It takes two

As I’ve told you before, I was banned from commenting at the Times for writing that the only possible good that could come out of the Gail Collins/David Brooks discussion feature would be a murder-suicide. They’re at it again today, concern trolling about the foreign money issue. I’ll just give you a taste:

The second reason Obama’s behavior is depressing is that it shows that the administration is getting mentally captured by the lefty blogosphere.

Bobo also claims that no one on the right bitched about outside money when it was on the Dems’ side in 2004. Of course that’s not true, Republicans nurse an obsessive hatred of George Soros to this day. And, anyway, half the fucking Republican attack on Gore was over “Chinese money” and the Buddhist temple fundraiser.

Mind you, I have heard a reasonable critique of the White House criticism of the Chamber. The reasoning goes: a lot of 501c’s have some money from foreign sources, why single out the Chamber? That’s an awful lot like “everyone speeds, how come I get a ticket?” The argument that the Chamber doesn’t apply foreign money directly to ads means nothing. If you, say, pay your staff with foreign money and run ads with domestic money, that’s just accounting: the foreign money is defraying costs and giving you more money to spend on ads.

Anyway, what’s striking in general about the hot Brooks-on-Collins action is how lacking in wit and polish it all is. It makes you realize, as bad their columns are, if you met them in person, they’d seem even dumber and more smug.






102 replies
  1. 1
    Mark S. says:

    Ugh, I didn’t get too far

    The Koch brothers have been spending millions for decades, and now suddenly they are allegedly responsible for organizing the Tea Party movement.

    The Nazis have been killing people for decades, and now suddenly they are allegedly responsible for the Holocaust?

  2. 2
    jl says:

    “Bobo also claims that no one on the right bitched about outside money when it was on the Dems’ side in 2004. Of course that’s not true, Republicans nurse an obsessive hatred of George Soros to this day.”

    Is ‘DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice’ talking about George Soros the international drug dealer and kingpin? That George Soros?

    I heard several GOP pols positively identify Soros as a big time international drug dealer in interviews at a recent GOP convention, and they wondered why no one was looking into his foreign blood drug money flooding into the US and affecting our precious bodily fluids, or, I guess I mean, elections.

    Technically, that is not bitching. They just think the world is flat, is all, and within their rights to express that opinion.

    (note: no snark was killed or injured in the creation of this comment)

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The Chamber is also flat out lying about the health care bill in its ads. That’s treated like business as usual, which I suppose it is. Of course, if reporters/pundits started mentioning that, they might also have to point out that Sarah Palin, John McCain, Chuck Grassley and the usual dimwits in the GOP House caucus are also lying. And it’s very partisan to point out that Republicans are lying.

  4. 4
    Nick says:

    Clearly, if Obama had used the bully pulpit…

  5. 5
    Elia says:

    I’m sorry but this post is just simply uncivil.

    I see no reason why we can’t disagree without becoming disagreeable.

    Gail and David do it and ideologically they’re night-and-day, after all!

    This is the kind of stuff that gives the internet a bad name.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    I wish the Sassy Gay Friend would pop up during their folie a deux and sort those bitches out.

    In case you’ve never seen his work:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....nd_hamlet/

    Not sure even the SGF could approve of Bobo’s hair.

  7. 7

    @DougJ

    As I’ve told you before, I was banned from commenting at the Times for writing that the only possible good that could come out of the Gail Collins/David Brooks discussion feature would be a murder-suicide.

    That would be a happy day indeed. I can see it now, Collins realizes what an empty headed hack she is and that she’s nothing more than a fluffer for Bobo and she just snaps, brings a shotgun into work, jams it in Bobo’s mouth like a big black cock of death and “Boom”, decorates the wall with an interesting new color called “hint of brain” and then turns the shotgun on herself. Bonus points if she does it on camera like R. Budd Dwyer. That’s the kind of content that could make a paywall work.

  8. 8
    tom factor says:

    “mentally captured by the lefty blogosphere.”

    and like 84% of the general populace, who believe they have a “right to know.”

