Late Night Open Thread: Trolling

drone skeet
(Matt Davies via GoComics.com – click link for full-sized image)

Because I was raised by wolves Celts, I cannot resist taking an unholy glee in the confusion of my enemies. Roy Edroso at the Village Voice admires the deftness with with the Obama administration swatted the Skeeters:

We have observed once or twice before that, at this point, President Obama seems to be trolling his opposition. The thickness with which he laid on the contraception issues at last year’s Democratic Convention, for example, seemed ill-advised until the general conservative flip-out (and Obama’s reelection) made it look brilliant.

The recent gun control furor seems to be similarly engineered. Whenever Obama makes a mild move in the anti-gun direction — like his nothingburger executive actions a few weeks back — the brethren go berserk, and ordinary Americans looking at the two sides are encouraged to think Obama’s isn’t the crazy one.

Last week, damned if Obama didn’t do it again, with first an assertion and then photographic evidence that he had been skeet-shooting at Camp David…

And while we’re discussing Repub perversity in all its infinite variety, here’s Dave Weigel at Slate:

[L]et’s kick Dick Morris while he’s down. He wasn’t merely an inaccurate pundit. He was a con artist. He used his Fox News hits and Hill columns (he still has the columns!) to pitch candidates that he would concurrently schlep to people who signed up on his mailing list. Hey, did you listen to me on TV and hear about my website? Great! Donate to the Super PAC for America, which will plow money back into list-building and completely fail to elect any of these candidates.

Fox News elevated Morris from a pundit to a Republican activist, a speaker at Tea Party rallies and Republican events. Eleven months ago—i.e., with plenty of time to go before the election—Morris spoke at a Lake County, Florida GOP meeting and tried to auction off a visit to the Fox News studios. Fox News suspended him, briefly, but the scandal should have been even more embarrassing than that. Morris was presenting his employer not as a news organization, but as a helpful part of the struggle. At the same time, he was undermining the news organization’s utility to conservatives by using it as a forum to profitably, baselessly promise that everything was gonna work out.

The whole party seems to be reduced to “who’s grifting who”

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69 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Am I the only person awake around here?

    Hoping to fall back asleep following a truly impressive coughing fit and a curative slug of Nyquil. Maybe I’ll wander downstairs and see if any of the Night Crew are around.

  2. 2
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    that VV piece is superb. so much crazy.my partner is convinced that that was actually the onion.

  3. 3
    Danack says:

    Shirley, “who’s grifting whom” ?

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Dick Morris must have some hidden charm because I can’t imagine anyone taking anything he says seriously. He’s a hustler. And I doubt anything he did/said could embarrass Fox News. Look at all of the other hustlers who host shows on that “fair and balanced” channel.

  6. 6
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  8. 8
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Fox News suspended him, briefly, but the scandal should have been even more embarrassing than that. Morris was presenting his employer not as a news organization, but as a helpful part of the struggle.

    i.e., as they are. The only people who think FOX News is a news organization are the rubes, and Jake Tapper. But I repeat myself.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    @Sly: Great read, thanks.

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    You think that maybe Doug Galt is secretly advising your President?

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I too am having mighty coughing fits this week. I hate the coughing even more than I do the blocked respiratory passages, the runny nose or the aching all over. Moan. Whimper.

  11. 11
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @amk: I normally don’t click Politiho on principle, but schadenfreude got the better of me, only to find blinding stupidity like this:

    “The fact that we lost a winnable election has caused Republicans to take this very, very seriously,” Jindal told us in an interview. “I don’t think it’s just a marketing change. I don’t think it’s just cosmetic changes. It is going to require some serious changes, not in principles, but in the way we talk and act.

    So, you know, a cosmetic marketing change.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Anne Laurie: I worked at a CHR when the original came out. My gf at the time laffed and laffed at me yelling “whom! whom!”

  13. 13

    The whole party seems to be reduced to “who’s grifting who”…

    Wierd Al a parody of this song please!

