberate understatement. Rage is the appropriate response.

but where else would you get the dough for such an expensive, and long-term, campaign?

Pass the hat? Vote with your feet? Move the goalposts? Steal more elections? The Bolsheviks robbed banks. But I kid. Like a good poker player with a limited bankroll, perhaps we just need to keep grinding it out and try to find the way.

All the best.

Janie: Whether you're a curmudgeon or not, what's really offensive is that wealth is so obscenely concentrated that there's no other way to get enough money to get things done than to beg the people who've grabbed most of it to part with a dribble or two.

bobby: As the resident (small c) commie, I agree wholeheartedly.

And as the resident (except when McKinney is stopping by) conservative, I agree as well. Plutocracy sits badly with democracy. And the wealth concentration we see is bad for us.** Bad politically. Bad economically. Bad all the way around. There's really no excuse for it.

** That concentration is bad for the plutocrats as well. There aren't enough hours in the day for them to actually use it all. And history makes rather clear that sufficient concentration, which we have achieved, is routinely followed by forced redistribution in some form. Very often accompanied by plutocratic corpses.

Seems like a good moment to give a link to three of my grad school comrades saying smart things about the language of economics and financial literacy as a narrative mode. Touches on Mark Twain, Game Stop, Game of Thrones, etc. on Matt Seybold's podcast:

https://marktwainstudies.com/robinhood/

what's really offensive is that wealth is so obscenely concentrated that there's no other way to get enough money to get things done

Very true, and I really hope it goes without saying that my idea was to use this theoretical billionaire-provided dough to produce results which would enable the Dems to win a decent majority, thus allowing them to start putting in place policies to (among other desirable outcomes) address the increasingly obscene concentration of wealth.

Thanks, nous. Henwood's Wall Street, How it Works is a classic.

Sen. Graham is a nose in desperate need of a butt crack.


I know too much history to underestimate the harm that Republicans can do--while all the while asserting that they are respectable, patriotic, moral, and law abiding (white) people.

And history makes rather clear that sufficient concentration, which we have achieved, is routinely followed by forced redistribution in some form. Very often accompanied by plutocratic corpses.

I guess The Netherlands is really in dutch then.

https://brill.com/view/book/9789004416451/BP000008.xml

He who fails to understand history is condemned to read Reason...

As a Pennsylvania GOP official put it: We did not send Toomey to Hill 'to do the right thing'

Which reminds me of Futurama: Leela: "Fry, stop doing the right thing!" (when Fry is in the process of bringing the price of stocks that the Planet Express crew just got filthy rich on crashing down by making an honest proclamation about certain details)

And Newsmax declares Romney to be a full blown communist. Which brings to mind a certain quote from The Manchurian Candidate.

Just noticed that wj already quoted the Pennsylvania GOPster in the other thread.

This is a very good essay with which I have a degree of agreement.
https://www.niskanencenter.org/in-search-of-civic-virtue-part-two/

Even Trump gets it right occasionally:
Trump attacks McConnell as ‘political hack’

How wonderful to have a true libertarian as your elected official
Texas mayor tells residents to fend for themselves during power outage: ‘Only the strong will survive’

Just in case nobody mentioned it yet, the Georgia GOP/the legislature now tries to change the state constitution in a hurry to prevent the calling of a grand jury to look into Jabbabonk's attempts to pressure Georgia election officials to change the election results in his favor. The change is deliberately narrow to cover only potential election related crimes.

Meanwhile, the GOP dominated Kentucky legislature is preparing a bill that would prevent the (currently Dem) governor from appointing a new senator should one of the current ones have to be replaced (Mitch is not the youngest anymore, you know, also not very popular at the moment).
One could discuss this on principle (should it be the governor, the legislature or the people via special election?) but this is obviously just another one of the many "change the law to take power away from an elected position, should a Dem unexpectedly get it, and restore it once it is in GOP hands again" cases.

Texas officials also blame it all on wind turbines. To which one has to say:
1. that amounts to just 13% of the power lost
2. other states install defreezing mechanisms in theirs and don't have the problem
3. the main loss of power is due to fossil fuel installations (in particlaur natural gas wellheads) failing in the cold
4. the deregulation of the energy market led to nearly nonexistent reserve capacities and allowed companies to insta-hike the prices, so rolling blackouts were necessary to prevent financial ruin of the consumers.

Texas officials also blame it all on wind turbines.

The Governor of Texas also included some blame for the Green New Deal.

"Only the strong will survive."

Funny sort of thing to say to a massively-armed population such as the conservative movement subhumans have conjured in West Texas, where, we are told, they likeses their gunses, the malignant bacteria.