  9. 9
    tomvox1 says:

    Sorry, Doug, but I like Gail Collins. Of course, even being in the same room with Bobo and being forced to be civil in the face of his inanities will knock about 20 IQ points off of the best of us…

  10. 10
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Elia:

    Gail and David do it and ideologically they’re night-and-day, after all!

    The whole comment was very good, but that in particular is inspired snark. I may use it myself in some form later.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.: Bonus points if this comment was written by Lee Elia.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    I can’t believe I clicked to the site. Yuk…Obama the Attack Dog? Wasn’t it just yesterday that he showed no emotion and lacked empathy?

  13. 13
    Steve says:

    If you keep the foreign money in a segregated account and don’t do any political spending from that account, you’re right that it’s still just accounting, but nevertheless I don’t think we can ask any more of people than that. However, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t even doing that!

    They have an account that takes in foreign money. They engage in political spending from that same account. Therefore they are spending foreign money on domestic politics, period, end of story. The argument that “you can’t prove it’s the same dollars” is meaningless. Bank accounts don’t work that way, the dollars are completely fungible.

  14. 14
    debbie says:

    The right never bitched about outside money? Excuse me, David Brooks, but here are two words for you: Charlie. Tree.

  15. 15
    Alex S. says:

    No matter what Gail Collins says, David Brooks goes on and on how everything is bad for Obama and the Democrats in general. He’s using one republican talking point after another while Gail refutes all his arguments, except for one. If this was supposed to be a conversation, they should have put David Brooks in front of a mirror. This way, there would at least have been an appearance of two people acknowledging each other.

  16. 16
    Tom Hilton says:

    As I said on Twitter: the very same people who had fainting fits at the thought of pseudonymous bloggers/commenters are entirely sanguine about anonymous campaign donations.

    Except I said it with fewer characters.

  17. 17
    Lev says:

    I like the Times, but that Op-Ed page is just a horror show. Dowd, Friedman, Bobo, and Bobo-in-training are all just dead weight and ought to be cleared out ASAP. Then again, they did clear out Bill Kristol, and they seem to have some standards, unlike Hiatt’s joint.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @Alex S.: As the election approaches, looks like Brooks goes into full bore hack mode.

    His latest column was about how unions and pensions and high wages for ‘the lesser people’ are the reason why America can no longer do great things, because pampered workers cost too much. Not like the old days when we built the Erie Canal and Grand Central Station.

    Brooks is peddling fantasy history.
    Interesting trivia questions might be
    Why was Grand Central Station built in the first place?
    Did Grand Central Station, come in on time and under budget?

    I read an interesting paper showing how construction cost overuns have been present throughout modern industrial history. And our ability (or more accurately inability) to estimate the cost of grand construction projects has stayed about the same over time.

  19. 19
    Lev says:

    @jl: Correction: he’s always in full-bore hack mode. Or maybe that idea of interviewing John Thune with the nearly pornographic description of the guy was just a random idea that just popped into his head one beautiful day?

  20. 20
    eemom says:

    This is another example of where the “savant” part of my Bob Somerby as lunatic-savant theory comes in. He sees through the clowns (Collins) and concern trolls (Rich) that — unlike, say, Bobo or Tweety — do get taken seriously by smart people. I’ve discovered I pretty much agree with him about both of them.

  21. 21
    Steve says:

    @jl: Arguably an entire century of economic progress – you know, the one where America’s economic engine became the envy of the world – was attributable to union labor and the “high wages and pensions” that created a robust middle class. But don’t tell David Brooks!

  22. 22
    gwangung says:

    @debbie:

    The right never bitched about outside money? Excuse me, David Brooks, but here are two words for you: Charlie. Tree.

    Two more. John Huang.

  23. 23
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @eemom:

    I agree with you about Somerby. Idiot-savant is right.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    As I’ve told you before, I was banned from commenting at the Times

    Why don’t you just ask Just Some Fuckhead if you can borrow his proxy server?

  25. 25
    gwangung says:

    His latest column was about how unions and pensions and high wages for ‘the lesser people’ are the reason why America can no longer do great things, because pampered workers cost too much.