  14. 14
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: omg. i loled so hard. this my friends is the governor of an entire state.

  15. 15

    What I find either deeply disturbing or sardonically amusing is that there are people like the assclown in Idaho who suggested that all high school kids be required to read Atlas Shrugged (as if high school kids need lessons on being self-centered) or the pious jackhole in Alabama who suggested that we should wonder if aborted fetuses go to heaven or hell is that those folks decided to run for public office, got together money and supporters to campaign, and actually won. What the hell does that tell you about us?

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @amk: One high-profile Republican strategist, who refused to be named in order to avoid inflaming the very segments of the party he wants to silence, said there is a deliberate effort by party leaders to “marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots — there’s a lot of underbrush that has to be cleaned out.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/.....z2KD9bCqAC

    Did any mainstream Republican condemn Todd Kincannon for his racist tweets? He was one of their legal counsels and Executive Officers after all. How are they going to marginalize the bigots when there are so many bigots among them?

  17. 17
    Schlemizel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    No, I was awake at the same time but refused to turn the lights on or open the computer in the mistaken belief I would fall back asleep.

    Does anyone else around here remember that Dicky ‘are those open toed shoes?’ Morris used to work for Bill Clinton? I love the big dog a lot but man he could be a lousy judge of character.

  18. 18
    Schlemizel says:

    @Sly:

    Great read, thanks a ton. This con goes back at least to the 60’s. There used to be a ‘wonder drug’ called “Laetrile” that cured cancer. It got pimped in badly reproduced letters that make todays email chains look like slick Madison Ave. campaigns. They got taken down by ’60 Minutes’ and a raft of failed tests.

    The con artists behind that product were huge supporters of some hack actor and they promoted the assclown to run for Governor of California. All that money got him the job & propelled him to greater heights of destruction as President of the United States.

    . . . And now you know . . . the rest of the story!
    h/t to the original ‘Rush Limbaugh’ on radio, Paul, the horse molester, Harvey.

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Remember DMSO?

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    deliberate effort by party leaders to “marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots — there’s a lot of underbrush that has to be cleaned out.”

    Tricky, that. How do they remove their Base without toppling over?

  21. 21
    SRW1 says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I heard his toe licking is spectacular.

  22. 22

    @WereBear: It’s like a giant game of pick-up-sticks.

  23. 23
    mir13 says:

    Jeez, talk about late to the party. Obama has been successfully trolling the opposition and the media (liberal and otherwise) from the very beginning. But, of course, if they don’t see it, it is not real. Eleventy dimensional chess indeed.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    Oh yeah! Another miracle cure that the doctors and pill companies didn’t want us to know about! I wonder who first thought ‘I bet if I drank an industrial solvent I’d feel better!”?

    I don’t know who was behind that though, was it more of the same?

    I know we have our share of cranks & woo-woo believers on the left but there must be some correlation between the mindset that votes Republican and those that think peach pits and solvents are wonder drugs that doctors are lying about.

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @WereBear:

    That was my thought too! If they remove all that there is no party left, just a millionaires boys club sitting around thinking up new ways to screw workers

  27. 27
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Grifters gonna grift. Ain’t nothing going to change that on the right wing, ever.

  28. 28
    Cassidy says:

    Hooray traffic!

  29. 29
    Anya says:

    I find this news outrageous(from TPM):

    Pretty amazed by this. Sen. Levin appears to have consented to Sen. Cruz’s demand for an open-ended investigation into every speech Hagel gave in the last four years and what “foreign governments and foreign agents” may have influenced him.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: As I recall DMSO was sold at roadside boiled peanut stands and flea markets. It sort of died out when the tea-party patriots found new flocks to fleece.

    Breaking news, Mornin Joe is a fucking Barry Manilow fanboy!!!!