Makes you think maybe these filthy fake christian libertarians really DON'T believe they taste very good to we child-molesting cannibals on the wrong side of the tracks, seeing as how by the weekend, meat supplies might be running low in Colorado City and the former Mayor and his overfed family might start looking like a meal to the freezing inhabitants.

After all, the Donners didn't call it a Party solely because of the door prizes.

I'd counsel the townsfolk to not consume the Mayor's rat meat children in the meantime, as the sun will be out in a week or so and the subhuman lying Governor in his subsidized wheelchair can commence to crawling to the next fossil-fueled monkey-butts he needs to kiss.

Maybe he'll accidentally attach his tongue to one of them now frozen natural gas valves as he licks his funding sources and will be forced to shut his fascist republican gob for a while.

I think I already knew about this circumstance from our good friend Michael Cain.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/16/business/texas-power-energy-nightmare/index.html

The energy crisis in Texas raises also questions about the nature of the state's deregulated and decentralized electric grid. Unlike other states, Texas has made a conscious decision to isolate its grid from the rest of the country.

That means that when things are running smoothly, Texas can't export excess power to neighboring states. And in the current crisis, it can't import power either.

"When it comes to electricity, what happens in Texas stays in Texas," Cohan said. "That has really come back to bite us."

Don't mess with Texas? The Republic of Texas, if you can keep it?

Viewpoints like this drive me to despair, as they show that no matter how much shit America is made to forcibly swallow from Donald Trump, we don't get his fundamental evil self.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-faces-a-huge-number-of-lawsuits-harvard-expert-larry-tribe-151741167.html

The sheer hateful vengeful Roy Cohn fun of it for the monster will if anything lengthen his lifespan.

He'll be a groundhog in clover, a pig in mud, a freshly evolved spiked pandemic virus laying waste to our cells.

He can't wait, and neither can his subhuman acolytes.

Do we think he views THIS as a defeat, as a failure?

https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Former-Trump-casino-where-stars-played-going-out-15955910.php

It WAS the plan.

And such it is for America.

There WILL be a future President who is worse that #45, 'cept of course for all those others who were worse, we're told.

His name is Donald Trump, unless what needs to be done is done.

How wonderful to have a true libertarian as your elected official

the gentleman in question has apparently resigned.

I am grateful for any signs of sanity I can find.

"When it comes to electricity, what happens in Texas stays in Texas," Cohan said. "That has really come back to bite us."

It's not gonna stop until you wise up.

That's how the song goes, anyway.

Unlike other states, Texas has made a conscious decision to isolate its grid from the rest of the country.
That means that when things are running smoothly, Texas can't export excess power to neighboring states. And in the current crisis, it can't import power either.

In fairness, it should perhaps be noted that, in the current situation, the rest of the country doesn't actually have excess power that Texas could import.

Texas biggest problem is that they chose to go for cheap power, rather than reliable power. Although I have to say, having your supply fragile enough that one of their two nuclear power plants shut down from the cold seems really excessive.

I haven't heard a single thank you yet from Comanche Texans for Joe Biden declaring their disaster area a disaster area, seeing as how the riffraff they send to Washington regularly vote down such help for other less exceptional, but more elite parts of the country and Trump regularly delayed and refused relief for those HE hated.

Biden seems to abide by the old values wherein Texans are Americans too, despite the insurrectionist, secessionist disavowals from the State's worst.

It's tough theseadays to reinstate the old bygone norms, particularly when undeserved.

Send the United Nations to Texas and sandbag the entire place. Call it Operation Conspiracy.

I'm surprised their Lieutenant Governor, the murderer, hasn't encouraged the state's infirm elders to just lie down in snowdrifts and freeze themselves to death on behalf of God's murderous will .... and so his family can hog more of the natural gas reserves.

Limbaugh is dead.

and as they say: nothing of value was lost

Interesting take from Chris Hayes.

Limbaugh is dead.

Trump Plaza in Atlantic City was demolished today. 3,000 sticks of dynamite.

I try not to read too much into these things, all things must pass in the end.

But I'm grateful for any sign of sanity I can find.

On Hayes' article. I wonder to what extent the growth of right-wing radicalism against democracy is due to the fact that they can see that they have lost the ideological battle on many of the issues that they care about.

It doesn't hit home just because a conservative economist says "We're all Keynesians now." But when tolerance for varied sexual orientations, or interracial marriages, becomes usual? That hits a lot of people where they live.

From a Limbaugh death announcement:

"As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,"

Well, he did have a weight problem all his bitter life. It'll take two coffins to secure his remains, one for his mouth and the other for the rest.

Michael Fox, Sandra Fluke, the millions who died of AIDS and Covid-19 send their thoughts and prayers.