    Unlike the unionized workers in Germany.

  26. 26
    Steve says:

    @eemom: Collins is the classic example of the “oh dear, a policy discussion, how dreary!” school of political journalists. My preferred analogy is the sportswriter who finds sporting events boring. Would such a person be hired at any newspaper in the country?

  27. 27
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    The second reason Obama’s behavior is depressing is that it shows that the administration is getting mentally captured by the lefty blogosphere.

    Obviously, someone hasn’t been reading the real lefty blogosphere.

    But it is becoming obvious that Obama et al has hit a major nerve in the right wing borg princess Chamber Pot of Commerce. As well as their allies in the real lefty blogosphere, salivating at a dem loss for gawd noes what reason. Carry on O, both barrels.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    I was banned from commenting at the Times for writing that the only possible good that could come out of the Gail Collins/David Brooks discussion feature would be a murder-suicide.

    No matter how many times you mention this, it makes me laugh every time.

    I’m sorry but this post is just simply uncivil.

    And so does that.

  29. 29
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why don’t you just ask Just Some Fuckhead if you can borrow his proxy server?

    Doesn’t he full time serve your proxy?

  30. 30
    BGinCHI says:

    This is good news.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....ret-money/

    Keep that shit up.

  31. 31
    bkny says:

    george soros is an american citizen. it mystifies me the insane hatred directed towards him. esp considering he provided invaluable support for dissident groups in eastern europe and pressing for recognition of peoples’ rights. and continues numerous programs thru his open society inst.

  32. 32
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @bkny: He is a leftist with money, lots of money. That is all it takes.

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: Same reason my mother-in-law hates Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn.

  34. 34
    flounder says:

    My new line on this is “I’m so old, I remember when secret campaign donations were called ‘bribes'”.

  35. 35
    bkny says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: i know … but you’d think he’d get a pass for his efforts to subvert the (former) soviet republic thru support for the assorted helsinki groups.

  36. 36
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @bkny:

    John Kerry got three purple hearts a silver star and a bronze or two. Didn’t help him. Wingnuts have no soul, end of story.

  37. 37
    bobbo says:

    the administration is getting mentally captured by the lefty blogosphere

    Isn’t it be pretty to think so.

  38. 38
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Wingnuts have no soul, end of story.

    But, by gawd they have a point that Gibbs is a hypocrite about the Chamber, 2 weeks before an election/firebagger

  39. 39
    Wag says:

    “I’m so old, I remember when secret campaign donations were called ‘bribes’”.

    We have a winner!

  40. 40
    bkny says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: ugh … and max cleland.

  41. 41
    Wag says:

    …and by the way, I liked how you could read the steam coming out of Gail’s ears over the drivel that David was spouting. It was all she could do to keep from saying STFU!

  42. 42
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:
    Max Cleland lost both legs and one arm in Vietnam. That didn’t keep Saxby Chambliss (May a flaming 2X4 be shoved all the way up his ass) from impugning Cleland’s patriotism.

  43. 43
    ruemara says:

    There’s too much stupid in America’s water.

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @Mark S.: Godwin in one? Slow down there, some of us want to maybe enjoy the evening before popping the cork.

  45. 45
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Zifnab:

    Godwin’s law has been suspended by executive order till further notice

  46. 46
    morzer says:

    In case anyone was wondering, the gibbering idiots really are gearing up to impeach Obama:

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi.....p?ref=mblt

  47. 47
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Man, I wish you hadn’t mentioned my hero Cleland, now I want to go out and hunt wingnut. wonder what a Coulter pelt sells for these days?

  48. 48
    stuckinred says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Draft dodging shit eatin dog fucker Saxby if you please.

  49. 49
    tomvox1 says:

    @Steve:

    Simply disagree.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12.....ailcollins

    She doesn’t find politics boring. She finds politicians idiotic.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....ailcollins

    Sort of like enjoying Baseball the Game but mocking the steroided, video game caricature it became in the late 90s/early 2000s.