  31. 31
    ericblair says:

    @Anya:

    Pretty amazed by this. Sen. Levin appears to have consented to Sen. Cruz’s demand for an open-ended investigation into every speech Hagel gave in the last four years and what “foreign governments and foreign agents” may have influenced him.

    Besides being reason number eleventy thousand why the Senate is fucked, Sen. Cruz’s beef with Hagel is that certain foreign government and foreign agents haven’t influenced Hagel enough.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    First time I ran into it I was with my lovely BIL driving from Phoenix to Tucson, I asked “Whats DMSO?” because I saw a sign at a road-side stand.
    He said, “Damn Mexican selling oranges”

  33. 33
    hep kitty says:

    Well, I don’t have fantasies much anymore but I had a fantasy about an actor (I won’t say who b/c everyone will make fun of me, I never go for the usual hot stuff) but I was calling him “Dell” in my dream and then I looked him up this morning and found out his middle name was Dell.

  34. 34
    Anya says:

    @ericblair: Why is Sen. Levin legitimizing Cruz’s lunacy? That’s the outrageous part.

  35. 35

    Weigel wrote: “he was undermining the news organization’s utility to conservatives by using it as a forum to profitably, baselessly promise that everything was gonna work out.”

    Well, no, He was upholding the news organization’s goals.

    Conservatism isn’t a political philosophy in this country today, it’s an effort to get resentful whites to sit through ads for Goldline. Morris did his job, just like Peggy Noonan, George Will, Michael Barone, et al. Whoever said that making sense or winning elections had anything to do with it?

  36. 36
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Probly right at Picacho Peak!

  37. 37
    Ben Cisco says:

    For all those wishing for the meteor already, nope, not yet.

  38. 38
    Schlemizel says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    craaaaap

  39. 39
    redshirt says:

    @Ben Cisco: Patience. It will come. It will come…

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    Hey, Raven. Noticed that TCM will be airing The Deer Hunter later today. Idly curious as to what you might have thought of it as a ‘Nam-era film.

  41. 41
    redshirt says:

    Are we East Coasters freaking out about this storm yet? If not, when is a good time to start freaking out? I’ve already bought all the bread. All of it.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @NotMax: God I hated it. Such total bullshit from start to finish. The stuff in the states was well done except that the deer hunting scene was so obviously NOT Pennsylvania, it was Mount Baker Washington. DeNrio running around in his SF uniform with a goddamn goatee?. Just go down to the airport and fly back to the Nam, yea right? Juts happen to be in the same pow camp with your buddy from home. Fucking awful. Try Go Tell the Spartans, 84 Charlie MoPic, The Anderson Platoon and the Face of War (last 2 are documentaries)

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @redshirt: They were all over it last night.

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @redshirt: What kind of storm name is Nemo? Hopefully he disappears before he does to much damage.

  45. 45
    Dave says:

    They lack any principles and they care about nothing more than making money, so everyone is in on the grift. Eventually they are going to eat themselves.

  46. 46
    mir13 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: No Republican, mainstream or otherwise, has condemned the racist tweets of Todd KKKincKKKannon. I don’t this re-branding thing means what they think it means. This wasn’t even a slo-pitch right over the plate. This was on a tee and they didn’t even take the bat off their shoulder. They have pooched big-time for a party desperate for minority outreach. But Obama has them so busy doing flips to see who can be the biggest, bestest AntiObama, that the GOP doesn’t have time to even attend to this fire. And so it will go on consuming more and more of their house until it done burnt down. They cannot stop. It is who they are. It is why they will lose. Fuck ’em

  47. 47
    ericblair says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I know we have our share of cranks & woo-woo believers on the left but there must be some correlation between the mindset that votes Republican and those that think peach pits and solvents are wonder drugs that doctors are lying about.

    I think there’s a lot of commonality. You’ve got a bunch of people who don’t get the scientific method, and feel (a lot of the time rightly) that they’ve been poorly treated by the medical community and have an ax to grind. Since they don’t get how these treatments are developed, it sounds like the doctors telling everyone what to do because they can.