The article also noted his founding role in conservative "info-tainment", which seems an injustice that overlooks the considerable contributions of Pravda, Tokyo Rose, the Goebbels media empire, and Radio Kymer Rouge.

When I recite to myself all of the names of celebrity figures we've lost over the past year, only Phil Spector seems on a par with Limbaugh's infamy, but Manson, Stalin, and John Wilkes Booth got away with murder in other years, so they don't count.

I'd suggest Biden issue an Executive Order which taxes Limbaugh's estate, mostly stolen off the back of American fairness and decency, at 200% of its value .. never would Death be so happy to be taxed ... all of his and an extra 100% to be collected from Trump's misbegotten winnings.

No doubt a tree of liberty and freedumb will be planted near his resting place, under which the the Medal of Freedumb will lay moldering, and I look forward to visiting for a long, satisfying watering of it from my bladder of payback in kind.

I regret only that the villain didn't live long enough for me to punch his lights out.

He took the coward's way out.

How politically correct of him.

“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” – Mark Twain

“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.”

Moi aussi.

Further to which, Biden will eventually have to decide (not that it's his most consequentially pressing issue) whether to retire the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and then issue the new award to all previous winners excepting most (all? were there any reasonable ones?) of Trump's, plus any new ones on which he decides. I really cannot imagine that any living eminent Americans would want to accept an award which is shared by the revolting likes of Limbaugh et al.

I regret only that the villain didn't live long enough for me to punch his lights out.

On the other hand, how much longer would we have had to suffer waiting for you? No offense intended, of course.

A little something from President Biden's town hall today.

Biden disclosed that he has called former presidents since taking office just weeks ago, but offered no further details.

“And by the way, all of them have — with one exception — picked up the phone and called me as well,” Biden added. He did not say whom. He probably did not need to .

Apparently, it was all pretty dull. Unless you are interested in facts and substance, rather than soaring** rhetoric.

** Really need a better word. Like "soaring," but for swimming thru sewage.

Unlike other states, Texas has made a conscious decision to isolate its grid from the rest of the country.

Seems to me worth noting that the decision was made long ago. Latter half of the 1930s, if I recall, when the feds only regulated electricity if interstate commerce was involved. Reinforced during WWII when Houston and the East Texas oil fields were a critical resource and no one wanted to potentially disrupt the grid. There are a couple of AC-DC-AC interties between the Texas Interconnect and the Eastern, but they don't carry very much power. The proposed Tres Amigas superstation would connect all three grids at much higher power levels. My understanding is that Texas originally supported the idea because then they could import power from other parts of the southern Great Plain. And that they no longer support it because the more likely outcome would be West Texas wind and solar power being exported towards the very lucrative Southern California market.

That, plus the idea of begging billionaires to open their wallets in the first place is a bit offensive to me, but that's just me being a curmudgeon.

Not beg, ask them to invest. Back in 2004, a couple of political activists approached four Colorado near-billionaires with a plan to capture the state legislature and governor's office over two election cycles. Each of the rich folks had their own progressive interest, but bought into the plan to elect Democrats first, convince those Democrats about specific policies as necessary second. The rich folks cheerfully bought into the idea and became the so-called Gang of Four. Part of the enthusiasm was that the focus was local; part of it was that little of the money went directly to the party; and part of it was that there were real plans.

Colorado was going to swing blue eventually anyway, but the Gang certainly sped things up.

Not beg, ask them to invest.

Interesting story, Michael Cain, and certainly the way any sane vaguely centre-left billionaire should look at the principle. And not only should: we have seen various stories over the last decade or so of very rich people coming out and saying that great wealth inequality is a huge threat to society in general, and to the rich as well. Financing initiatives designed to help Dems get into power in order to enact laws to address this (among other desirable changes) seems a no-brainer for people of that kind.

There’s nothing he would say that was abstract or intellectual in any way. It was all extremely visceral: There was this transcendent evil behind the scenes that wanted to destroy you.

It just shows the viciousness of this person, and how badly he deranged our public life: People were literally being taught that nothing liberals could do, nothing Democrats could do, could be anything but a diabolical conspiracy to destroy them.

From an article/interview with Rick Perlstein in today's WaPo, examining Limbaugh's influence on today's rightwing:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/17/rick-perlstein-rush-limbaugh-death-legacy/

very very few are as culpable for today's absolutely insane GOP as Limbaugh. only Gingrich and Ailes compare.

WaPo perfectly in line with the post-mortem at Rolling Stone:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/rush-limbaugh-dead-trump-ruined-america-1129222

very very few are as culpable for today's absolutely insane GOP as Limbaugh. only Gingrich and Ailes compare.

Hard agree.