  50. 50
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @flounder:

    You don’t need a milkman to know which way milk prices are going to go

    /old Nixon era joke

    Poor old Tricky Dick – all that trouble he went to trying to maintain covert-ops secrecy regarding activities that would be openly bragged about on Fox News and in the pages of the WSJ today.

  51. 51
    Ash Can says:

    @bkny: No can do, Bucko. Everybody knows that the Most Holy One True Ronald Reagan destroyed that Evil Empire all by hisself, single-handedlike, with no help whatsoever from anyone else. Which is why every knee shall bend at the mention of his name. Amen. And now we shall pass the collection plate, and, brothers and sisters, please be generous.

  52. 52
    lamh32 says:

    At MTV/BET/CMT townhall, Obama: Being gay is not a choice…

    Being gay is not a choice, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

    “I am not obviously — I don’t profess to be an expert. This is a layperson’s opinion,” he said at an MTV town hall for young people. “But I don’t think it’s a choice. I think people are born with a certain makeup, and we’re all children of God. We don’t make determinations about who we love. And that’s why I think that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong.”

    Video at link.

  53. 53
    Mark S. says:

    @Zifnab:

    Godwins in one are immediately signed and sent off to the Internet Hall Of Fame.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ash Can: I have told you people before, I won the Cold War. Please remember this; I do not want to have to tell you again.

  55. 55
    slag says:

    As I’ve told you before, I was banned from commenting at the Times for writing that the only possible good that could come out of the Gail Collins/David Brooks discussion feature would be a murder-suicide.

    Braggart!

  56. 56
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @stuckinred:
    I’m a Vietnam vet. I hold no animus toward anyone who chose to sit out that war – anyone who didn’t turn into a flag waving, “we” gotta get them suckers, Republican son-of-a-bitch. If fate ever puts Saxby Chambliss in my way I will delight in kicking him in the junk so hard that it will require NASA to locate his nuts.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    Well, at least this isn’t going to be heard until after the election…

    PENSACOLA, Fla. – Crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care overhaul can go to trial, with a judge ruling Thursday he wants to hear more arguments over whether it’s constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance.
    __
    In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it also needs to be decided whether it’s constitutional to penalize people who do not buy insurance with taxes and to require states to expand their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week.
    __
    Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
    __
    In his 65-page ruling, Vinson largely agreed with the 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, saying Congress was intentionally unclear when it created penalties in the legislation. The states have argued that Congress is overstepping its constitutional authority by penalizing people for not doing something — not buying health insurance.

  58. 58
    flounder says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I like the Nixon mention. It might be worthwhile getting some journos/pundits to explain how the new millionaire/corporate slush funds are different than the ones Nixon had.

  59. 59
    bemused says:

    Well, well, Brooks sure has his panties in a bundle about Dems jumping on the Chamber. He usually tries to act intellectual and cool but he seems pretty worked up. This has hit a big, raw nerve with the conservatives and villagers and they’re acting kind of panicky. Dems better not let up.

  60. 60
    flounder says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Someday I’ll dig up scumbag draft-dodger Mike Enzi’s quote for you, where he says something to the effect of the reason we lost in Vietnam is we didn’t fight long enough…with “we” being the poor schmucks who fought while he was hanging out in the Wyoming National Guard.

  61. 61
    Mark S. says:

    @El Cid:

    Vinson also took issue with the administration’s argument that the states and individual taxpayers must wait until 2014, when some of the changes take effect, to file any lawsuits. Vinson said businesses and states are feeling the ramifications of the law now.

    I’d like to see that part of the ruling.

  62. 62
    stuckinred says:

    @flounder: Imagine if he had been in one of the 8 guard units that did go to the Nam!

  63. 63
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @lamh32:

    Is that good or bad?

  64. 64
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @stuckinred:

    My Nixon loving patriot daddy got me a guard slot, but I told him I weren’t nothin’ special. I think that convinced him for good, he had spawned a Soviet Red./wingnut

  65. 65
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @lamh32:

    “I am not obviously — I don’t profess to be an expert. This is a layperson’s opinion,” he said at an MTV town hall for young people. “But I don’t think it’s a choice. I think people are born with a certain makeup, and we’re all children of God. We don’t make determinations about who we love. And that’s why I think that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong.”