    So, if they’re an authoritarian, doctors aren’t in their set of proper authorities (anymore), and they don’t listen and instead listen to the preacher/boss/whatever and whatever woo they want to push. If they’re antiauthoritarian, they’ll automatically reject anything they perceive as arguing from authority, and the woo pitch for them always involves sticking it to The Man.

    Not that traditional medicine is perfect: it’s got a host of things you can bitch about, and has enough internal woo and poorly researched standard treatments, as well as a patient care side that can suck. But that’s fixable, and relying on treatments that nobody’s every properly tested is not going to help this.

    And, oh yeah, a lot of antiauthoritarians aren’t that at all, but actually are authoritarians that love them some power but are pissed they don’t have any. So some organizations try to put a rebel in charge to shake up the system and empower the people, but end up with an environment where Stalin would think they should lighten up.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @redshirt: New England certainly is. Nothing but comparisons to ’78.

  49. 49
    redshirt says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This morning they’re talking 16-24 inches of snow and 35+mph winds, lasting over 24 hours. Fun times!

    I’ll be eating bread.

  50. 50
    Schlemizel says:

    @Dave:

    So, literally they will eat a bag of dicks! How ironic given the number of times they have been told to do that!

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    Interesting.

    Even at the time of its initial release, I thought it was a schizophrenic product.

    As a character study and small scale depiction of group dynamics, thought the U.S. scenes worked well much more often than not.

    The Viet Nam scenes, even then, struck me as being there more for shock value and, for me, impeded the narrative rather than edifying it. Also, the VC were played as barely two-dimensional stock villains.

    Oh, would add one more to your list (one we’ve both mentioned previously): The Odd Angry Shot.

  52. 52
    Schlemizel says:

    @ ericblair:

    Thats the best explanation I have heard. I know there are a bunch of anti-authority types on the left but I guess many have a better belief/understanding of science so somewhat less woo.

    And I have noticed they always pitch their shit to “THEY don’t want you to know / won’t tell you”. Sort of like the Nigreian scam letters actually preferring bad grammar as it weeds out people bright enough to not fall for the con.

  53. 53
    GxB says:

    @Ben Cisco: I like to see it as a brushback pitch. A little chin burner to get humanity to stop hogging the plate. Fat load of good it’ll do, but hey, can’t say we weren’t warned.

  54. 54
    ericblair says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I know there are a bunch of anti-authority types on the left but I guess many have a better belief/understanding of science so somewhat less woo.

    I don’t know myself, and of course woo/not-woo is sometimes hard to discern. But I think it’s a fundamental lack of understanding that the scientific method at its core is supposed to mean: we people make mistakes, and a lot of the time we believe what we want to believe instead of what we think actually works, so we have to have a way to figure out the difference for things in the material world to avoid fooling ourselves.

    Essentially it means that we people are prone to making mistakes and we’re not sure about the world, which is hard for people to swallow (if they ever get that far in their understanding). People just see it as SCIENCE!!! with the lab coats and the machines that go ping and react.

  55. 55
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Schlemizel: I’ve always thought of the cranky alt-med stuff as more left than right, politically. Maybe that’s just because of the anti-vaccination people, who skew liberal.

    But then on the other hand there are things like the weight-loss products sold through MLM schemes, which have a huge overlap with the religious right.

  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It was primarily the anti-vax people I was thinking of when I mentioned left/woo.

    Its a funny world when even your superstitions are tied to your politics B-{D

  57. 57
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …Though I think the stuff that drives me up the wall that left anti-authoritarian folks are driven to most often is probably the UFO conspiracy stuff.

    Especially the kind that claims it’s all about the Air Force squirreling away secret Nazi antigravity technology. It dovetails to some degree with legit investigation into military black projects, but it burns me when this stuff shades into abject ignorance about how science works. I have a hard time believing that a law of physics easily exploitable enough that you could use it to lift a bomber with 1940s tech could remain hidden from open investigation for over half a century.