Also, as I have often demonstrated, I am somewhat obsessed with the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine and its effect in empowering this kind of thing. I read something earlier which went into this much more with regard to Limbaugh, but cannot now find it easily. However, from a piece in the NYT:

The doctrine, which required stations to provide free airtime for responses to controversial opinions they broadcast, was repealed in 1987, and Mr. Limbaugh proclaimed himself liberated. He moved to New York City in 1988 and, in partnership with Edward F. McLaughlin, a former president of the ABC radio network, began his nationally syndicated show on ABC’s radio stations.

We used to have a Fairness Doctrine.

It was based on the idea that broadcast media used bandwidth that was a finite and naturally occurring resource, which therefore should be managed as a commons by public actors, and which was licensed to broadcasters by those public actors.

In return for their ability to use this publicly managed resource, and make lots of money therefrom, broadcasters were considered to have a responsibility to the public. They were expected to make some amount of airtime available for public interest announcements and programming, and were required to provide air time for people to respond to controversial opinions aired on their channels.

If there is one thing that characterizes the last 40 years of American life, it is the utter loss and discrediting of the kinds of concepts and principles I've just described.

They are considered to be encroachments on individual rights.

Which gives us notable toads like Limbaugh.

We shit the bed, as the colloquial saying goes, and now we get to lie in it, while claiming to be utterly at a loss as to where that foul stink is coming from.

It's not gonna stop until we wise up.

I agree about the Fairness Doctrine: the line from Nixon to Reagan to Trump has always been quite clear. It's why being a Democrat, even a ham sandwich Democrat, has always (during my voting years) been the right thing to do.

We used to have a Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine was passed in 1959. Kennedy used it to go after radio stations that were critical of him and his administration. Nixon used it to hammer on the TV networks.

It became a political cudgel to be used by whoever was in power to pound on their foes in the media.

Many in broadcasting avoided the pain and expense of abiding by the doctrine by avoiding any discussion of controversial subjects.

The Fairness Doctrine was passed in 1959.

1949.

Kennedy used it to go after radio stations that were critical of him and his administration. Nixon used it to hammer on the TV networks.

In what way, and to what effect?

Many in broadcasting avoided the pain and expense of abiding by the doctrine by avoiding any discussion of controversial subjects.

No, they didn't avoid pain and expense; "many" (whoever that is) perhaps abided by the doctrine that way. There were certainly discussions of Vietnam (very critical - some credit it for ending the war), protest movements generally, hippies, drugs, "the sexual revolution", hunger in America, racism. What was missing? If your answer is Pro-Nazis, that was less of a thing (although they existed, for sure) because the WWII veterans might have said Nah.

Someone or other will be along soon to advise us that we MUST take the high road here and not stoop to the lows that Limbaugh and company so ruthlessly trained America in, that we are showing are true nasty colors, for we liberals are, after all, child-molesting cannibals who never saw a tax they didn't like.

I prefer to think Limbaugh brought the best out in us, like Stalin brought the best out in Ukrainians and Hitler improved train travel in eastern Europe and showed Stalingrad how to rise to the occasion.

And like abusive bullies learn their habits from their abusive parents or violent uncle and go on to make everyone miserable.

Never fear, there are an deep state entire roster of well-funded scum conservative insurrectionist loud-mouthed subhuman haters maneuvering to crown themselves Limbaugh's successor.

They are on the phones to their agents as we speak, fondling their weapons, and thinking up new ways to say "KILL Liberals!" and "Kill Government!" over the airwaves and then claiming political correctness when challenged.

Along about the time the Fairness Doctrine was retracted, I adjusted to the new Unfairness Doctrine pretty quickly, riding it bareback over fence lines and keeping up with the trick-riding lying subhumans.

As with metastatic lung cancer, it can work to our advantage as well.

I never advanced to actually monetizing my unfairness as Limbaugh did magnificently, like any old bullshit Prosperity Gospel fake Christian, while keeping everyone (by which I mean subhuman dumb conservatives) off balance with the "Hey, I'm just a comedian" schtick, like a concentration camp guard making balloon animals for their prey freshly disembarking from trains and requesting the kids pull their fingers for hilarious Nazi farting.

1/6 was to Limbaugh like the rotting head and body of a monkey sewed to the rotting tail of a fish ... The FeeGee Mermaid ... was to P.T. Barnum: a crowning legacy.

And now we can say "This way to The Egress, Asshole" to Limbaugh and know that he fell for it.

Time to advance to the Ruthless Doctrine by first deporting Murdoch on one of those 737s that haven't yet had their deep dive algorithms corrected.

In what way, and to what effect?