    It certainly is pretty nifty to see the President of the United States say that during a nationally broadcasted event.

  66. 66
    stuckinred says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: Ha, I love it. I spent the last 4 months of my tour in this outfit from Providence, RI. About a quarter of them just said fuck you and didn’t get on the plane. It was strange being RA in a guard unit but they were good guys.

  67. 67
    stuckinred says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Especially after dumb-ass Valerie Jarrett’s comment yesterday.

  68. 68
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    Is that good or bad?

    I’m sure Joe Beese will be by any moment to tell us how it’s really just a front for the savagely raging bigotry of President Obama.

  69. 69
    flounder says:

    My dad was WY Nat. Guard, don’t know he did it, he didn’t know anyone, and I am glad for it (I was born in ’73), but if he ever said, anything remotely as stupid as Enzi or engaged in any of that revisionist b.s., I promise I’d call him on it.

  70. 70
    stuckinred says:

    @flounder: Some people just got lucky, it depended on the specific need of a unit at the time. Not everyone pulled strings.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    @Mark S.: Ruling can be read here (PDF, 65 pp).

    I have no legal insight, though I did find this interesting that I had not encountered before. From a note to the conclusion:

    While the novel and unprecedented nature of the individual mandate does not automatically render it unconstitutional, there is perhaps a presumption that it is.
    __
    In Printz, supra, 521 U.S. at 898, the Supreme Court stated several times that an “absence of power” to do something could be inferred because Congress had never made an attempt to exercise that power before. See id. at 905 (stating that if “earlier Congresses avoided use of this highly attractive power, we would have reason to believe that the power was thought not to exist”); see id. at 907-08 (“the utter lack of statutes imposing obligations [like the one at issue there] (notwithstanding the attractiveness of that course to Congress), suggests an assumed absence of such power”) (emphasis in original); see id. at 918 (stating “almost two centuries of apparent congressional avoidance of the practice [at issue] tends to negate the existence of the congressional power asserted here”).

    (Paragraphing added.)

  72. 72
    ET says:

    If there was one thing I could go back and time and stop – the development of talking heads. The damage they do and the nonsense they spout is at best stupid (case in point Bobo above) and at worse deliberately misleading and/or inflamatory.

    Are there any, ANY lefty blogosphere types that think Obama has been “captured” by the lefty blogosphere? I would HIGHLY doubt that.

  73. 73
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @flounder:

    Someday I’ll dig up scumbag draft-dodger Mike Enzi’s quote for you, where he says something to the effect of the reason we lost in Vietnam is we didn’t fight long enough…with “we” being the poor schmucks who fought while he was hanging out in the Wyoming National Guard.

    I believe you are referring to this article:

    The U.S. could have won the Vietnam War if we had stayed a little longer, Enzi said.
    __
    “We left the job too early,” Enzi said. “If we keep retreating, we’ll never win another war.”

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    Gotta put in a word for Gail Collins. After Krugman (and Frank Rich, when he gets his rage properly stoked), she is the best of the Times columnists. Consistently funny and lucid.

    I like to imagine that she hates doing the one-on-ones with Bobo. Haven’t read this one, but she usually manages to crack him over the head once or twice during the course of them.

  75. 75
    stuckinred says:

    @Midnight Marauder: “We were winning when I left” (common button found at Nam Vet events)

  76. 76
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @stuckinred:

    I had nothing against the guard and the guys who got into it, it was just a personal choice of mine to turn it down, though later as a US, i sometimes wished I had taken it. Nor did I, or do now disrespect those who dodged it in other ways, like going to Canada or whatever. They paid a price also too.

    It’s the ones that grew up to be president, starting unnecessary wars with lies I despise, and those who mock heros like cleland I hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

  77. 77
    stuckinred says:

    Thune said many people are comparing Iraq with Vietnam, but in Vietnam, “(the enemy) didn’t follow us home,”

    Unless you live in Orange County!