    I remember a peculiar map of UFO incidents in the US collected by the J. Allen Hynek center. Of course, taking the map at face value was itself a leap of faith, but the thing that stood out like a sore thumb is that the rate of reported UFO sightings/abductions is way lower in the cultural South than it is everywhere else. I still haven’t figured out quite why that is; “strongly religious people don’t see UFOs” and “mostly white people see UFOs” are plausible hypotheses, but the low-UFO region fit those things less well than it did former Confederate membership. Maybe the aliens just avoid the land of Dixie.

  58. 58
    GregB says:

    GOP dilemma 101.

    If we marginalize the haters, bigots and cranks who will show up for our primaries?

    Yet it is quite schadenfreudelicious to watch them turning their well honed knifes and skills at character assassination and salt the earth destruction inward for once.

    The GOP is now suffering the fate of those on the raft of the Medusa.

  59. 59
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Everybody’s grifting. Everyone. It’s the last viable business we have left in this country.

  60. 60
    handsmile says:

    @Matt McIrvin: , @Schlemizel:

    I may be mis- or underinformed (and I often am), but could you acquaint me with just who or what organizations identified as “left” or “liberal” are promoting anti-vaccination policies? As a proud and life-time member of that tribe and a subscriber to many of its newsletters, I’m hard-pressed to think of any.

    Former Playmate Jenny McCarthy has a prominent role advocating such nonsense, and I seem to remember former GE chairman Jack Welch and his wife Suzy, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, peddling the notion that vaccinations were a leading cause of autism. I think it would be a bit of a stretch to consider any of these worthies as “liberals.”

    Again, I could be quite ignorant in this matter, and would be sincerely interested in learning more about it.

  61. 61
    Jebediah says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Maybe the aliens just avoid the land of Dixie.

    I assume they were observing the Civil War and thought “They’re fighting and dying so they can do what to their own kind? Let’s stay away from those particular critters…”

  62. 62
    Gex says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I think there is plenty of the non-traditional medice crap on the right too. Aliens, Big Foot, etc. I think those are non-partisan nonsense beliefs.

    It’s just that right wingers scream about gubmint, browns, and Jesus instead of about supplements and vaccinations. I think you just hear the nonsense more directly from non-right wing people.

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @handsmile: It’s mostly individuals, not political organizations. That’s one of the big left-right differences when it comes to anti-science woo: on the right it’s more likely to get adopted by mainstream organizations.

    One of the highest-profile antivaxxers is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who gave the movement a huge boost in a Rolling Stone article about a supposed CDC conspiracy to keep thimerosal in vaccines.

  64. 64
    Toast says:

    Ah, the Grand Old Ponzi marches on.

  65. 65
    handsmile says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Appreciate your reply. That’s disappointing to learn, as Kennedy has a distinguished record for his environmental advocacy.

    Googling for the RS article, I find that it’s behind a paywall. Evidently it continues to be controversial and its findings discredited by some, viz. its retraction by Salon editors. There is an interesting and informative link to the website “Retraction Watch,” which FPer Tom Levenson was promoting here recently.

  66. 66
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    This former cops manifesto against LAPD is another example of failed mental health, IMO.

    Suffering from depression he killed his former Captains daughter and fiance, then killed a Riverside police officer.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....esto-.html

  67. 67

    @Raven: you got a problem with Barry Manilow, bub?

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @Jebediah:
    You beat me to it.
    I was going to take a slightly different tack though.

    I see the aliens are not just smart enough to be able to figure out usable long distance space travel but smart enough to find out the better travel destinations so they don’t waste their valuable time.

  69. 69
    Ben Franklin says:

    LAPD used to be an elite law enforcement org. When a cop starts killing cops, it’s more than a disgruntled former employee…..brain tumor or anti-depressant drugs?

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