"Second, the Reuthers recommended using the Federal Communications Commission to pressure radio station owners. The FCC had a set of rules known as the “Fairness Doctrine,” which had been created a few years previously to encourage station owners to air multiple points of view on any given issue of public importance, including on current events and political questions. If a station aired a conservative broadcaster’s attack on, say, Kennedy’s proposed Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the summer of 1963, then proponents of the treaty could demand free response time. Doing so would create a burden on station owners, who might be reluctant to air conservative programming at all in the future.

You can find the full story of how the Kennedy administration implemented the Reuther Memorandum’s recommendations in my book, but suffice it to say here that the counter‐​Radio Right campaign was an astonishing success. The administration went on to create a series of front organizations to launder cash from allied interest groups and to create the facade of public support for silencing Right-wing radio. They leveraged the threat of lodging Fairness Doctrine complaints against recalcitrant radio stations into free airtime for pro-administration voices. And even after Kennedy’s assassination, the effort continued under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, the US Senate Commerce Committee, and, later, the National Council of Churches.

By the late 1960s, radio stations had begun dropping conservative programming en masse. For example, Carl McIntire’s radio show had aired on at least 475 stations in 1964 but was reduced to 183 stations by 1967. It would not be until after the Carter administration relaxed enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine in the late‐​1970s (followed by its formal repeal under the Reagan administration) that the Radio Right would re-emerge as a significant force in national politics."
John F. Kennedy Did What Donald Trump Only Wishes He Could Do: Rules to promote “fairness” or prevent “discrimination” can all too easily turn into tools for gaining partisan advantage at the expense of free speech, a free press, and a functioning democracy.


"In memos written in 1970 and unearthed by the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973, senior administration officials bragged about exerting "an inhibiting impact on the networks," in part by invoking the real threat of regulatory retaliation. Former White House counsel and eventual Watergate convict Chuck Colson crowed about personally pressuring executives from each network, reporting that they were "very much afraid of us and are trying hard to prove they are the 'good guys.'"

"These meetings had a very salutary effect," Colson wrote, "in letting them know that we are determined to protect the President's position that we know precisely what is going on from the standpoint of both law and policy and that we are not going to permit them to get away with anything that interferes with the President's ability to communicate….The harder I pressed them, the more accommodating, cordial, and almost apologetic they became."

Colson's main policy weapon was the same one many contemporary Trump-opposing media nostalgiacs want to bring back: the Fairness Doctrine. That Federal Communications Commission rule—inaugurated in 1949, enshrined by the unanimous Supreme Court decision Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission in 1969, abandoned in 1987, and finally struck from the books in 2011—required broadcast license-holders to air pieces on controversial news topics and allow for opposing viewpoints to be heard."
Richard Nixon Probably Would Not Have Been Saved by Fox News: The 37th president used the then-stronger tools of media regulation to manipulate the far more centralized 1970s news industry in ways that Donald Trump can only fantasize about.

Shorter CharlesWT: Post-WWII US (including President who was a veteran of said war) was committed to fighting Nazi propaganda.

We're On The Air:

https://thehill.com/homenews/533236-limbaugh-dismisses-calls-to-end-violence-after-mob-hits-capitol

Luckily we had metastatic lung cancer as an "Undue Burden" on the radio stations that aired Limbaugh's support of Trump's murders.

Metastatic lung cancer: when bullets aren't up to the job to shutting Limbaugh's vermin mouth.

In the interest of fairness and presenting t'other side, and if it is not an undue politically incorrect burden on tender ears, let me say that Josh Hawley, one of the leaders of a murderous, property damaging insurrection IN his place of employment at my expense still walks the streets a free, loudmouthed piece of elite subhuman shit, and the savage weapons of justice will track him down for his final reckoning:

By Sam Masterson NewsRadio 1120 KMOX
6 hours ago

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri released a statement after the death of well-known radio voice Rush Limbaugh, saying he "was a voice for the voiceless."

The congressman said of his fellow Missouri native:

“A proud son of Missouri, Rush Limbaugh was a voice for the voiceless. He changed talk radio, but more importantly, Rush changed the conversation to speak up for the forgotten, and challenge the establishment. He lived the First Amendment and told hard truths that made the elite uncomfortable, but made sure working men and women had a seat at the table. Erin and I are praying for the Limbaugh family."

He can have a radio show from Death Row.

It won't be comfortable.

In what way, and to what effect?

Every administration, from the time the Fairness Doctrine went into effect, threatened over-the-air broadcasters with loss of their license if they got out of line. The doctrine was doomed eventually by technology: cable didn't require a broadcast license. Fox News -- the O'Reilly and Hannity version -- has never been delivered as an over-the-air service requiring an FCC license. (Dish and DirecTV require satellite licenses, but for content purposes are treated as cable companies.)

Every administration, from the time the Fairness Doctrine went into effect, threatened over-the-air broadcasters with loss of their license if they got out of line.

