It started last night and then in a totally predictable way, Joe Scarborough amplified and continued it this morning. “It” is the newly minted narrative about the difference between Manchin and Sinema. Both are holding up essential legislation to maintain a half-decent society. But, one is doing so as a statesman and the other is a crazy bitch.
The spinning out of this narrative started (for me at least) on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night where there was a general male circle-jerk session including Lawrence, John Heileman, and (surprisingly) Adam Jentleson. There was no end of stereotypical criticism of Sinema.
Now, before I get started on this I want to make perfectly clear, I despise Sinema and everything she stands for. Likewise, I despise Joe Manchin. They are both mercenary, self centered hacks pretending to be public servants (which makes them not much worse than the most of the congress). They are both without conscience, decency or integrity. But, the narrative of Statesman vs. Crazy Bitch is just so infuriating and sexist I cannot even discuss it without having my blood pressure rise.
Just take a wild guess at who was being described in these quotes?
“works 24 hours a day”
Maintains a “constant line of communication” (on his houseboat)
“A pro at the game”
…has “no problem using leverage.”
“a predictable force”
“a predictable actor”
“too cute by half”
“too clever by half”
“Infuriating the white House”
…has “played this game”
“very frustrating to all sides”
“continuing this game”
“mysterious and irrational” (John Heileman)
Mysterious and irrational is my personal favorite.
I might add that none of these “journalists” bothered to point out the vested financial interests both Manchin and Sinema have in holding up a vote for needed programs for the rest of the country. This is why it is not only useless to watch the corporate media (MSNBC and CNN) it is dangerous.
Joe Scarborough, both-sideser in chief and head MSNBC misogynist is at it again this morning joined by his usual kiss ass crew. He got in a little trouble yesterday by repeatedly asking guests whether it was necessary to impeach Trump. The dreadful Mika told him to stop and he responded like the petulant bully he is, by berating her and trying to embarrass her on national television.
This morning, he and Peter Baker are trying to figure out how “we” can work with the Republicans like James Langford, who have suddenly had an attack of conscience over trying to overthrow an election.
But, for Scarborough and Baker, that’s just a minor blip. Sedition? Just apologize and Scarborough will find a way to launder your reputation (if you are a Repubican).
Baker’s contribution to this was to lament the fact that, in his words, both sides have decided to go back into their partisan corners. Equal corners, right? One side is providing the rationale for sedition and the other is trying to restore democracy, but they are both equally to blame.
On to other matters.
On Ari Melber’s MSNBC show last night, Eugene Robinson (Mr. Mild Manners himself) said that the Republicans created this division and now they are buying body armor.
AOC was evidently so afraid when the attack was going on, she was fearful of going into a safe room with Republicans. She thought they might lead the attackers to her. It was not an unreasonable suspicion since one of the members of the House was texting out the location of Nancy Pelosi.
Lindsey Graham characterized the impeachment proceedings as “sheer hatred.” I can’t wait to find out why Graham did a 180 turn to support Trump. Maybe if Trump gets more and more frustrated, he will start to spill the dirt.
Rep Madeleine Dean, who will be one of the impeachment managers said “Lindsay Graham knows better.” “You too” she said referring to Graham, “are complicit…”
Trump evidently brought Bannon back into the sedition circle. Roger Stone was the one who came up with the “Stop the Steal” rallying cry.
Tony Schwartz is saying that Trump is now moving “between rage and delusion.” And that Trump has unleashed forces that we may well see become more powerful in the future.
Peter Strzok, former FBI, expressed “frustration and anger” at the lack of preparedness at the Capitol. If you look at other events, Strzok argued: “The government can secure the capitol when it wants to and that didn’t happen here.” Strzok said that the tour groups that evidently went through the Capitol the day before the assault needed to be “looked into.”
Elizabeth Newmann, former Assistant Secretary for Threat Presentation and Security Policy at DHS, explained that the Terrorist Watch List is a separate list from the No Fly List and is broader, larger. She says it includes “suspected white supremacists.” But, she also said, this list functions more as an alert system than a surveillance system. If, for example, someone got arrested, law enforcement could run the name and the person would show up as on this Terrorist Watch List. But, there is no ongoing surveillance on these people. So, they could all decide to go to Washington at the same time and go and there would be no automatic alert because of this list.
Last night, Rachael Maddow was commenting on the absurdity of having people on this list, but not knowing that they were all converging on the same problematic location. The only way law enforcement could know this is if these people were under constant surveillance and I’m not sure that’s what we want.
A number of people are already pointing out on Twitter and in articles that this siege of the Capitol may well end up working to the disadvantage of legitimate protest. As always, it’s easy to argue for more surveillance of individuals when they are opposed to you politically. But, these same surveillance measures can be turned quickly against legitimate protest.
I heard no discussion yesterday of the way in which a person might be put on this Terrorist Watch List. Once on this list, are you ever taken off? What surveillance measures can the government take after you are put on this list? These are questions we need to answer.