  78. 78
    stuckinred says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: We’re on the same page bro. I did a tour in Korea and a tour in the Nam and got out 2 months before my 20th birthday. FTA all the way.

    I was at a Vets day event in the capitol building in Atlanta and Max gave away copies of his book. He singed them for hours until the last person got one.

  79. 79
    DonkeyKong says:

    “Hey, Applebees has french dressing so what’s the problem?”- David Fucking Brooks

  80. 80
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “As I’ve told you before, I was banned from commenting at the Times for writing that the only possible good that could come out of the Gail Collins/David Brooks discussion feature would be a murder-suicide.”

    Hey, you left out letting them breed and *then* having the multiple murder-suicide.

  81. 81
    Chyron HR says:

    @stuckinred:

    They brew Pho at the sites of their conquests, donchaknow?

  82. 82
    Mark S. says:

    @El Cid:

    Thanks, and I found this a tad surprising (p. 33):

    In Village of Bensenville v. FAA, 376 F.3d 1114 (D.C. Cir. 2004), for example, the plaintiffs challenged a passenger fee at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport that was not scheduled to be imposed until thirteen years in the future. The District of Columbia Circuit held that, despite the significant time gap, there was an “‘impending threat of injury’” to plaintiffs that was “‘sufficiently real to constitute injury-in-fact and afford constitutional standing’” because the decision to impose the fee was “final and, absent action by us, come 2017 Chicago will begin collecting [it].”

    I had no idea that FAA decisions were so final. That’s some serious shit. I don’t think the Ten Commandments were that final.

  83. 83
    Suck It Up! says:

    the administration is getting mentally captured by the lefty blogosphere.

    Dear God I hope not!

  84. 84
    El Cid says:

    @ET:

    Are there any, ANY lefty blogosphere types that think Obama has been “captured” by the lefty blogosphere? I would HIGHLY doubt that.

    Exactly! Which just demonstrates how fiendishly clever our capture of him was!

  85. 85
    El Cid says:

    @Mark S.: It’s well known that the highest concentration of Maoists in the entire US government is to be found in the FAA leadership. It’s true.

  86. 86
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Dear God I hope not!

    We’ll know for sure when he calls out Cole for killing the faggy PO>

  87. 87
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I rank her fourth after Krug, Herbert, and Kristof. But I hate Kristof and I hate her more.

  88. 88
    Emma says:

    Dennis: Sir, may I hold your coat while you do it?

  89. 89
    Steeplejack says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    I like Bob Herbert, but I kind of stopped reading him because he boiled down to one never-changing note. I know he was probably driven mad by the Bush administration and Whitey in general, but he needed to get some fresh air. And I didn’t see any sign of him snapping out of it once Obama was in the White House.

    Kristof has had a case of creeping Friedmania for a while.

    What’s your beef with Collins? The humor? Okay, she’s no Molly Ivins, but she’s miles ahead of MoDo. And she bashes the Republicans for their stupidity and usually avoids the knee-jerk “Dems do it too” balance.

  90. 90
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Steeplejack:

    With Collins, at best, it’s Wonkette jokes dumbed down for a PG-13 audience. At worst, it’s Bob Somerby’s worst nightmare of a priggish Irish-Catholic wagging her finger at the world.

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    yes, Collins is better than MoDo, but talk about damning with faint praise.

    Collins exudes the insufferable smugness that afflicts them all, except (at NYT) Krugman and Herbert. It’s all a game to them, all just a spectator sport, cuz their asses are gonna be rich and well fed and cared for until they die, no matter what fucking lunatics get elected or how bad things turn to shit — and IMO that comfortable certainty, that “above it all” smuggery, comes across very clearly in all of their sophisticated witticisms.

  92. 92
    Steeplejack says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    [. . .] at best, it’s Wonkette jokes dumbed down for a PG-13 audience. At worst, it’s Bob Somerby’s worst nightmare of a priggish Irish-Catholic wagging her finger at the world.