Of course they did - totally agree. That's what the fairness doctrine was all about. The origin of the fairness doctrine had to do with Charles ["Father"] Coughlin, and his having been shut down for being a fascist. See this article for the line from Coughlin's hate radio to the present day.

The doctrine was doomed eventually by technology

The fairness doctrine only applied to a certain kind of technology - broadcast licensed media - which was free to consumers who could pay for or listen to a radio or television. So, it was always limited, but not doomed. Limbaugh ranted over AM bandwidth.

People have always had other media: print, etc., but most mass media cost more money to the consumer [either in cash or in effort] than what was broadcast over the air for the price of the receiving unit over limited bandwidth.

In what way, and to what effect?

Joe Kennedy, JFK's corrupt and mendacious bastard of an old man, exploited the Fairness Doctrine to harass conservative broadcasters, to the advantage of his son's run for POTUS.

Charles is correct on this point. Can't speak to the Nixon reference, but if there was a way for Nixon to FUBAR somebody, he probably made full use of it, so Charles' second assertion is likely also correct.

And the absence of the Fairness Doctrine has given us Limbaugh, Fox News, OAN, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and the rest of that sorry parade of spittle-flecked assholes.

So, to my eye, advantage Fairness Doctrine. At least crooked old Joe Kennedy had to work for it.

YMMV.

The doctrine was doomed eventually by technology: cable didn't require a broadcast license.

By the way, Michael, I forgot to mention that the fact that cable didn't require a broadcast license wasn't foreordained. That was a policy decision made as cable became popular during the Reagan administration when the Cable Communications Act of 1984 was passed.

So, no, it wasn't technology that doomed the Fairness Doctrine.

Joe Kennedy, JFK's corrupt and mendacious bastard of an old man, exploited the Fairness Doctrine to harass conservative broadcasters, to the advantage of his son's run for POTUS.

Links would be appreciated. After all, when JFK ran, Ike was President, so it would be interesting to ascertain what steps were taken or demands made, and with what force.

The FCC had a set of rules known as the “Fairness Doctrine,” which had been created a few years previously to encourage station owners to air multiple points of view on any given issue of public importance, including on current events and political questions.

1949 is not a few years previously. Kennedy was elected to the House in 1946. Though I can't find anything to link it, given the timing, I find it hard to believe that it is totally unrelated to the Red Scare. I also wonder if it may also be linked to Truman's Fair Deal proposals
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Deal

Links would be appreciated.

I think if you google around you'll find it, mostly from right wing sources. But it is a thing. If I have time tomorrow I'll see what I can find.

IIRC Joe Kennedy mostly harassed the crap out of smaller conservative broadcasters via lawsuits.

I'm in favor of the Fairness Doctrine. I'm sure folks gamed it when they could, I'm also sure it went a long way toward keeping public discourse within sane bounds.

Mostly I'm in favor of it because a crapload of people get their information from broadcast media, even now, and there is a public interest in making sure public discussion is at least marginally balanced.

So, in response to the Cato Institute mini-article and ad for the author's book, why is it that the Fairness Doctrine was framed as a weapon against the Radio Right when, presumably, the Republicans could also file complaints and gain access to air time? (It's also telling that the first weapon that Matzko lists Kennedy using was the ability to interrupt the religious broadcaster's tax-exempt status.) This framing makes the piece read less like scholarship and more like an op ed.

I'd be interested to see how much analysis he did to determine that it was the threat of fairness complaints that shrunk the pastors' programming footprint and not some other factors.

I did a bit of the google about the "Reuther memorandum", but it turned up all wingnut references, or JSTOR which I am unable to access.

A more nuanced treatment of the Fairness Doctrine and its entanglement with mid century right wing radio may be found in a book by Heather Hendershot entitled "What's Fair On The Air".

The cranks back then (Hargis, Smoot, McIntire) were in a league of their own when it came to delusional paranoia...true precursors to Limbaugh.

Some things never change.

And now, to borrow a term, you know the rest of the story (LOL).

From the Red Lion case cited above:

"Before 1927, the allocation of frequencies was left entirely to the private sector, and the result was chaos."

Creative destruction, indeed.

I did a bit of the google about the "Reuther memorandum", but it turned up all wingnut references, or JSTOR which I am unable to access.

You aren't missing anything in JSTOR. I tried to do a search there and in Academic Search Complete, and the only references I found to the "Reuther memorandum" were either from Matzko related to his book or from an article published by the John Birch Society.

The Reuther Memorandum: To the Attorney General of the United States (December 19, 1961)

Text containing the memorandum.