Newman, after explaining the list, went on to say that there was “no excuse for the lack of preparation” at the capitol. She pointed out that that the Executive Branch, while reluctant to tell another branch of government what to do, has a “duty to warn” of dangerous situations. They, for example, should have issued a “Joint Intelligence Bulletin.” They did not. “They knew that violence was planned” Newman continued. “You always assume the worst, prepare for the worst…”
Petef Strzok expressed disappointment that we had not heard from Director Wray. He wondered whether the FBI attempted to warn other agencies but was prevented from doing so. Strzok didn’t say by whom.
Anna Palmer noted that since the COVID outbreak, the Capitol had been like a “ghosttown.” She noted the extensive security measures for even going into the Capitol as a reporter. “It’s been months since people were even around” she noted. These tours were highly unusual.
Biden has named Jamaal Bowman head of the DNC. It has not escaped notice that Bowman is against Medicare For All.
And, lastly, in Georgia…
I had an interesting exchange with a friend on Facebook. He commented that when the FBI asked all these low-level attackers who are being arrested if they had any coordination or contact with Congressmen or Trump, they would flip and implicate them.
I responded: True, if the FBI agents ask them.
Now, as usual, he took exception to this. Most people, especially those who have worked around law enforcement accept a law enforcement ethos. They resist any aspersions on the integrity of the force, even confronted with daily evidence to the contrary.
He responded in a curious way. First he said that I shouldn’t paint all agents with a “broad brush.” Seemed to me that he was painting them with a broad brush, just assuming that the FBI would be trying to turn offenders on higher ups. Why this assumption is made, I don’t know.
We have just witnessed years of the most curious behavior on the part of the FBI and the Justice Department in recent memory. Why did James Comey make public the absurd reopening of the investigation of Hillary Clinton right before the 2016 election? Why did he within the past few days argue publicly that Biden should pardon Trump? What was going on in the New York City office of the FBI in 2016 that almost lead to a work stoppage? These are just a few threads that need to be followed up here. In addition, why was the Justice Department so easily compromised by Jeff Sessions and then Bill Barr? Why was the Mueller investigation so limited as to make it meaningless?
I’m sorry, but I just don’t think we can assume that all those FBI agents out there are crusaders for justice especially when it comes to investigating people at the top of the food chain. (See Jesse Eisinger’s “The Chickenshit Club.)
Then, my friend said that the last time he talked to me I was (overly) concerned “dismayed” with voter suppression in Georgia, and Georgia had become the beacon of election security. Georgia, he said had become the “honest election state that is saving democracy. What truly happened?”
Now, I have no idea what this last paragraph has to do with FBI agents working overtime to get dirt on powerful Congressmen, but there you are.
I find the statement amazing. I fully realize that the media, prone as they are to simplistic narratives, is trying to make heroes out of Raffensperger, Sterling and Kemp, but anybody who reads should know that Georgia is far from a beacon of hope.
Brian Kemp’s government spent a fortune on a fancy new voting machine system. And they conducted a propaganda operation by replacing all the “I voted” material with “I secured my Vote.” It was all a propaganda operation. I did poll worker training in Georgia before the general and I left at lunch and didn’t go back. It was obvious to me then that the new system was unwieldy and full of holes. The measures taken to “secure the vote” were geared toward security threats in the 19th century. Nobody could answer questions about hacking into the system.
Even though the media has touted “paper ballots” as an indication of transparency, in Georgia, they are not really “paper ballots.”
The ballots are marked by a machine. Then, the voter gets a sheet of paper which has his choices printed on it. The voter is supposed to check these choices to make sure they are right. But, the scanners that count the votes do not even register the words printed on the ballot. They count a bar code at the bottom of the ballot. The voter cannot read the bar code. The poll workers cannot read the bar code. I don’t think anybody outside of the Voting Machine company can read the bar codes. It’s protected by law. What kind of state of affairs is that?
Before the general election, Brian Kemp’s government made a decision that any recount in Georgia would be done by simply feeding the same ballots (with the same bar codes) through the scanners again.
In short, Georgia spent a fortune on a voting system that is impenetrable. They regularly send out “experts” who claim that the system cannot be hacked. But, Jennifer Cohn, Jonathan Simon and the Coalition for Good Governance have repeatedly offered evidence that at best, we don’t know this.
In addition, Kemp is the king of voter suppression. That’s how he won a race against Stacey Abrams for governor. Raffensperger and Sterling were in the voter suppression game up to their eye balls. Kemp, Raffensperger and Sterling are like the guys who are willing to drive the getaway car, but not willing to go into the liquor store with the gun.
Just in case you hadn’t heard…Kyle Rittenhouse is out on bail and sitting in a bar drinking and yucking it up with the Proud Boys. Reality Winner has COVID and in still in jail. I know she’s not receiving her mail because I have a box of returned letters.