    I really think you’re getting some MoDo bleed-through there. That’s a perfect description of her. But I haven’t read anything mentioning that Collins is Irish or Catholic–not that there’s anything wrong with that–nor does she come across as priggish.

    Do you have a sample of her at her Bob Somerby worst?

  93. 93
    JITC says:

    The argument that the Chamber doesn’t apply foreign money directly to ads means nothing. If you, say, pay your staff with foreign money and run ads with domestic money, that’s just accounting: the foreign money is defraying costs and giving you more money to spend on ads.

    This is true.

    This, BTW, is exactly the argument made to prevent people dependent on government services from having access to abortion services.

    The problem is not that foreign money might be defraying costs, it’s that the Chamber is SAYING they keep funds separate but not PROVING it.

  94. 94
    Mark S. says:

    @Mark S.:

    I guess all three courts that have looked at this issue have ruled the mandate plaintiffs have standing. At least I wasn’t the only one who thought this might be a problem. As they say, when you’re right 51% of the time . . .

  95. 95
    John Bird says:

    Wait, why should I hate Gail Collins again?

  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    @John Bird:

    That’s what I’ve been trying to find out. I read her regularly, and I can’t remember her ever rising dropping to the level of a MoDo, Bobo or Friedman bomb.

  97. 97
    wyliecoat says:

    Hey,

    Back off Gail Collins. She may be fluffy, but she is also pretty funny and her heart is in the right place. Not everybody on the op-ed page has to be an economist. She and Krugman are the only columnists I read and will miss when the paper disappears behind a paywall.

  98. 98
    tomvox1 says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    With Collins, at best, it’s Wonkette jokes dumbed down for a PG-13 audience. At worst, it’s Bob Somerby’s worst nightmare of a priggish Irish-Catholic wagging her finger at the world.

    Aw bullshit, Doug.

    Gail Collins (in this very discussion that you linked):

    It’s not Barack Obama who runs around the country yelling about the Wall Street bailout. The last time the two parties worked together, and legislators actually attempted to sacrifice a smidgeon of political gain for the common good was when the Democrats saved George W. Bush’s rescue plan for the financial system. And now Republican candidates are making sure they pay for it. Along, I must admit, with some particularly weenie Democrats.

    Your broad brush needs less paint on this account, dude.

  99. 99
    Mike M says:

    I very much enjoy Gail Collins’s sense of humor. She shines a bright light on the idiots on the right (and sometimes the left),. I get a good laugh nearly every time I read her column, which is something I could use given the sorry state of affairs. BJ is certainly not the place to come for satire.

    There may be some smug columnists (MD comes to mind) at the NYT, but Collins is not one of them.

  100. 100
    Anne Laurie says:

    Gotta vote with the “Gail Collins is not the Enemy” bloc, DougJ. She covers the dread ‘women’s issues’ fairly often, in a way that no other NYT columnist is willing to do, and without losing her sense of humor. I’ve always assumed her freedom to do so is somehow connected to the requirement that she baby-sit BoBo. Read the horrible crapfest you’ve excerpted again — Collins keeps correcting Brooks, walking him back from his worst lies and misstatements.

  101. 101
    cmorenc says:

    @DougJ

    Anyway, what’s striking in general about the hot Brooks-on-Collins action is how lacking in wit and polish it all is. It makes you realize, as bad their columns are,

    How Bobo frequently takes meanders into stupid-land, I get. How you get that impression about Gail Collins is frankly dumbfounding – she’s by far the sharpest, funniest, most intelligent woman writing for any newspaper today, and the only stupid things in her columns are the targets of her barbed wit, which she regularly skewers with one sentence that is both absurd and dead-on accurate at the same time. OK, Krugman is also extremely sharp and point-on, but he makes no attempt to leaven his observations with humor.

    Leave Gail Collins ALONE DougJ, frankly you don’t have any clue what you’re talking about on this one.

  102. 102
    ArgumentativeAtlantan says:

    Why does anyone want to criticize grandma-like Gail Collins? She has been one of our strong supporters all along. I enjoy reading her funny and intelligent columns.

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