FOIA: Bundy, Edgar C.-Church League America-HQ-4 (document scan)

This seems like a more balanced account of the Kennedy info that Matzko is using to attack the Fairness Doctrine in principle, rather than as interpreted.

https://www.nytimes.com/1975/03/31/archives/reported-political-use-of-radio-fairness-doctrine-under-kennedy-and.html

NYT 1975.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/02/trumps-most-slavish-imitator-tops-himself

It seems the erstwhile Governor of Florida, as with all of the doomed criminals in the conservative movement, wishes to be a four-headed genocidal monster, assuming the heads of the cake-sharing Marie Antoinette and hubby King Louis savaging the leg of a capon with his purty mouth as the palace doors are broken down by the blood thirsty mobs, AND lolling to the other side on his broad corrupt shoulders the heads of George Jacques Danton and Robespierre leading the furious mobs into the Palace for their bloody vengeance.

Technology being what it is, his neck will be laid down under a four-bladed guillotine and all four of his trumpian heads, having somehow thought up both a shortage of bread AND how to monetize that shortage for his own Randian subhuman coffers, will be forever separated from his body and come to rest in a basket fitted for four severed noggins.

DeSantis is contemptuous of the fury that is gathering to end subhuman him. Perhaps his surly conservative mouth will simultaneously let out an Antoinette shriek as the blade falls AND the derisive cackle of the tricoteuse Madame Defarge enjoying the justice of his bloody demise as he has, and gets it, both ways.

Hey, pitchers and catchers report to spring training soon, so things are looking up!

Alas and alack! "Tops himself" in English English (slang, anyway) means "commits suicide". I am very disappointed to read what that LGM link actually means.

Violent insurrectionist conservatives who not six weeks ago attempted to overthrow the US Government, murder liberal representatives and the (deserving of that fate) Vice President of the United States, and declare martial law demand Merrick Garland agree to go after Governor of Cuomo of New York.

https://www.eschatonblog.com/2021/02/owning-libs-by-putting-blue-trump-in.html

During normative times, I would demand Cuomo resign for his corrupt lying about nursing home Covid deaths and his fatal mismanagement of the situation early in the pandemic going, but my demand comes with a non-negotiable quid pro quo.

Depose Cuomo, but in exchange I want the following murderous members of the Senate Judiciary Committee put before a tribunal headed by Merrick Garland and tried for insurrection and murder, and when found guilty, executed in public alongside the reflecting pond by hanging and or firing squad, preferably both as insurance against possible reincarnation of the scum:

Cruz, Lee, Hawley, Cotton, Tillis, Blackburn, and Lindsay Graham.

The rest of the Republicans on the Committee and McConnell will be charged with cleaning up the mess, the blood and such, resulting from the executions and also resigning their posts, to accompany Cuomo's resignation and retirement from public life.

By all means, let us be bipartisan as we uphold the rule of law.

I was just looking up this link to illustrate the British meaning of "top yourself" when GftNC got there first.

Meanwhile, what on earth could explain something like this? Mental illness? Incipient dementia? I understand about people's political opinions moving rightwards with age (sometimes), but this seems absolutely inexplicable:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/us/W-McCall-Calhoun-Jr-georgia-capitol-riot.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

no idea. but maybe he just likes to be on the defending/victim side of arguments? if GA is turning Democratic, he'd have to turn Republican to stay on the aggrieved side.

"they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The Uppity Kenyan

Meanwhile, what on earth could explain something like this?

I blame the brown acid.

I blame the brown acid.

Hmmm, you may have a point!

Meanwhile, what on earth could explain something like this?

"I blame the brown acid."

The "cure" is to immerse them in Red Fuming Nitric Acid, or is that too 'commie'?

Just don't mix it with the unsymmetric dimethyl hydrazine unless you're fueling ICBMs.

There's blue acid (HCN) but that's usually used by Nazis not on Nazis (unless it's themselves).

Hmmm, you may have a point!

Dude was the bassist for the Kilkenny Kats, a damned fine rock band based in Athens GA back in the day. Caught them at the 40 Watt in Athens in fall of '86 when I was passing through, literally a lifetime ago.

Makes me sad.

Apparently somebody wanted to take his guns away, and somebody called him a racist, so he decided Trump was his guy. It happens. Some long-time friends of mine turned up as Trumpers, for various reasons. It's weird, and disturbing, and it makes me sad.

I figure if you can get from 'progressive' to Trump, your 'progressive' stance was probably not that deep to begin with. But, who knows?

My guess is cleek has it right, the guy just likes to be contrarian and get in people's faces. When your context is red state GA, that means be a liberal scold. When red state GA turns purple, that means be a Trumper.

I guess. But really, your guess is as good as mine.

Brown acid makes as much sense anything else I can think of.

in Russia, they use it on their dogs.

maybe he just likes to be on the defending/victim side of arguments?