MSNBC is no longer a news channel. It is a channel where the corporate Democratic strategists talk to each other and try to convince the rest of us that what they want to be true is true.
Morning Joe was devoted today to everything about every candidate in New Hampshire except the front runner, Bernie Sanders.
Early in the program, MSNBC posted a chart showing Sanders as the front runner and his steady line as the front runner in New Hampshire. So, was the conversation about Sanders? Of course not. It was about Buttigieg and Klobuchar. According to the panel, the campaigns of Klobuchar and Buttigieg were taking off. They are the “candidates on the move.”
John Heileman had to try to make Sanders’ steady lead sound like it was a negative. He said that Sanders was in the lead, but he was just “sitting there.”
Scarborough (who helped Trump get elected) talked about Biden being in the “second tier” in the polls. If, he added, you BELIEVE IN THE POLLS. Morning Joe and the panel have been touting polls for months showing Biden leading, but all of a sudden, when he’s in fourth or fifth place, Joe has to add “if you believe in the polls.”
(Note: I would just like to add that Scarborough and the dreadful Mika were at Mara-la-go AFTER the 2016 election. Their break with Trump came after he outed their adulterous affair.)
O.K. then, we have the panel trying desperately to rehabilitate Biden, just like always. They tried to make excuses for Biden’s lack of ability to raise money at the grassroots. Well, one said, he is old school. He “can’t raise money online.” Adrienne Elrod (one of the Clinton mean girls who is still incapable of expressing anything but contempt and resentment at Bernie Sanders because he dared DARED to run against Clinton) had to add that Biden didn’t really “plan to run well” in Iowa, i.e., he didn’t really try. (This is the best excuse she could come up with?)
Elrod then adds that Biden also doesn’t expect to run well in New Hampshire, already trying to dampen expectations before the primary. Talking about the Biden campaign, she says “they want to move on.” Want to move on? Where the hell to they expect to move on to? Where do they expect to win? This is the man that @MSNBC pundits have been telling us was the front runner for months.
Then, MSNBC shows us a Biden campaign ad (when was the last time they showed us a Bernie campaign ad?) and say that the problem is that Biden isn’t being allowed to be Biden. In the ad, Biden contrasts what are supposed to be his best contributions to history, with the most trivial things Buttigieg has ever done. The panel argues that this ad and these little episodes with Biden, where he acts like an entitled ass, are to be blamed on his campaign not letting him be himself. The Dreadful Mika has to add that Biden would never respond with contempt and derision if he was in a room with a former Mayor (like Buttigieg) who was touting his accomplishments. Jesus. We are supposed to believe that the ad made by his campaign, approved by him is “not Biden.” Those little episodes (pointing fingers at the chest of voters, telling one she’s a liar, acting like a pathetic old man pretending to be a hard ass) are not Biden. That’s ignorant. Those episodes are Biden. That’s what he is, a resentful, entitled, defensive old man who thinks he’s owed being president. (Remind you of anybody?)
Then, Morning Joe announced their guests for the morning, James Carville, David Plouffe, Klobuchar and Bennett. A progressive is in the lead in New Hampshire. Any Progressives? Hell no, a show full of people who despise Bernie Sanders and everything he stands for.
Then, we must hear about Bloomberg and how he is “driving Trump crazy.” What evidence is there for this? Who’s ass do they pull this stuff out of? Everybody on the panel agrees. Oh, they slobber, Bloomberg is “tougher” than Trump, “richer” than Trump. Bloomberg’s money will be the “great equalizer” in the race. When was a rich man running against another rich man ever considered a “great equalizer?” Joe Scarborough obviously enjoys bragging about how much more money Bloomberg has than Trump.
(Note: This is where we are folks. The obvious delight with which Scarborough describes Bloomberg’s wealth just tells you everything about him.)
Elrod says that Bloomberg is “still the most electable” candidate for many Americans. Again, who’s ass did she drag that out of? What evidence is there for that? She would rather choke than say such a thing about Bernie even though there is much more evidence that the same statement about Bernie.
The panel ended with a discussion of the “fear” that the populace has about the current crop of candidates. What they are communicating is that they have a deathly “fear” of Bernie Sanders. All of them know that Sanders and his people would never let them get near the White House if he was elected. That’s what they are scared of.
I can’t watch MSNBC anymore. The only reason for watching is to document the almost complete slide into corporate Democratic promotion as the Party and the party elite face the terror of people, real people, exercising their rights and fighting for their rights.
Turn over to CSPAN and you can watch Bernie giving a speech in New Hampshire. The reason the corporate media doesn’t ever show you Bernie unless they have to is that they are terrified people will see what a real candidate is like, a candidate who believes in what he is saying, a real person, fighting, perhaps giving his life, to fight for regular people, for the changes that will give regular people an opportunity to take some benefit from a society they contribute so much to. Please listen to Bernie Sanders. Please stop listening to MSNBC and CNN.
A discussion of politics, law, justice, and crime.