Sort of like how folks who were far left (e.g. Trotskyites) in college moved on to being far right a decade or two later. They felt a need to be extreme; which extreme was far less important to them.

oppose the establishment! always!

very coherent. and very silly.

Thanks all for the links relating to the fairness doctrine discussion. I was curious about Joseph P. Kennedy since he was a friend of Coughlin and supported McCarthy.

I did find this, which is mainly about alleged IRS overreaching.

CharlesWT's link is worth looking at. An excerpt from the "nineteen
page documentary .. entitled, 'What Is Happen-
ing to America's Youth?'" reads:

"When one takes a look at the sleazey, smelly, unkempt, strangely-attired, ques-
tionable gender youth demonstrating from Times Square to Selma, to Berkeley,
parading, picketing and bearing banners containing everything from filthy speech
unacceptable to a decent society to 'peace' projects for anybody and everybody,
one is shocked into startling awareness that we are dealing with a moral and spirit-
ual problem and not a job problem.

"Many of the participants in student demonstrations, whether it be for so-called
'free speech' on a major university campus, or for 'civil rights' in front of the White
House, are young people from very prominent and wealthy homes whose weekly
allowance does not consist of a few pennies for an all-day sucker, but rather for un-
limited travel by jet and free spending for everything from continuous rounds of
cocktails to 50-cent malted milks.

"Some are the sons and daughters of highly paid writers, actors and actresses,
radio and TV personalities, educators and clergymen, and the intelligencia elite
corps of the nation. Theirs is not an economic problem. Their motive is one of revolu-
tionary overthrow of proven standards of decency, morality, righteousness, and of
time-proven standards which made of the United States a great nation envied by the
rest of the world.

"In such a rebellious atmosphere as this, the communists are tilling the soil of
revolution and planting the seeds of dissent which well may produce within the
near future the harvest that will sound the death knell of the American Republic. "

Hmmm. I can't really complain about a fairness doctrine offering an alternative to that. See also in Charles's link a nasty several paragraphs about Pete Seeger.

Texas halts natural gas exports, while increasing its anti-American exportation of gasbags full on raw sewage:

https://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-cancun-texas-2021-2

What other terrorist Canadian enemies of the state are permitted to travel abroad in this bullshit country?

Biden needs to order the military to not allow Cruz and his family back into the country. Turn his plane around for national security reasons with fighter jet accompaniment.

Yesterday, in two grocery stores I visited in Denver, the shelves were half empty. The trucks and goods run through Texas. Also, at Whole Foods, they couldn't process my debit card because their debit card processors in Texas were without power.

As subhuman conservatives whinge about China and our dependence on the foreigners, why is so much of this country economically dependent on a rogue state that doesn't even want to be part of the United States?

Insider was not able to immediately verify the images, but they prompted outrage all the same.

Never let the lack of facts get in the way of a good outrage.

Me? I think the fewer politicians in the state during a crisis the better.

Never let the lack of facts get in the way of a good outrage.v

https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1362460562274324495

The share of Republicans who said Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the events of Jan. 6 is down 14 points, to 27%, from early January.

58% of them blame ... Congressional Dems.

fuck da GOP

I can't really complain about a fairness doctrine offering an alternative to that.

Agreed.

Old Joe Kennedy might have been a SOB, LBJ and Nixon perhaps likewise, each in their own way.

But it's hard to read or hear the... shall we say, outlandish narratives that comes out of RW radio and TV, now or then, and not think "maybe it would be good if they had to give some time to another point of view...".

Some might say they - Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon - were gaming the Fairness Doctrine to suppress their opponents. Others might say they were providing a valuable public service.

We report, you decide.

58% of them blame ... Congressional Dems.

crazy as they want to be.

Mashing up Chevy Chase and Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh is Still a Big, Fat Idiot.

Paraphrasing Christopher Hitchens, if they give Limbaugh's corpse an enema they can bury him in a shoebox.

This comment has been brought to you by The Unfairness Doctrine, of which Libertarians(TM)seem to approve.

But, back to the MAGAt notion that "we didn't send him to DC to do the right thing, we sent him to represent us". I've been thinking this one over, trying to decide whether it's an implicit admission of guilt -- sort of like declaring yourself anti-anti-fascist.

--TP

The share of Republicans who said Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the events of Jan. 6 is down 14 points, to 27%, from early January.
58% of them blame ... Congressional Dems.

fuck da GOP

JHC. Drive a stake through their heart, and make them unelectable forever. Finding a way to ensure the American people never forget what happened on 6/1, and who was responsible, is imperative.

Tony, it really does seem to pretty explicitly say that they know, and acknowledge, that to do what they want (to "represent them") is NOT to do the right thing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad