Now, THIS is how you troll

Noam Chomsky is trolling the ENTIRE left wing of American politics:

Noam Chomsky, who’s written over 100 books, has said the former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee was right about Barack Obama’s 2008 election slogans.

The guy hasn’t been relevant to pretty much anything in about three decades, and hasn’t said anything different or original in that time either.  To say nothing of the fact that his understanding of actual living people and what motivates them has never been any deeper than the superficial academic level as we all know.  Isn’t it precious how much the right wing, generally populated by people with the same 1/4-inch deep intellectual understanding of actual human beings as Chomsky himself is so excited about this?

Let’s face it, while The Onion had his number two years ago, they could have done this satire on him in 1990 and it would have fit just as perfectly.

346 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    Chomsky is the original Firebagger.

    he’s the patron saint of those for whom public displays of ideology are infinitely more important than the messy and compromise-filled realities of having to deal with people who don’t agree with you 100% of the time (aka “politics”).

  2. 2

    Why do they say Democrat Party? Is it a badge of honor to sound illiterate?

  3. 3
    Bartleby says:

    And you can’t spell Chomsky. With a Y.

    Just saying.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: To piss you off.

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    Perhaps like Duff Clarity, Noam should declare his fealty to the GOP now.
    Because the oppression is the same, but the taxes are lower!!

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Epater le bourgeois is a non-partisan game anyone can play… and it doesn’t look a whole lot different even when the players change.

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cleek: I tried to read a Krugman piece about Summers and Yellen this week, and in the first paragraph he started banging his drum about the Stimulus again. He can’t seem to wrap his brain around the whole “how a bill becomes a law” thing.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    I really need to read the Onion more.

    Chomsky, who often defines himself as a libertarian socialist…

    And they didn’t even have to make up that part.

  9. 9
    c u n d gulag says:

    Jeez!
    And here I though he was dead.

  10. 10

    @raven: Mission accomplished!

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It pisses Democrats off, and it’s shorthand for “I say Democrat Party, not Democratic Party, because there’s nothing democratic about it – they’re a bunch of faggy elitists who want communism so they can enslave us all! But I’m on to them!”

    (Then they’ll unironically switch gears and start talking about how we’re a republic, not a democracy).

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    Other Onion headlines: “Goldman Sachs Announces They’re Blowing Up a Nursing Home and There’s Nothing Anyone Can Do About it,” and “Mother Surprised Son Needs So Much Ammunition for First Day of School.”

    On to Chomsky: meh.

    How long until his comments make it to Newsmax?

    Because he’d be such a reliable source for them usually, right?

  13. 13
    Warren Terra says:

    Chomsky’s political and international-relations analyses are simplistic, shallow, and Manichaean (though nonetheless it was extremely important to me growing up that I was exposed to these counterpoints to conventional ideology, even as I disagreed with how far Chomsky took his line of argument). There are a lot of reasons to criticize or be disappointed in Chomsky: he lets himself be used by the malign and the disreputable, etcetera. And he gets fooled by his extremist friends.

    Still, let’s not forget that he is a genuinely great person. He was out in front in resisting imperialist wars by America when that was controversial and hard to do. What I particularly remember was a dozen years ago, when his Turkish interpreter was in prison facing serious charges for translating Chomsky’s comments on the Kurdish national question and their treatment by Turkey, Chomsky, who must have been at least 70 at the time, hopped the next flight to show up in court and announce that if anyone was going to jail for writing those words, it would be him. That is the kind of courage, integrity, and compassion we can all respect.

  14. 14
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The guy hasn’t been relevant to pretty much anything in about three decades

    Hm.

    You can accept cleek’s definition, but still see the relevance of people who define a hard edge to politics, because a politics that is solely about messy compromise is bullshit — it’s Tip and Ronnie at the bar, the triumph of High Broderism, the reign of the Very Serious, etc.

    If the Teabaggers proved anything, it’s that when a bunch of radical idealists engages in public displays of ideology that scares the shit out of elected officials, it can deliver something a bit closer to what those radical idealists want than the alternative.

    Also, it’s Chomsky. Unless you want to be Spoonergrant from now on?

  15. 15

    Has anyone ever seen Chomsky on TV, I have never seen him, not even on C-SPAN or on PBS on one of the Bill Moyers programs.

  16. 16
    Tripod says:

    I see what you did there. Golf clap.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    Chomsky’s been trolling liberals for a very long time. Try googling ‘”brad de long” chomsky’ to get some flavor of it. Also, fwiw, the ‘chomsky takedown’ seems to be something of a rite de passage among linguists, and google will lead you to many.

  18. 18
    muddy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That way they can pronounce it DemocRAT and snicker to themselves.

    At least it makes aural sense, most of the times they try to change the name it leaves you shaking your head like when a small child tells you a knock knock joke.

    Knock, knock! Who’s there? Spider. Spider who? Spiders are gross, hahaha.

    Anyway a strict Libertarian told me recently that this is not a democracy anyway. So there! The whole party name is now meaningless! Silly libtard!

  19. 19
    smintheus says:

    There’s nothing exceptional in what Chomsky is quoted saying. The gist is:

    Chomsky says he agrees with the Tea Party favourite that Obama’s “Hope” and “Change” messages were just marketing pabulum. “[It’s] understood by the people who run the political system, that it’s no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza to keep away from issues,” he said. “It’s sort of a marketing affair. And the people who run it are the advertisers.”

    I guess that’s why none of what he said is addressed here.

  20. 20
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Ah, nice trashing soonergrunt, but he was basically saying that Obama’s 2008 campaign was mainly empty slogans. Which was sort of true. How much hope and change has Obama really provided? Not much, it has been pretty much federal government business as usual. But I guess trashing everyone who is a progressive makes you a true liberal around here, as per the response of commenters.

    But you know, you could have argued the substance of the point he was trying to make, or you can misinterpret, tar him as being on Sarah Palin’s team, and trash his character. As we saw, you did the latter. Good job!

  21. 21
    Bruce Lawton says:

    What right did this asshole have to preach at me back in the day? None. So his existence is totally inconsequential and annoying.

  22. 22
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Warren Terra: No no, “guy on blog named “Soonergrunt” has spoken, and has sat in judgment on the life’s work of Chomsky, whose risking everything to try to stop the Vietnam War displayed no grasp of the problems of “real people” since the working class recruits sent to die there were all robots from MIT, as I recall. As were the inhabitants of the country.

    This is simply pathetic.

    Guy at Balloon Juice by the way who left out “While I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin” before the Chomsky quote.

    You know, up to a point, I would have sort of agreed with this post, at least about him trolling, though only trolling places like Balloon Juice. Of course, Chomsky isn’t saying that he agrees with Palin on what she would propose instead of the Obama hope and change promises (see the part of the quote omitted), but by saying that Palin was actually right about, well, anything, he’s definitely being deliberately provocative.

    It’s after that where you go off the rails.

    The thing is, there are actually any number of people quite squarely in the “left wing of American politics” who level the same “where did all the hopey changey stuff go” terms. Obviously you get to disagree with them, but the arrogance of stating bluntly that they don’t exist is pretty stunning.

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    News flash: radical voices disappointment with elected liberal! In other news, water found to be wet, and dog bites man!

  24. 24
    Anya says:

    I don’t mind Chomsky disagreeing with President Obama or even slamming his policies. It’s clear that not a single president or presidential candidate will have Chomsky’s foreign policy stand, but I am disappointed that he is legitimizing the mocking words of an empty shell like Sarah Palin. What a disappointment.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    There’s nothing exceptional in what Chomsky is quoted saying.

    True, except this:

    “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was right,

    The rest of what he’s saying is that Barack Obama was successful in a system Chomsky disapproves of. The only option for noble, principled souls is to stand on the sidelines in righteous impotence, either soulfully and sadly sighing like Chomsky, or snottily sneering like the little Naderite @Socoolsofresh:

  26. 26
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Exactly.

  27. 27

    And Gitmo is still open, the USA is still at war in Asia, the banksters still have their jobs, the USA is still mired deep in depression, the NSA is still Hoovering up every bit of communication it can get its hands on, …

    But what, hey, the king can do no wrong.

    I suppose I am trolling, too.

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    There is still a list of bad things that are bad! Let’s be upset together!

  29. 29
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    but he was basically saying that Obama’s 2008 campaign was mainly empty slogans. Which was sort of true

    Seeing how he has failed to follow through on both his promise to expropriate the expropriators, and his plan to seize the commanding heights of the economy in the name of the people, there’s no way in hell I’m voting for Obama again.

    Being burnt twice is enough. Besides, Hillary will do that stuff in her first term, mark my words.

  30. 30
    Yatsuno says:

    A TBogg unit on a Saturday? GIT ER DONE!!!

  31. 31
    Anya says:

    @Socoolsofresh: He didn’t need Sarah Palin to make that point. Sarah Palin is a despicable, divisive grifter who used her supporters’ prejudice and ignorance to whip them into frenzy against the black guy. Is that what Chomsky is associating himself with?

  32. 32
    smintheus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Like a stopped clock, Palin was right that Obama’s slogan’s were vapid. “Hope” is not a proper political slogan – except maybe under a totalitarian regime that you’re trying to overthrow. It’s a state motto. It’s what people live upon. That’s like making “Oxygen” your campaign slogan.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Anya:

    This. Never invoke Palin if you want to be taken seriously.

  34. 34

    Isn’t anyone the least bit disgusted? What does it take?

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Politicians using slogans is blatantly unfair. And I hear they’ve been using something called “Rhetorick” for millennia.

  36. 36
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Naderite, hilarious. I know you guys have a great need to pigeonhole and categorize everyone, so that you can easily blow them off, but try again.

  37. 37
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven on the Hill: I hear being a po-faced mock-sorrowful nincompoop trying to dish out guilt trips on the Internet does the trick. You could try that!

  38. 38
    AxelFoley says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    New troll in the house, huh?

  39. 39
    Geoduck says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: About once a decade or so Chomsky is allowed to appear on television, whereupon he makes a typical Chomsky statement and is promptly banished back to the hinterlands. To me, being so thoroughly reviled by The Serious People indicates the man is doing something right.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Politicians using slogans is blatantly unfair.

    I blame Tippecanoe.

    And that asshole Tyler too.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @AxelFoley: I thought it was the same person who used to say “corvids” all the time.

  42. 42
    Keith G says:

    @smintheus: @Socoolsofresh: Both y’all point to a issue that I find frustrating. If you are going to critique someone’s ideas, maybe you write more than four sentences. Engage in a process for pete’s sake.

    I would always bring this up in 2008 to those family members who would flat out bark, “Obama’s awful. Just a big government socialist.” I would always ask for specifics and make the discussion begin there.

  43. 43
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Guy at Balloon Juice by the way who left out “While I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin” before the Chomsky quote.

    Guy at Balloon Juice who thinks that this needs to appear in the OP for Juicers to understand that Chomsky doesn’t usually admire Palin.

    This is simply pathetic.

  44. 44
    fuckwit says:

    Dude, read that. That’s not Chomsky trolling. That’s our fucking right-wing corporate media trolling– and twisting Chomsky’s words to that end.

  45. 45
    Yatsuno says:

    @AxelFoley: Old old old firebagger round these parts, but really got into it when Obummer disappointed it on Inauguration Day 2009. Never turns ire to Congress. Funny, that.

  46. 46
    hells littlest angel says:

    Yeah, well Saul Alinsky once got annoyed at a cashier who was BLACK.

  47. 47
    Mino says:

    Hmm. We never saw who introduce Sarah into the conversation, did we?

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: “How’s that likey-Ikey stuff workin’ out for ya?”

  49. 49
    J.Ty says:

    His contributions to computational linguistics shouldn’t be dismissed, though. Still a very important man.

  50. 50
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Anya: So if Obama says something about Reagan, is he associating himself with Reagan? That’s ridiculous. If you actually read the article he mentions her in one sentence. Definitely not ‘associating’ with Sarah Palin.

  51. 51
    Ripley says:

    Trolling the trolls with a troll’s quote that honors a troll. Balloon Juice, Supercharged Page-Hit Engine!

  52. 52
    fuckwit says:

    @smintheus: Hope is what you need in order to accomplish anything. Look at all political movements. Hope is what kees you going when oppression is grinding you down. If you don’t have hope, you give up. If you give up, the machine that’s grinding you down wins. Hope is not in the least bit vapid, it’s a prerequisite for action.

  53. 53
    Tripod says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You mean drinking Pepsi might not actually be fun or keep one young? Perish the thought.

  54. 54
    IowaOldLady says:

    I’m listening to news from the March in DC. One of my uncles was at the first one, though he always claimed he and his buddy went to find a cold drink and missed Dr. King’s speech.

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @J.Ty: And his premise that an utterance could be grammatically correct, but still semantically nonsensical is proved anew every four years, when there’s the GOP primary debates.

  56. 56
    Warren Terra says:

    @The Raven on the Hill: Well, yes, you are trolling, at least in some respects. My key word is “Gitmo”: as soon as Obama is blamed for Gitmo I know I can discount the speaker as a fool or a knave. Obama tried to start resolving the worst problems at Gitmo, and a Federal Freaking Law was enacted to stop him. The Senate voted 92-to-0 to insist Gitmo get no better. The other issues you mention are less clear cut, but are similarly issues where an elected President has less ability to change course than you seem to think.

  57. 57
    Linnaeus says:

    If you watch the clip in the linked article, you get the full context of what Chomsky meant. Now, one can certainly challenge his analysis of political campaigning in the U.S., but he’s not endorsing Sarah Palin’s ideas, to the extent she has any.

  58. 58
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @The Raven on the Hill: Don’t worry. These guys consider trolling to mean, not agreeing with Democratic party line.

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Warren Terra: How did the status quo ante get that way? Let’s ask Davis X. Machina.

  60. 60
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Keith G: Oh now it is on us to explain that. How about if Soonergrunt expands on his ‘Chomsky hasn’t been relevant in 30 years’ argument? He is obviously not expanding on anything.

  61. 61
    shelly says:

    “was right about Barack Obama’s 2008 election slogans.”
    **********
    Simply repeating the phrase ‘How’s that hope and changey thing?” over and over and over does not constitute an actual argument.

  62. 62
    Suffern ACE says:

    A throw away line in an otherwise unremarkable interview from a guy who hates public relations.

  63. 63
    piratedan says:

    Howard Johnson is right!

    Let’s wire the Governor for a new Sheriff!

  64. 64
    MomSense says:

    Anyone remember what Clinton’s campaign slogan was??

  65. 65
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Still, let’s not forget that he is a genuinely great person. He was out in front in resisting imperialist wars by America when that was controversial and hard to do.

    Agreed.

    @Anya:

    I am disappointed that he is legitimizing the mocking words of an empty shell like Sarah Palin. What a disappointment.

    Exactly. There are plenty of people who share Chomsky’s values who have said something similar. Why not cite them? Oh right — trolling.

  66. 66
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I think the points of the OP are:

    1). Chomsky isn’t saying anything that differs essentially from anything he’s been saying for decades.

    2). Bringing Palin into this time-worn conversation adds nothing to it but agitation.

  67. 67
    Botsplainer says:

    The role of loser shitheads like Chomsky and Griftwald is to mainstream total assholes like the Paul’s and other gadflies by use of single issues where there might be some convergence.

    Consider:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.co.....rn_Avenger

    In the middle of a pretty fascinating rant about Bruce Fein (who is acting as Lon Snowden’s lawyer, Lon being Edward’s father) on NSFW, I saw something that actually made me lose some more respect for Greenwald, which I didn’t think was possible. His associations with the racist Pauls is pretty bad, but they at least are part of an actual power structure and you can make a case for working with them on legislation.

    But the article, rather casually, revealed that Glenn Greenwald had been a speaker on something fatuously named The Young American Liberty Tour “with three civil liberties experts,” titled “The War on Terrorism, Civil Liberties, and the Constitution’.”

    That’s a lot of liberty.

    The other two experts were that selfsame Bruce Fein, a weird perpetual GOP sleazeball, and Jacob Hornberger, who thinks the US was better off before the Civil War.

    The real 5-alarm bell-ringer, though, was the moderator, Jack Hunter, the goddamn luchador of the losers, the Southern Avenger.

    Stuff like this makes me want to travel to Brazil to have a personal chat with Griftwald.

  68. 68
    Tripod says:

    Don’t worry – the masses are sure to rally round the revolution once football season is over.

  69. 69
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Jesus Christ.

    Chomsky has pinched off tiny turds containing far more intellect than exists in Soonergrunt’s entire murderous body.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    If Noam Chomski’s beef is that Obama and Biden marketed their empty slogan better than McCain and Palin did theirs, it doesn’t sound like much of a complaint at all. For better or worse, marketing a slogan has always been part and parcel of political campaigning. If he’s completely ignoring the vast gulf between the Democratic and the Republican parties in policy substance and approach to governance, and asserting that marketing is the only real difference between them, then he’s just being a shallow git.

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MomSense: don’t stop thinking about tomorrow?

  72. 72
    shelly says:

    “Anyone remember what Clinton’s campaign slogan was??”
    ************

    “I feel your pain.”

  73. 73
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tripod: Only we have to knock off for the NCAA’s in March. And the NFL draft… Trotsky’s conception of the permanent revolution is incompatible with the preoccupations of the modern working class.

  74. 74
    fuckwit says:

    Umm, what all are we reading these days besides BJ?

    I used to be a Great Orange Satan man myself, but shit got too ridiculous there, mostly the Obot-vs-Firebagger troll wars like the ones that seem to be developing here. Stopped reading when it got to that.

    BJ appears to be jumping the shark now too.

    Any interesting alternatives?

  75. 75
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Plus, of course, he is exactly right on this topic as per usual: HOPE AND CHANGE never was anything more than a cynical marketing slogan, signifying nothing. As BO’s five year reign of fail proves out.

    Jesus Christ.

    Brainless military killing automaton fucking SG calling out Noam Chomsky as an intellectual lightweight.

    There are not enough lulz on the intertrons…

  76. 76
    jamick6000 says:

    Noam Chomsky agreeing with one thing Palin said ——-> TROLLING
    Obama’s Reagan worship ———–> nuanced political wisdom

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    And how does a linguist of all people even mention Sarah Palin without spontaneously combusting?

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @shelly: Heh. I was gonna go with “She’s my cousin!”, but then I thought MomSense meant Hillary ’08 and I am genuinely stumped.

  79. 79
    J.Ty says:

    @Davis X. Machina: To be fair, a *truly* colorless green idea *would* have prevented Benghazi and cut taxes on the 53% also too furiously.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    Jesus christ, every whiny dickhead on the fucking planet showed up for this thread. Can’t wait for football.

  81. 81
    gogol's wife says:

    @fuckwit:

    I hate to say it, but this is my fear — that Balloon Juice is becoming unreadable. There are still redeeming features, but they all seem to have to do with cats.

    I used to be able to get a kind of overview of what’s happening in the world through the distinctive Balloon Juice prism (not PRISM), but lately, one tired story has been dominating the predictable discussion. I don’t know why Glenn Greenwald has such a hold on this blog.

  82. 82
    gogol's wife says:

    @Baud:

    These days, thanks largely to Chomsky, being a linguist doesn’t mean you have any particular feeling for any particular language, including English.

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’ll share that concern.

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    I don’t understand why that particular combination of words is always quoted as “extreme cynicism” because they’re always like that:

    Gore:

    Leadership for the New Millennium
    Prosperity and Progress

    Here’s Clinton:

    For People, for a Change
    It’s Time to Change America
    Putting People First

    I actually remember Putting People First. For some reason that’s memorable.

  85. 85
    Botsplainer says:

    A comment from Gus on the LGF thread.

    The squabbling Edward Snowden suitors share more than their mutual adoration for the Paul dynasty. Last year, Glenn Greenwald and Bruce Fein did two major college campus tours together, one in winter 2012, and another in autumn 2012. The Greenwald-Fein tours were by sponsored by two pro-Ron Paul libertarian outfits: Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a Ron PaulJugend outfit; and the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), a libertarian outfit specializing in publishing far-right “historical revisionism” about who’s really to blame for the Civil War and World War II, along with the usual libertarian drivel attacking public schools, civil rights laws, social welfare programs, and regulations on the tobacco industry.

    How progressive.

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    This is pretty vague:

    To Begin Anew… Gene McCarthy 1968

    Anything could happen pursuant to that :)

  87. 87
    srv says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Has anyone ever seen Chomsky on TV, I have never seen him, not even on C-SPAN or on PBS on one of the Bill Moyers programs.

    Uh, like a progressive ever had a microphone in this country.

    He was on the foreign news all the time in 2003 & 2004. You know, protesting that war thing when a democrat couldn’t be found anywhere to represent the “not” war thing.

    RT and that evil-muslim network A-J, he’s on there. Maybe if they had tote bags for y’all.

  88. 88
    muddy says:

    @fuckwit: Well said.

    In addition, I think the level of hysteria in the current Republican freakout is a reflection of change as well, or at least of their recognition that it is coming fast and they can’t stop it.

  89. 89
    Ramalama says:

    Should also point out Norman Q Chomsky was on the FBI Watch list or Hit list for years. For what? For pointing out the Goddamn lies the US govt was telling the citizens, and for violating our own agreements/laws.

    And he was preparing, like Daniel Ellsberg was, on having to spend serious time in prison for his anti-VietNam, anti-Kissinger stances/writings/protests. This was a threat held over his head for YEARS. You try living like that.

    Sure, he’s the guy who avoids the lemonade and focuses on the lemons. But he’s not wrong about US politics being a marketing campaign. So what if he’s got one thing in common with Palin? Grow up.

  90. 90
    Botsplainer says:

    More fun on the Hunter/Paul/Griftwald convergence from the LGF thread.

    Googling Young Americans For Liberty brings up this site with a cute, inviting youtube video embedded which, in its first 8 secs, tells you it’s the nation’s largest and fastest growing libertarian and conservative organization. About half way through its 2 min 16 seconds, you discover that Young Americans for Liberty is allied with Americans for Prosperity, the American Majority, The Campaign for Liberty, Freedom Works and the Leadership Institute, and that its goals are to win at least 25 elections on behalf of these fine institutes. You also get hit up for a donation. They’re pretty up front about who they are. No beating around any bushes whatsoever.

    So, I have to wonder what on earth a fine, dudebro, progressive, far-left liberal journalist such as Glenn Greenwald was doing, trying to help win at least 25 elections on behalf of the AFP, Freedom Works, the Leadership Institute and the American Majority. Did he, exemplary journalist (cough) that he is, not realize what the goals of the organization he was speaking for were? Did he just not do even a 3 minute google on Young Americans for Liberty? I find that very hard to believe. Or will he just speak for anyone who will pay him enough? Would the KKK be a group he wouldn’t directly associate himself with? How about Fred Phelps?

  91. 91
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @jamick6000:

    Hmmm…Agreeing with the message versus appreciating the way the message was conveyed. Kill the messenger!

  92. 92
    Freemark says:

    You know who else hasn’t been relevant in 30 years? Krugman. Being correct doesn’t make you relevant. Chomsky has been much more often correct than not correct for the last 30 years, but I would agree he isn’t relevant. The people who have been correct have been irrelevant for a long time and that is by design.

    If you listen to Chomsky’s entire interview you know this post is hogwash. And Chomsky is CORRECT in most of his criticism. I would vote for Obama again if I could go back in time, but the people saying Obama can’t do anything, CONGRESS BITCHES!, are full of shit

    Obama could have not focused on DEFICIT REDUCTION, he could have stopped the DRONE BOMBING, he could have PROSECUTED bankers for fraud, he could have greatly reduced NSA spying, he could have gotten more stimulus the first time through. These are things Obama had full, or a great deal of control over and he CHOSE to not do them. I still think Obama is a good President. But he has also been wrong on a number of things that you can’t blame on Congress.

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @fuckwit:

    I might try LGF if it gets bad here. I’ve never commented there but it seem the most like this place. I still like most of the folks here though.

  94. 94
    Nate Dawg says:

    “OHHHHH-klahoma, where the trolls come waddling to the web”

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suffern ACE: So a public figure will occasionally say something for public consumption that isn’t exactly what he would say on a different occasion, or might be more of a provocation or a shortcut that leaves a certain impression about a larger point? Interesting. You know who might have some thoughts about that? This famous linguist whose name I forget.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Chomsky’s most serious error recently was dismissing the racist overtones of the teatard movement and falling for the totally artificial “we’re concerned about the deficit!” crap. These vile people didn’t so much as make a peep when the deserting coward was borrowing and spending like a poet on payday for his tax cuts for the 1% and two wars, one of which was utterly illegal and immoral, the first outright war of aggression by a major power since 1939. Then, suddenly, like a light switch was turned on, they were deeply concerned about the Federal deficit right around 8PM PST on 4 November 2008.

    Stick a fork in Chomsky. He’s as done as the Nader twit.

  97. 97
    trollhattan says:

    Upon the launch of our Afghanistan adventure (free fries with each new decade!) Chomsky was on my radio, droning (heh) on about the REAL reason we were there: to build a pipeline in order to enrich…somebody.

    Is that fucking pipeline done yet? Because we should really get out of there.

    I decided to not take him seriously after that.

  98. 98
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    Hey, Noam Chomsky was smart enough to know that the Khmer Rouge and Mao weren’t that bad. He clearly divines political truth where the rest of us are led astray by slogans. And that “Hopey Changey” stuff? Any married Gay person and all our American soldiers in Iraq can tell you what bullshit that was.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t understand why that particular combination of words is always quoted as “extreme cynicism” because they’re always like that:

    People expected more, or better, or different this time, or something. Even the cynical, or cynically inclined. (Raises hand, points to self…) Not sure why…

    Part of it was the times — the fall of 2008 was really, really scary…people desperately wanted something to stop the fall down the elevator shaft.

    Part of it was the symbolism. We were moving forward as a country, in one highly…ahem… visible way. Why wouldn’t everything also move forward? After baptism and a new life shouldn’t things be different?

    Part of it was the candidate himself, regardless of his background or color… Who was the last rock-star candidate?

  100. 100
    Tripod says:

    @shelly:

    Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow….. also, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    No wonder Nixon won.

  102. 102
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @trollhattan:

    Is that fucking pipeline done yet? Because we should really get out of there.

    We will never leave, because of the oil. It’s why we’ve still got thousands of troops in Libya, and tens of thousands in Iraq.

  103. 103
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Freemark: he could have gotten more stimulus the first time through

    That was close. I almost started to answer you. Now I see you’re a complete fucking moron.

  104. 104
    Alexandra says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Chomsky’s most serious error recently was dismissing the racist overtones of the teatard movement and falling for the totally artificial “we’re concerned about the deficit!” crap.

    Because serious. That’s why.

    Anyway, John Pilger > Noam Chomsky.

  105. 105
    namekarB says:

    Chomsky gets a rise out of the left and Soonergrunt gets a rise out of the readers. I feel like I have been double trolled.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: Is there a way to begin things without so much troubling newness? I’d consider voting for the candidate making _that_ promise.

  108. 108
    Arclite says:

    @Chris: Yeah, I remember when Chris Matthews called out Darrell Issa for using the term “Democrat.” I thought it was pretty awesome.

  109. 109
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Eh. He said he thought the “hope and change” stuff was just a marketing gimmick, and he didn’t expect much from Obama.

    How is this trolling? Okay, he invoked Sarah Palin. Yeah, that’s kinda like trolling. But it’s also kind of like “Even George W. Bush tried to expand health care for seniors! Today’s Republicans are trying to take it away!”

    But I see this as small potatoes. Yeah, it’s not going to make him “relevant” but nothing will. Which is better? To be “relevant” or to try to express something important to yourself?

    I just read that Columbus, when he found Cuba, basically enslaved and murdered all of the people living there. (Well, he had help from his fellows, of course.) How many? Maybe a million, maybe as many as 8 million.

    Bring that up, and you’re not going to be relevant. No one wants to hear that and be reminded of that. But if you care, you still have to say it. And if you instead choose to paper over that in hopes of being relevant, well, does that say good things about you, or bad things about relevancy?

  110. 110
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    We have “tens of thousands” of troops in Iraq? Uh, citation needed.

  111. 111
    Tripod says:

    Happy days are here again

    Thanks FDR

  112. 112
    Yatsuno says:

    @trollhattan: There is a huge amount of mineral wealth in Afghanistan, including a shit ton of rare earths that are used in every smartphone in existence. If the Afghans could get to a stable government again (LONG LIVE THE SHAH!!!) they could provide for the needs of their people for decades. This would involve us getting the fuck out and ensuring that the gains the citizens have made (especially in women’s rights) are protected. That won’t be easy.

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: Snarkometer. Please to be adjusting.

  113. 113
    eric says:

    @Betty Cracker: let’s not forget the Manufacturing Consent is one of the most insightful books written on Media and has become the accepted understanding as to how corporate interests manipulate information in concert to achieve their political ends. And, importantly, the “in concert” is not conspiratorial, but merely the common interests of common actors leading to common outcomes.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo: Imagine. Conquistadors, conquering people. Historians should have warned us by giving these malefactors a name that would tip us off to their tendencies.

  115. 115
    Poopyman says:

    Still, the fact remains that Nixon Was The One.

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Davis X. Machina: (Raises hand, points to self…) Not sure why…

    Me too. The why for me was that I thought enough Republlcans were disgusted by Bush that there might actually be some cooperation, not just from the Snowes and the Specters but from people like Lugar (and no, I have never mistaken Dick Nixon’s protege for a moderate, I just think he wasn’t completely brain dead on foreign policy). And while John McCain’s tantrum didn’t surprise me, the length and intensity of it did; also that he paid no price in the Beltway for Sarah Palin.

    I always think the most under-discussed aspect of Obama early presidency was Judd Gregg accepting and then withdrawing from Obama’s cabinet. Granted, he was just looking for an easy kick upstairs on his way to retirement, but I think he pretty much thought the game had changed. Still hard to believe an apparent weasel like McConnell could be so effective, but he was.

    Second place goes to Evan Bayh’s efforts to form an official “Blue Dog” (I think he used that term) caucus in the Senate. “We” never had sixty votes.

  117. 117
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “Historians should have warned us by giving these malefactors a name that would tip us off to their tendencies.” If only there had been an irascible linguist around to warn the Aztecs. Tsk.

  118. 118
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: We have to. It’s the oil. It’s always about the oil. Is the oil still there? Yes. So there must still be US forces there. It’s logical.

    I learned a particular way of looking at the Middle East about 35-40 years ago. It served me well for many years, and now I’m too old and tired to bother picking up any new ones. I know I should read Juan Cole and stuff, but it’s too much like work.

    Besides, I’ve done a lot with the time saved not bothering. You should see my raised-bed gardens.

    Anyhow, US imperialism is indivisible, eternal, and unchanging. So the whole exercise is unnecessary.

  119. 119
    Ramalama says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: Look. The slaughter under Khmer Rouge and Mao did not meet the definition of genocide. Noam was being technical, because (wait for it), he’s a linguist. There was at one time an actual number of people who had to be killed for the genocide to be attached to it. I don’t know if that’s true now. Not his rules. I can’t remember which organization it was, but it wasn’t some third wing under the rock council of left wing navel fuzz pullers – it was probably some UN council that held the standard.

    I recall people going berzerk because when he made that statement (probably statements), he didn’t qualify it by saying, “but of course it’s still a terrible thing to have happened.” Why didn’t he qualify it? Because it’s bloody obvious that it’s a terrible thing.

  120. 120
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is there a way to begin things without so much troubling newness?

    Hah!

    I like this Gore one because it’s very Gore-ish, to me, and I mean that to be complimentary:

    Prosperity and Progress

    Old fashioned. It could be Teddy Roosevelt. It’s dignified, godamned it.

  121. 121
    Rex Everything says:

    This argument—“Chomsky doesn’t understand actual people or how the real world works”—is one of several that’s simply so wrong-headed I can barely believe you’re serious.

    Over and over Chomsky says that when election time rolls around, you should go out and vote Democrat. I remember him excoriating Any Goodman for her suggestion that Naderites attach a list of demands to their vote for John Kerry in ’04. He was like (I paraphrase) “Demands? Are you crazy? They aren’t nearly enough people, they have no clout, they can’t make demands of Kerry.” He said in ’08 and ’12 that the difference between Republican and Democrat was pronounced enough to make it worthwhile to vote for Obama.

    Then, he says, when it’s not election time you should be politically engaged in your community and active in seeking out or helping create alternatives to institutions that wield exploitative power.

    I simply don’t understand how this is objectionable at all, or clueless at all, by Balloon Juice (or any other) standards.

  122. 122
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Okay, that made me laugh.

  123. 123
    trollhattan says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Pre-Soviet invasion Afghanistan might very well have been able to develop those resources. Today’s mess…I wonder how it’s possible, even without the vast assistance towards stability they’re receiving from our good friends in Pakistan.

    Whether we leave in a month or five years, I can’t see the paper-like political structure remaining intact after we’re gone. Not reason enough to stay IMHO.

  124. 124
    eric says:

    @Rex Everything: You are 100% correct. What is worse is the malevolence that drips off the lips of his critics as if he is the one perpetuating the wars of aggression pursued by the military abroad, our police here, as well as the war on equality and fairness coming out of the neo-liberal Washington consensus types.

  125. 125
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Davis X. Machina: “We have to. It’s the oil. It’s always about the oil. Is the oil still there? Yes. So there must still be US forces there. It’s logical.”

    Ah, the Mencken solution: clear, simple and wrong. There are no US combat troops in Iraq. If you want to go all Alex Jones on me and assert that we’re secretly keeping Marines on the ground in the middle east, I’ve got a magic bullet to sell you.

  126. 126
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @raven:

    Yes, you are here.

  127. 127
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Balloon Juice is becoming unreadable.

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    You should probably stop coming by here.

    Totally up to you though.

  128. 128
    Yatsuno says:

    @trollhattan: Afghanistan needs a rallying point, an Ataturk, some figure that is capable of uniting the disparate factions into a single government. Karzai ain’t that figure, not by a long shot. But we have no obligation to stay around until they figure that out. Now if we could just get the ISI to stop being so duplicitous, that would help. But that would mean finally solving the India/Kashmir/Pakistan issue, and there are just too many people making too much money for that to happen.

  129. 129
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    Okay, he invoked Sarah Palin. Yeah, that’s kinda like trolling.

    No, that is trolling. Trolling is a fishing term. Pull a shiny lure behind a slow moving boat in order to catch the attention of the fish.

    Chomsky could have made his point without invoking Palin. He hooked viewers/listeners/readers with her as the shiny lure.

  130. 130
    Nate Dawg says:

    The title of the post is brilliant, because yes, *this* is how you troll.

  131. 131
    Nate Dawg says:

    The title of the post is brilliant, because yes, *this* is how you troll.

  132. 132
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Ramalama: In re the Khmer Rouge, I was referring to Chomsky’s habit of attributing the sins of the Khmer Rouge to Western Imperialism, and disputing the accounts of Cambodian refugees who criticized the Khmer.

  133. 133
    muddy says:

    @Kay:

    I like this Gore one because it’s very Gore-ish, to me, and I mean that to be complimentary:

    Prosperity and Progress

    Old fashioned. It could be Teddy Roosevelt. It’s dignified, godamned it.

    I think Progress and Prosperity is much better. The first implies we have prosperity and then will “spend” it on progress. Progress? What’s the matter with olden dayz etc! The other way to, it implies that we have to start with progress in order to get prosperity.

    I’m sure this small change would have made all the difference.

  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Part of it was the times — the fall of 2008 was really, really scary…people desperately wanted something to stop the fall down the elevator shaft.

    I get that. I think it’s completely valid, too, as a complaint. Just for the record, though, the slogan I heard all the time was not “hope” or “change” but “yes we can” which is fine, but always struck me as problematic after a campaign because obviously campaigns are short. Easier as a campaign slogan than as a governing scheme. It’s a big country :)

  135. 135
    fka AWS says:

    @Baud: I have been lurking at LGF and notice a lot of nyms I recognize.

  136. 136
    muddy says:

    @Kay: At the time, I don’t guess that many of us realized the extent of the “No You Can’t” that was to follow.

  137. 137
    ricky says:

    What do linguists do for a living?

  138. 138
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: Hey, the thread title is “Now, THIS is how you troll”…..

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: The conquering and enslaving part is, to use a technical term, bad. The part where a person is surprised to learn about it…

  140. 140
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ricky: Hang out at the X-bar.

  141. 141
    Hal says:

    And yet every last disappointed liberal who is heartbroken over Obama’s inability to render the USA a paradise will line up to vote for Hillary in 2016. Wash rinse repeat. Liberals are always fucking disappointed.

  142. 142
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Well played, Sir.

  143. 143
    quickbiscuit says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Bravo.

  144. 144
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baud:

    I might try LGF if it gets bad here.

    I think that’s best, yes.

    I hear they have excellent apps assuring a completely, hyperbarically sealed echo chamber environment for you.

  145. 145
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @muddy:

    Or that the “we” would devolve down to a “he” once the election was over.

  146. 146
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    These vile people didn’t so much as make a peep when the deserting coward was borrowing and spending like a poet on payday for his tax cuts for the 1% and two wars, one of which was utterly illegal and immoral, the first outright war of aggression by a major power since 1939. Then, suddenly, like a light switch was turned on, they were deeply concerned about the Federal deficit right around 8PM PST on 4 November 2008.

    Oh, I’m sorry…did you mean the Teatards?

    I was just certain you were talking about the Democratic party, GWB’s best friends in the day…

  147. 147
    trollhattan says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Sadly, yeah. Am very concerned (but…is it trolling?) about two nuclear powers–not terribly stable ones–staring at one another across Kashmir. Climate change could trigger war in the region, e.g., over control of the dwindling Himalayan water resource or because of a Bangladesh diaspora when they get hit dead center by a Class 4 typhoon.

  148. 148
    Donald says:

    Chomsky has made a second profession of pointing out the hypocrisies of mainstream political thinking in the US as anyone would see them from the outside. What he said about Obama’s slogans was boring because it was obviously true. “Hope and change” is just marketing crap. What’s really interesting is why anyone would get excited by this one way or the other. Well, actually, no, that’s not interesting either.

    As for being out of the loop for decades, sure, if you don’t care about US human rights violations, nothing he said was ever relevant. Sarcasm aside, if you are willing to get your information directly from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations and carefully read other critics of US foreign policy, like Greg Grandin or William LeoGrande or Rashid Khalidi or Norm Finkelstein or various others, there’s no need to read Noam. The current issue of Harpers (not online) has a superb article on the use of economic sanctions by the United States and the harm they do to innocents. I don’t bother with Noam much myself anymore. Lots of others do what he did for so long.

  149. 149
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Haha for all these people who are getting upset that not all the commenter’s on this blog are lock-step authoritarian democrat cheerleaders, there is always little green footballs.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @muddy:

    Right. It’s that “we” that causes all the problems :)

  151. 151
    Donut says:

    @MomSense:

    Also. the man from Hope (as in Hope, AR)

    @Kay:

    “Bridge to the 21st Century” was one Clinton used a lot in ’98. So he branched out a but for the reelection.

  152. 152
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Dear Sir or Ma’am: I find you neither cool nor fresh. Please explain.

  153. 153
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community:

    our American soldiers in Iraq

    The U.S. has thousands of embassy personnel and mercenary contractors in Iraq to this day.

    There are many thousands more in the countries surrounding Iraq.

    You are a dishonest, Obot troll.

  154. 154
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Botsplainer: Wow, not a thread on GG but couldn’t help yourself. Your obsession with him is actually sort of scary. Good thing he lives in Brazil cause I could actually see you trying to hunt him.

  155. 155
    chopper says:

    and out comes the purity brigade.

    had the please of seeing chomsky speak a few months back. he’s old and doesn’t move very quickly, but he’s still got it.

    of course, he’s still got his complete and utter lack of understanding of realpolitik.

  156. 156
    Yatsuno says:

    @trollhattan:

    Climate change A butterfly in a gun sight could trigger war in the region

    FTFY. It really is a tense thing. Oddly enough I’m with the separatists on this. Let Kashmir be an independent buffer zone. But the war pigs need fed. You think the MIC only exists in the US?

  157. 157
    Tripod says:

    I’m still waiting for my grand bargain.

    Thanks Obama

  158. 158
    Rex Everything says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Chomsky’s most serious error recently was dismissing the racist overtones of the teatard movement

    WTF are you talking about? Chomsky said they were fuckin’ brownshirts!

    “I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio, and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering.”

    http://www.progressive.org/wx041210.html

  159. 159
    Freemark says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I am surprised you didn’t call me a MORAN as that appears to be your level of intellect. Everything I said Obama could do is correct, including the about first stimulus. He got the amount of stimulus he thought we should have, he ignored advisers who thought we should have more, and he mad no attempt to get more. Almost anyone who understands negotiations knows he could have gotten more, he didn’t think it was needed. He made a mistake that was his fault. He CANNOT get it now no matter what. Maybe you should know upon what you speak in the future.

  160. 160
    max says:

    @namekarB: Chomsky gets a rise out of the left and Soonergrunt gets a rise out of the readers. I feel like I have been double trolled.

    Actually, Chomsky was referring mainly to the fact that ‘advertisers run the political system’ – and if you saw the wall-to-wall political commercials on TV circa August-November 2012, I expect you would find it hard to disagree with the substance of the assertion.

    The National Post, the Canadian equivalent of the Washington Times, the place that used to publish Mark Steyn and David Frum in the WWIV period (and is now working the Krauthammer/Applebaum angle of your right-wingery – look at the Commentary section if you don’t believe me) got all excited about a Democracy Now interview (by Amy Goodman, an actual Naderite) and the Post pimped the Sarah Palin angle, because SARAH PALIN!1!

    For reasons that elude me, this got Soonergrunt all excited.

    At any rate, asserting that a broken clock was right twice a day is not a troll. It might be contrarian, it might be flamebait, but it’s not a troll. Now the National Post could maybe be considered trolling because SARAH PALIN!1! when she has hardly anything to do with it. Maybe Amy Goodman ‘SarahNet’ who appears to be the right-winger running the Youtube channel (she/he/it links to Pajamas Media and whatnot), which made the minicut from the interview.

    But even were Chomsky trolling, going, ‘WHEE! I’m so excited! I’m being trolled, goodie goodie let me gooble the hook!’ is… well, that’s just self-trolling. Or masochism.

    max
    [‘Really people.’]

  161. 161
    cleek says:

    @muddy:
    seems more like it turned into “Nah, we won’t. You do it, instead.”

  162. 162
    Rex Everything says:

    BTW I love how Botsplainer is sourcing his claims to some guy in the LGF comments.

  163. 163
    Linnaeus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I think the points of the OP are:

    1). Chomsky isn’t saying anything that differs essentially from anything he’s been saying for decades.

    Chomsky can be repetitive, but many of the problems that he’s spoken about over the past 40 years or so are still with us, so maybe what he’s saying needs to be repeated, especially when it’s a perspective you don’t hear often in mainstream U.S. media.

    2). Bringing Palin into this time-worn conversation adds nothing to it but agitation.

    I wouldn’t have brought Palin into the conversation myself, but he’s saying that the problem is a systemic one. I don’t think he’s wrong on that.

  164. 164
    Cacti says:

    Can Noam also see Russia from his house?

  165. 165
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Thirty years? I think you overstate things a bit. He was fine during the Iraq War debacle (although by then he wasn’t saying anything other members of the left weren’t saying as well or better). Definitely relevant at least through the 80s. I would say through the Clinton Administration too (fuckin Albright). Definitely the 80s.

  166. 166
    Donald says:

    @Rex Everything: It’s objectionable to some here because either you support Obama and never say anything really harsh about him, or you are really just a Republican. The goal posts have shifted from “don’t ever support a third party candidate like Nader” to “don’t ever agree with anything any leftwinger might have said in criticism of the Democrats”.

  167. 167
    cleek says:

    @Cacti:
    of course he can. that ivory tower is plenty high enough.

  168. 168
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Ted & Hellen: We have no combat troops in Iraq, sparky. And the total amount of contractors in Iraq is just over 12,000 people, counting American citizens and foreign nationals working for the DOD AND the Dept of State. That doesn’t equal Davis’ “tens of thousands” of troops by any stretch. Please proceed to fuck yourself.

  169. 169
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Manufacturing Consent was relevant when it was published less than thirty years ago. Some of it is outdated, but the gist is still relevant.

    Chomsky’s new stuff post the early 2000s is probably outdated. His early work though, that earned him his reputation, is absolutely not outdated.

  170. 170
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Warren Terra: this is very true. Chomsky is kind of like Howard Zinn. Very important to young activists and lefties. Hopefully they grow out of them, but they are not bad starting points for a college freshman.

  171. 171
    muddy says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): @Kay: I thought it was unfortunate in 2009 that after being such a dynamic campaigner, he just sat down quietly at his desk and worked. I prefer that in a president, but clearly the media and the general public don’t.

  172. 172
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Freemark: Maybe you should know upon what you speak in the future.

    Swing and a miss!

    Your understanding of politics is matched by your command of the English language.

  173. 173
    Baud says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    hyperbarically sealed echo chamber

    LGF has got one! Good bye, all. I’ll miss you.

    Enjoy T&H’s company.

  174. 174
    Rex Everything says:

    @Donald: I know. I mean it’s gotten braindead.

    The mentality here used to be that not voting, or voting for Nader, was too stupid and suicidal in a practical sense to be taken seriously as an idea. I don’t go along with this level of dogmatism—to me the “purity” people seem deserving of respect—but I understand it.

    But lately even people like Chomsky, who say quite explicitly that you shouldn’t “waste your vote,” are dismissed with the exact same type of contempt, just because they criticize the party. It’s really not reasonable.

  175. 175
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    I try not to attribute insightful comments to Chomsky because the name comes with some baggage. But I appreciated him being against the illegalization of denying the Holocaust in…was it Germany or France (I know it’s illegal in Germany not sure where else). He was right then and now that it is not the state’s place to *enforce* historical truths.

    He’s also a very patient man if you watch him respond to people. Like any other human being he is complex. I admire him and strongly dislike him at the same time.

  176. 176
    Cacti says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    So, Turd, how disappointed were you when you found out that the driver of the getaway car in the Christopher Lane shooting was a white kid?

  177. 177
    MikeBoyScout says:

    A broken clock is right twice a day. Dr. Noam seems to have missed this fact in his “analysis”.

  178. 178
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community:

    You’re clearly impaired and can’t read, so I’ll repeat:

    The U.S. has thousands of embassy personnel and mercenary contractors in Iraq to this day.

    There are many thousands more in the countries surrounding Iraq.

    I note how carefully you’re choosing your weasel words.

    Also too: Why do old guys use nicknames like “sparky” when responding to commenters they disagree with? Is that some sort of 1950s put down slang? Please to explain.

  179. 179
    Splitting Image says:

    Tell me:

    Does this post have anything to do with the fact that Barack Obama said something nice about Ronald Reagan once or twice?

    Edit to add: I’m just asking because the post title is “This is how you troll”.

  180. 180
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baud:

    Enjoy T&H’s company.

    We will!

  181. 181
    muddy says:

    @cleek: I agree that a lot of people were self-congratulatory and thought they were done. After all the last administration won “won” elections and then got to do as they pleased.

    Clearly people who felt this way have never dealt with a cornered animal or pushed back on entitled bullies, else they’d known the worst was to come.

    “Always darkest..” etc.

  182. 182
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Freemark: This is like Now That’s What I Call Politics, 2009 Edition! Yes, he barely got what he did get only because 3 senators made him reduce it, but if he said the right incantations, I mean “tried harder,” it would have been more!

    Order now and you’ll also get “Negotiating 101!” “Bully Pulpit!” “Donnie McClurkin!” And all the hottest political jams of late 2008 and early 2009!

  183. 183
    Cacti says:

    @cleek:

    of course he can. that ivory tower is plenty high enough.

    Chomsky has been penning polemics and jeremiads for 5 decades now, and they’ve resulted in the following policy changes…

    *crickets

    Small wonder he’s the patron saint of the upper middle class white left.

  184. 184
    Donald says:

    @Rex Everything: Yep. And here’s Chomsky from an interview earlier this year–

    “Ah, sort of. I mean Massachusetts happens to be a safe state, it’s gonna go Democratic, so I voted for Joel Stein, Green candidate, nice person. But if I had been in a swing state, I would have held my nose and voted for Obama because the alternative was—you know I don’t like him and his associates, the alternative was much worse. These things make a difference. Given U.S. power, it makes a difference whether say, if Bush was in office or Gore.”

    Obviously unacceptable sentiments for some. You can’t just support Obama’s re-election, you’ve got to love him.

  185. 185
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You know what kind of person would do that kind of thing, applying nicknames to people they disagreed with on the Internet? Obots.

  186. 186
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I got “Sparky” from Bartcop. He’s about your age, Spatula. My apologies for carefully choosing my words. I thought we were discussing facts and the facts is, we don’t have troops in Iraq. If you read the numbers at the link I provided you, honey, you’ll note that there are less than 3000 “private security” contractors included in that number. Please let me know how that whole “fucking yourself” thing is going.

  187. 187
    Cacti says:

    At least Ralph Nader can point to some tangible accomplishments as a consumer advocate.

    Noam…not so much.

  188. 188
    Baud says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, you won’t, since deep down you hate yourself.

    Anyway, tata.

  189. 189
    Long Tooth says:

    The deal is Chomsky is largely correct-a-mundo about Palin’s 2008 accusation.

    It’s just some Obama admirers have thin skin where the mildest criticism of the man is concerned. But I guess that’s true with every president.

  190. 190
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Cacti: Ya okay, cause now Chomsky is a politician.

  191. 191
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Long Tooth: The deal is Chomsky is largely correct-a-mundo about Palin’s 2008 accusation.

    Which “accusation”? that politicians and political strategists use marketing techniques? I don’t actually recall her saying that. I don’t think her shallow sarcasm ever reached that (very banal) level of analysis. She was just tossing some stale applause bait to a bunch of howler monkeys who would refuse a cure for cancer, or more aptly, diabetes, if Obama had anything to do with it. A windy old man hugged a skunk and got some stink on him, people noticed. Not a huge deal.

    This is just a blog, folks. I’m commenting here because I’m procrastinating before I start cleaning my kitchen. I’m not under the illusion I’m gonna change Noam Chomsky’s mind about Obama, or anyone’s mind about Noam Chomsky.

  192. 192
    Chris says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I hate to say it, but this is my fear — that Balloon Juice is becoming unreadable. There are still redeeming features, but they all seem to have to do with cats.

    I was practically at that point towards the end of Matoko’s run, when you could reliably expect her to pop up every few conversations and proceed to fling shit until whatever the conversation was had been derailed onto whichever one of her three or four pet topics (Bell Curve, missionary democracy, libertarians and cudlips) she felt like talking about that day. Then she got banned and stayed banned, and the blog could breathe again.

    Troll control. Sadly, No! manages it just fine without too much trouble and without having to suppress actual debate.

    (Wingnut style “if you don’t like America Balloon Juice, you can GIIIIIIT out!” admonition from resident troll in 3… 2…)

  193. 193
    Freemark says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Really, do have no idea what negotiations are like? Obama could have absolutely done better, he made numerous bad decisions and the first one was on what he actually wanted and starting with that. The arguments that Obama negotiated against himself are absolutely true. As someone who has had to negotiate for many of my jobs I can tell you he fucked up. Do I think he fucked up on purpose, no. He asked for what he needed and then negotiated from there. That is a major fuck up. Assuming he ended up getting all of what could be gotten because of the close vote is sadly mistaken. There is very little doubt he could have gotten more if he had started from a higher position and had actually thought we needed more stimulus. At that time the crazies didn’t completely control the house and the Senate was doable.

    Of course he couldn’t just get what he ‘wanted’ just by asking for it but that is basically how he acted. Everything coming from the advisers he listened to indicated we needed ‘this much’ so that is what he went to congress with and that is essentially what he got. It was ‘tax cuts’ vs real stimulus where the negotiations happened. But, this is important, he actually thought 700 billion or so was enough, Obama and his advisers were wrong. Krugman and others were right. Obama started off the negotiations technically poorly and with incorrect assumptions. There is a very high probability he could have gotten significantly more if he and his team had done a better job.

    He screwed up, it happens. Not liking to admit he screwed up is normal too. Get over it. Learn from past mistakes. He screwed up during the PPA negotiations too, people, even Presidents, make mistakes. He appears to have learned from his mistakes, maybe we should too. But you can’t learn from them if can’t admit to them.

  194. 194
    Jane2 says:

    @gogol’s wife: “Trolling” = has become to mean on BJ “you said something with which I don’t agree.”

    @eric: Agree…Chomsky’s points in Manufacturing Consent are still relevant today. And his work on transformational grammar is also still relevant (and for those of you who want to jump on that and say, oh but linguists disagree…well that’s called academic debate. Deal with it).

  195. 195
    Long Tooth says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Did I say it was a big deal? Did I deny that politics utilizes marketing strategies? Did I imply Balloon Juice is more than a simple blog?

    Nope, I didn’t.

  196. 196
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    If the Teabaggers proved anything, it’s that when a bunch of radical idealists engages in public displays of ideology that scares the shit out of elected officials, it can deliver something a bit closer to what those radical idealists want than the alternative.

    It was people like Chomsky that made hippie punching the sport it is today. The Teatards are already the favorite butt of the mocking class.

  197. 197
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Freemark: You’re adorable. Key Senators decided that anything (ETA) too close to $1 trillion dollars was too much, because it is a big number. For a stupid reason, they weren’t going that high (end ETA). The end. You’re falsely projecting a negotiation where two parties sit at a table because both of them want to agree on something onto Congress, a place where a huge number of people are quite happy not agreeing on anything, then proudly blaming someone else for what goes wrong.

    Now do “Public Option.” Here, I’ll spot you the first line. “He should have started by asking for single-payer, and then the public option would have been the middle ground, but he conceded in advance, and now we don’t have it!”

  198. 198
    Heliopause says:

    Now, THIS is how you troll

    Yes it is, Grunt, but it goes without saying that in his very long career Chomsky has seen much more substantial attempts at trolling him than your effort above.

  199. 199
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: Deep down? You think there’s a “down” there, let alone a “deep”?

  200. 200
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jane2:

    “Trolling” = has become to mean on BJ “you said something with which I don’t agree, which is alright, but then you proceeded to call me an authoritarian/fascist/murderer-and-rape apologist.

    FIFY

    Or has that sort of thing managed to elude you in the past?

  201. 201
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Key Senators decided that $1 trillion dollars was too much,

    Pelosi, too, not necessarily because she thought it was too much, but she knew she couldn’t pass it in the House. I love the way this one thinks his/her work in real estate gives an accurate perspective on passing a bill in Congress.

    @Long Tooth: No, you didn’t. In your post, I was struck by (besides “correct-a-mundo”) your assertion that Chomsky was right about something Palin didn’t say. I was reacting to other people acting as if Chomsky is being unfairly attacked.

  202. 202
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jane2:

    And if you really need an example of trolling, go take a gander at this comment on the next thread up.

  203. 203

    @Yatsuno: Which separatists? JKLF is pretty much defunct and many separatist organizations are a front for Pakistan. The Indian state of Kashmir, includes Jammu and Ladakh, which have Hindu and Buddhist majorities respectively and want to stay with India. What happens to them. Also what about Azad Kashmir, or as India likes to refer to it Pakistan Occupied Kashmir? Who exactly is going to ensure the neutrality of Kashmir?

    Kashmir problem will not be solved unless Pakistan gets its act together. They have never forgiven India for helping in the formation of Bangladesh. I have to also add that India’s military forces have not covered themselves in glory in dealing with the civilian population of Kashmir.

    I don’t see a solution to this problem.

    ETA: JKLF: Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Kashmir’s homegrown separatists,

  204. 204

    @Socoolsofresh:

    How much hope and change has Obama really provided? Not much, it has been pretty much federal government business as usual.

    He changed things so that my wife with a host of pre-existing conditions could be able to buy health insurance that didn’t push my family into penury, which I’m totally sure that John McCain would have done in a world where pigs fly out of my butt, so please, just walk away from your keyboard now and stop talking.

  205. 205
    Jane2 says:

    @Comrade Dread: That is the fundamental policy shift Obama has accomplished, and despite the posturing of the detractors, as in Canada after Tommy Douglas did the same thing in Saskatchewan, affordable health care will continue to expand.

  206. 206
    Heliopause says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Chomsky doesn’t come up often in mainstream liberal blogs but when he does there is a very important thing to always keep in mind; you’re going to run into an awful lot of commenters who’ve obviously never read him.

  207. 207
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’ve heard that Columbus was responsible for the deaths of many “native people,” but that they directly enslaved and brutally murdered upward of a million people wasn’t *quite* what I’d heard. Face it; those fuckers were more efficient than the Na – ah, the people who you can’t mention if you want to be “relevant”.

    And I can easily see people taking that and saying “*Fuck* relevance; I need to talk about this!”

  208. 208
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    So if Obama says something about Reagan, is he associating himself with Reagan? That’s ridiculous. If you actually read the article he mentions her in one sentence. Definitely not ‘associating’ with Sarah Palin.

    That’s disingenuous – Chomsky knows what a hot button Palin is for the left and there was no reason to refer to her, except to be an asshole. That’s why it’s trolling.

  209. 209
    Jane2 says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I don’t see that as trolling. His point is polemic in style, but there is a point. Trolls never have a point to make.

  210. 210
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I didn’t exactly disagree – I just pointed out that throwing out an idea for shock value doesn’t equate to trolling in the standard sense. e.g., (as in the example I provided) if someone tried to shame Republicans by pointing to George W. Bush trying to expand health care for seniors.

    Trolling is something where intent matters. Was he trying to get people to stop and think, or was he just trying to get a “bite”? I don’t know. But I won’t argue the point, because, yeah, Palin.

  211. 211
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I love the way this one thinks his/her work in real estate gives an accurate perspective on passing a bill in Congress.

    It’s not entirely irrelevant as long as you also include in your perspective everyone who doesn’t yet want to buy or sell a house, and as long as you entirely exclude that the MLS allows everyone to know what the market price is, at least within a narrow range. No one thinks it’s a good strategy to list a house for $1M when no previous house in the area has ever sold for more than $350K. Regardless of how great a house it is, what it’s going to sell for has a hell of a lot to do with the market and local conditions. People don’t just say “Everyone just wants to meet in the middle, so I’ll ask for the moon at get halfway there easily! It’s Negotiating 101!” When this happens on HGTV, viewers want to throttle the aggravating buyers and sellers. Yet somehow when it comes to politics, it’s genius and/or obvious. Feh.

  212. 212
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo: Fair enough, I was just using your comment as a premise for a joke. But of course there’s a difference between bearing witness to tragedy and having a good idea about how to address it. For instance, poison gas in Syria. Obviously awful. Obviously makes terrifying images we shouldn’t ignore. Worth getting into a war over? Well, there’s the quandary. Even when you succeed at calling attention to something that can no longer be ignored, then what? What happens next? The clamoring for attention part is the easy part (for a pundit/commentator at least — less so for those on the ground personally).

  213. 213
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    I just read that Columbus, when he found Cuba,

    Then you need to do better reading. Columbus wasn’t governor of Cuba.

  214. 214
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I was hoping for your perspective on this. :) I thought that JKLF was still kicking or that some other movement had subsumed their role since there was a few incidents blamed on separatists in the last few years. I defer to your wisdom on that.

    As to Pakistan getting itself together…good luck. Many of the elite of Pakistan make a very decent living off the current status quo. Plus the ISI keeps their gravy train flowing as long as the chaos (that they keep causing) keeps rolling along. There are too many vested interests in maintaining the unrest in the west and the tumult in Kashmir for too much change to occur. And ordinary lives get sucked up in the chaos. It sucks.

  215. 215
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    What Chomsky is doing here is not only trolling, he’s engaging in the exact behavior he’s criticizing in Obama…he’s calling attention to his message by being provocative.

    That’s what “hope and change” was all about…calling attention to the candidate. Now, apparently, it’s just fine as long as Chomsky’s doing it, but heaven forfend Obama did it.

  216. 216
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I’m legitimately wondering because I’m not familiar with sooner-how is he a murderer?

  217. 217
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Comrade Dread: Okay tell me what to do. You have a personal example and that’s great. He might have inched something forward in healthcare, but the majority of his policies has been business as usual. So if that is all you got, it is pretty weak tea.

  218. 218
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jane2:

    Except the point that he was trying to make- clarified in a later comment- was that voting doesn’t matter because the Democrats gave in to GW Bush in 2000, never mind, say, the fight in Minnesota that finally got Al Franken into office.

    He provokes, he berates, he derails, he depresses. He uses hyperbole to bring attention to himself. He doesn’t converse. He adds nothing. That is trolling.

  219. 219

    @Yatsuno: Not really an expert on the Kashmir issue but India has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia, so giving up Kashmir on the basis of religion alone would be an extremely bad precedent to set.

    ETA: That was the rationale behind the formation of both Pakistan and Bangladesh and we know how that turned out.

  220. 220
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Um, you got upset because Sarah Palin was mentioned? I can hear her name and not go into a blinding rage. He said it one sentence, story took it a little out of context, soonergrunt perverted it further, and now we are here.

  221. 221
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Socoolsofresh: All our tea is weak, dude. You either get weak tea or you don’t fucking drink. Either mix a new drink or stop moaning about how thirsty you are.

  222. 222
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Botsplainer has becom an embodiment of Joe Biden’s old comment about Giuliani, except for the ‘splainer, it’s a noun, a verb, Glenn Greenwald.

  223. 223
    NR says:

    Oh wow, somebody on the left said something that wasn’t 100% complimentary towards Obama. It’s the end of the fucking world, better take to the keyboards.

    Meanwhile, in the realm of Shit That Actually Matters, we have this.

    I can’t wait for the Obot brigade around here to comment on this. Oh wait, I already know what you guys are going to say: NOTHINGBURGER!!!!

  224. 224
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Chomsky went out of his way to discount the racial angle in the teatard movement, talking about its concern with the economy and the deficit. What motivated the teatards was NOT the financial collapse of 2008, but the Rethuglican collapse of 2008. All their alleged concern about deficits and depressions was camouflage, misdirection, for their real problem: Obama is both a Democrat (an usurper of the royal line that must ALWAYS be Rethug) and, heaven forefend, NEAR.

    No one seriously disputes Manufacturing Consent‘s major thesis, it’s still there, it’s still real. But Chomsky missed the boat on the teatards.

  225. 225
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    No, the best would be “Progress and Poverty.”
    Henry George. More than 100 years ago, yet he had a better understanding of those words than most people alive today.

  226. 226
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Sooner is a combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. This makes him, obviously, a murderer, at least so far as the vile insect that is Ted & Helen is concerned.

  227. 227
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Um, okay?

  228. 228
    Socoolsofresh says:

    How do you guys like the new Mad magazine cover?

    http://i.imgur.com/eL4x6xe.jpg

    Is it a major or a massive troll?

  229. 229
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Hal:

    And yet every last disappointed liberal who is heartbroken over Obama’s inability to render the USA a paradise will line up to vote for Hillary in 2016.

    Optimist.

    I’m predicting a wave of “NO PRETENDER CAN BE GOOD ENOUGH TO FORCE ME TO VOTE FOR THE COMPROMISED DEMS” right-eousness from all the most courant of our Highly Evolved Commentariat.

  230. 230
    lojasmo says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Huh. Strange, because starting Jan 1 there will be 35,000,000 citizens who will be eligable for health insurance who are not currently.

    Gays are serving openly in the US military.

    Federal benifits will be offered to married gay folks for the first time ever.

    The Iraq war is ended.

    The federal deficit is shrinking for the first time since Clinton.

    Not really empty slogans. More like actual change.

  231. 231
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @NR:

    Oh, STFU! Quit trying to peddle this bullshit.

    There’s a big difference between the institution intentionally abusing rights and an individual doing so. A cop issuing a bogus speeding ticket to his ex-wife’s boyfriend isn’t the same thing as the police department saying “Yeah, hell, issue bogus tickets to your ex-wife’s boyfriend, officer!” And there’s a bigger difference still when such individuals are identified and punished by the institution itself.

    Jesus Fucking Christ…

    It’s like blaming FEMA for fundamental institutional incompetence after Katrina rather than laying the blame on the assholes who tried to destroy the agency by subverting it.

  232. 232
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Jesus, it’s at that again?

  233. 233
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Chris:

    I don’t know why John tolerates that piece of shit because it gets damned tiring skipping over the inane bullshit Timmeh spews incessantly. I’ve cut my commenting down to the bare minimum because by the time I hit a thread everyone is spanking Timmeh and he’s screaming in ecstasy. At that point the topic derailment is nearly complete and there’s nothing to comment on.

    I don’t care for comment ratings at LGF but at least Charles knows how to ban trolls and keep them banned. The conversation is more focused as a result.

  234. 234
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    I’ve heard that Columbus was responsible for the deaths of many “native people,” but that they directly enslaved and brutally murdered upward of a million people wasn’t *quite* what I’d heard.

    Responsible in the sense that he claimed the islands where they lived in the name of Spain and opened the door for the Spanish to colonize them, but Columbus didn’t have any kind of administrative control or governing role.

    And the Taino people of Cuba met the same fate as most of the Native Americans who encountered Europeans: disease, warfare, and slavery, with disease wreaking by far the most havoc since they had no natural immunity to smallpox or measles.

  235. 235
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @lojasmo: I can make lists too.

    Further use of drones for killing people.

    Now president is allowed to decide to kill US citizens without trial.

    Extensively expanded the surveillance state and has made fourth amendment moot.

    Failed to prosecute any Wall Street bankers for the worst economic meltdown since the great depression.

    Still fighting the war on drugs as zealous as before.

    And these are things that cannot be really blamed on congress. Also it makes your little baby steps of a list look pale in comparison.

  236. 236
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If there would be any basis for granting Kashmir independence, it would be for cultural reasons, which does have a basis in Kashmir. But most separatists want another Muslim country there, and that has not worked well at all, though Bangladesh seems to have much fewer issues than Pakistan insofar as Muslim fundamentalism and antagonism towards India. It really comes down to India and Pakistan just leaving each other alone. The nukes didn’t help.

  237. 237
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Ask him how many people he killed in one of the Bush Wars.

    He’ll never say exactly so I’m assuming it’s a high number, plus anyway it’s all good cause someone higher up the chain told him to kill for freedom or something.

  238. 238

    @Yatsuno: No they didn’t and India may elect a right wing true believer as the Prime Minister next year. I has my paws crossed.

  239. 239
    Ramalama says:

    Well, I guess I’ll throw in one more comment just to set everything ablaze (as if these comments have been just brittle tinder): Glenn Greenwald is writing a book on Noam Chomsky.

    Now, avoid cleaning more of that kitchen, or writing that white paper, or wiping your dog’s arse, and disuss.

  240. 240
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I’ve cut my commenting down to the bare minimum

    YAY

    LGF is the place for you, man!

  241. 241
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Will. Not. End. Well. Sigh.

    EDIT: But at least it’s Caturday.

  242. 242
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Yeah, and when everyone leaves for greener pastures, you’ll just follow ’em troll ’em there. It isn’t as if you offer anything like an original thought.

  243. 243

    @Yatsuno: I was actually thinking about India’s partition in 1947, large scale rioting and refugee crisis that followed, that both in Punjab and Bengal. Million dead and millions more homeless. The Bangladesh War in 1971, which gave rise to another refugee crisis, hot war between India and Pakistan and many more dead.

  244. 244
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @smintheus: I guess that’s why none of what he said is addressed here.

    You noticed that too, huh?

    Chomsky pointed out that Palin was right to mock the “Hope Change” meme from Candidate Obama.

    Rather than deal with the problem that this is, in fact, true, given the performance of President Obama, Soonergrunt decided to go ad honimem against Chomsky.

  245. 245
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I hope John enjoys the fact that Timmeh has been actively pushing people who are tired of his shit to leave and doing everything he can to generally shit the place up to encourage it. I would like to see Timmeh try to survive at LGF.

    Maybe he can sell Charles some art and get the same favors he gets here. ;)

  246. 246
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Ooh, ooh, can I play?

    Fossil fuels still being burned.

    Cancers still claiming lives.

    Pointy things continue to make skin go “ouch.”

    Babies still taking fucking forever to acquire speech and mobility.

    Thanks a lot, Obama, nice “hope” and “change” that turned out to be.

  247. 247
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: “Deal with” the problem that political slogans are rhetorical? Yes, surely it was wrong not to cover that in detail.

  248. 248
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Socoolsofresh: “Dancing With The Stars” still on TV.

    Whites and darks still can’t be washed together.

    Starbucks cappuccino never foamy enough.

    Shampoo leaves hair limp and lifeless.

    Lack of soldiers in Iraq takes away your anti-Obama boner.

    Sons of Anarchy bikers too clean, articulate.

    Thanks, Obummer.

  249. 249
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Death

    Taxes

    Thanks, Obama.

  250. 250
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    The guy hasn’t been relevant to pretty much anything in about three decades, and hasn’t said anything different or original in that time either.

    Uh-huh.

    Wasn’t there some quote from one of the Bush cabal back when things started going haywire along the lines of “Maybe the future will assess the Iraq War like Chomsky does, but we have to deal with the here and now!” ?

    Which is a classic case of getting lost and dying in the woods because you were too busy focusing on the trees.

  251. 251
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: There is, of course, the possibility that Cole doesn’t like a subset of his commenters and is actually interested in driving them away.

  252. 252
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Let me see if I can point out the problem with your argument in Soonergrunt terms…

    You f*cking p*ssy! Nothing you say is important, so why don’t you just shut up. Go f*ck a f*ck stick you f*cker!

    There – argument refuted. You’re welcome.

  253. 253
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Comment in mod (Hey, the swearing was in context, okay?)

  254. 254
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Heh indeedy. It is mildly amusing that your list is things Obama isn’t really responsible for, but my list were actual things that he has a lot of power over, so your joke is super lame.

  255. 255
    eemom says:

    Goddammit, I missed another epic flame-ridden afternoon. : (

    Gotta say though, I love Chomsky even if he is a firebagger. In fact he’s the ONLY firebagger I could ever love. Something about his world-weariness is just so endearing.

  256. 256
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    There is , of course, the possibility strong evidence that Cole doesn’t like a subset of his commenters and is actually interested in driving them away.

    Fxt.

  257. 257
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: That’s what you guys love to do, any criticism of Obama and you guys will go off the charts blaming him for things he cannot do anything about, as to imply that these things he can do something about are in the same category.

    It will probably not be the last time that I see you guys use this tired tactic, but if I guess you guys think its still an effective gimmick. As long as it deters the discussion about actual legitimate criticism, I guess.

  258. 258
    Yatsuno says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: FYWP needs no reason to moderate. It just does as it wills.

  259. 259

    @Socoolsofresh: Poor pitiful President of the greatest power in history. But it is as I said; the king can do no wrong.

  260. 260
    eemom says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Over and over Chomsky says that when election time rolls around, you should go out and vote Democrat. I remember him excoriating Any Goodman for her suggestion that Naderites attach a list of demands to their vote for John Kerry in ’04. He was like (I paraphrase) “Demands? Are you crazy? They aren’t nearly enough people, they have no clout, they can’t make demands of Kerry.” He said in ’08 and ’12 that the difference between Republican and Democrat was pronounced enough to make it worthwhile to vote for Obama.
    Then, he says, when it’s not election time you should be politically engaged in your community and active in seeking out or helping create alternatives to institutions that wield exploitative power.

    Yep. I almost never agree with you but this is why it’s ridiculous to compare him with a worthless twit like Greenwald.

    Also too, anyone who calls him a libertarian is full of shit. He did a great interview just a few months ago where he trashed “libertarians” better than anyone I’ve ever heard.

    Sorry if this has been said already.

  261. 261
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I doubt Charles would put up with their bullshit.

  262. 262
    Not Adding Much To The Community says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Oh, I was just piling on for amusement. Lists are fun and easy. If you’re a straight, middle-class, white guy then I can understand why it’s easy to ignore Obama’s positive achievements.

  263. 263
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Hmmm… so it could be that John is using Timmeh to rid the site of certain people, leaving those who agree with the sick asshole?

    That’s going to make for a small community, that’s for sure.

  264. 264
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    Also too, anyone who calls him a libertarian is full of shit.

    Fuck, I know I’ve heard his name associated with one or the other: Anarcho-collectivism or anarcho-syndicalism. I can’t recall which. Either way, defining one’s self as anarcho-anything in this country does one’s self no favors.

  265. 265
    Lavocat says:

    If you truly believe in the substance of your post, you are profoundly moronic.

    I haven’t seen a front-pager post such utter bullshit in the many years I’ve been reading this site.

    Truly the nadir of Balloon Juice.

  266. 266
    Freemark says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Have to admit I can’t understand why people get so riled up over criticism of Obama. He is a center-right Democrat who does some things that most Democrats don’t agree with and he makes mistakes on things we do agree with him on. The guy is a human being. I went house-to-house for him in 2008 and even after he made many mistakes in his first term I went house-to-house for him in 2012.

    If you can’t admit mistakes how the fuck are you supposed to do better in the future? And by the way I think he accomplished a lot, doesn’t mean he was fucking perfect. Haven’t met that person yet.

  267. 267
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Y’all are both wrong. Cole doesn’t care WHO populates the site, long as they’re around to react to his late night soliloquoys.

  268. 268
    eemom says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    In the interview I was referring to, which I linked to here a while back, he explained the difference between an anarchist and a libertarian.

    I found it persuasive. YMMV.

  269. 269
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I would like to see Timmeh try to survive at LGF.

    You should go post there. I don’t give a shit about LGF.

    You know…these are blogs. Places online that people type words. Not REAL rooms and places where people talk face to face…you know that, right?

  270. 270
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There is, of course, the possibility that Cole doesn’t like a subset of his commenters and is actually interested in driving them away.

    Bingo.

  271. 271
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    That’s going to make for a small community, that’s for sure.

    I know! Totally!

    You should leave.

  272. 272
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    It’s anarcho-syndicalism. It’s Proudhon: Ownership of that which you produce, but not real estate, self-management by the workers who band together to make those products. Think Wobblies.

    It’s admirable theory. It will also take decades to win a critical mass over to it, and then years more of fighting to keep it.

  273. 273
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Freemark: “Negotiating 101” is a dumb criticism. “Didn’t close Guantanamo” is an absurd criticism. Drones, surveillance, etc., those aren’t dumb criticisms in themselves, but that doesn’t mean that every drone or surveillance story has to be swallowed with a heh-indeedy smile, because sometimes in those stories you’re being played by a skillful manipulator. Wall Street is a fine criticism, but I don’t see that any president would ever be able to be as harsh towards Wall Street as Obama’s critics fault him for not being.

    Baseball stat-heads have a metric called “Value Over Replacement Player.” Quantify what a player has done on the field and compare it to what a replacement-level player would do in that spot — basically a career minor leaguer you can sign for a minimum salary. Not “how does he compare to a hypothetical guy who hits .689 with 131 home runs,” but “how does he compare to someone else who you could throw into the job?” IMHO we need to think about Obama’s “Value Over Replacement President.”

    Compared to an ideal, everyone’s a failure. That also makes comparing people to ideals futile and/or masturbatory.

  274. 274
    eemom says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Here.

    what’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England — permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society. Actually that has been believed in the past. Adam Smith for example, one of his main arguments for markets was the claim that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets would lead to perfect equality. . . . that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny. Anarchism is quite different from that. It calls for an elimination to tyranny, all kinds of tyranny. Including the kind of tyranny that’s internal to private power concentrations.

  275. 275
    eemom says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    It’s admirable theory. It will also take decades to win a critical mass over to it, and then years more of fighting to keep it.

    Meanwhile however, he also advocates political pragmatism in the short term, as noted above.

    I cringe at someone I respect quoting Sarah Palin as any kind of authority for anything. But Chomsky is no Nader, and no fucking Greenwald.

  276. 276
    Chris says:

    @eemom:

    As near as I can tell, the main difference is that libertarians loathe the government because they see it as a tool of the masses, while anarchists see it as a tool of the elites. Thus anarchists are just as opposed to privatized centers of power, whereas for libertarians, those centers of power are the whole point.

  277. 277
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    Meanwhile however, he also advocates political pragmatism is the short term, as noted above.

    And I’m with him on that. I mean, I’m with him.

    I don’t anyone quoting Sarah Palin an any kind of authority for anything. But Chomsky is no Nader, and no fucking Greenwald.

    No, he definitely isn’t. But he is repetitive, and he was trolling for effect- deliberately insulting Democratic voters to make his point- by bringing Palin into the conversation. Truth is truth.

  278. 278
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Well, he is starting early tonight.

  279. 279
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @eemom:

    Yeah, I think you’re right on that. Whatever attracted me here in the past is losing its grip on me. Oh well, shit changes and that’s the way it goes in life.

    This place has gone from conservative to democratic and now it’s headed off the cliff into libertarianism.

  280. 280
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    one of the left’s most respected intellectuals.

    Only in the minds of the Right.

  281. 281
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    This place has gone from conservative to democratic and now it’s headed off the cliff into libertarianism.

    lol

    So that’s what you guys tell yourselves…?

  282. 282
    Linda says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Here’s why: saying “DemocratIC” would imply that they were democratic, like there is no redeeming quality in their enemies. Also, it pisses off the grownups.

  283. 283
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Gross. I was raised to respect the service and old habits die hard, but gross.

  284. 284
    Joe Buck says:

    Chomsky is basically right about this one: the hopey changey stuff was bullshit. Obama kept Bush’s people in charge of security and put the Clinton people who killed any restraints on Wall Street in charge of the economy, even though the 2008 financial crisis made clear that this was a very bad idea. I voted for him twice because McCain and Romney would have been far worse, but the guy is basically a moderate Republican, and someone who respects institutional expertise as much as Obama did had no business preaching hope and change. he was all about hiring people who were already doing the jobs and trying to get everyone to get along.

    Now, a lot of the followers of this blog are basically moderate Republicans. You liked Cole when he was a warmonger, and you felt the same way as he did when he became disillusioned. You aren’t crazy wingnuts. But you aren’t progressives either. You’d be OK with the 2000 version of McCain or Joe Lieberman, who was Obama’s mentor when he arrived in the Senate.

  285. 285
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut: The reason no one knows the number of people, if any, that SG may or may not have killed in combat is because SG has very appropriately never said a number. T&H amuses himself by taunting SG about it and calling him a murderer.

  286. 286
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Chomsky has been right about many things in his time, but I think he was missing something about Palin’s taunt. That’s that it was a taunt. She wasn’t talking about Obama’s foreign-policy or security choices. She was mocking the 69 million Americans who had voted for Obama for the continued poor economy, and it was early in 2010, when Obama had been in office for only one year and the country had more or less hit bottom in the wake of the 2008 crisis.

    To me it didn’t sound like she was exposing Obama’s campaign slogans as empty; it sounded like she was gleefully mocking the very notions of hope and change themselves. See what you get for running away from Daddy! You’ll learn eventually that our shitshow was better all along. At least it was before her party’s Congressional delegation had yet managed to get very far in making absolutely sure things would be as hopeless and changeless as possible.

    I suspect Chomsky didn’t hear it that way because US foreign-policy misdeeds are mostly what he cares about, and his favored position is not going to be one for which any plausible American president will be any damn good. So he thought about it in that light.

  287. 287
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Joe Buck: Keep on keepin’ it real, man. You get it. Fight the power through blog posts and President Dennis is inevitable! Keep the faith, brave typist.

  288. 288
    Rex Everything says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Wow, it’s amazing how, by explicitly comparing the Tea Party movement to 1930s Germany, Chomsky “went out of his way to discount the racial angle.”

    Possibly even more amazing: your mental gymnastics.

  289. 289
    manual says:

    Yeah, gonna take Chomsky over left of center bloggers any day. You name it: deregulation, finance, iraq, vietnam, nicaragua, labor unions, inequality, palestine etc. Chomsky has been right more than not. You might find him politically frustrating but a world of chomskys would be a lot better than new democrats and “centrist” politics.

    It’s funny, I remember hitchens -after having a fallout with chomsky – wrote something along the lines of ‘I went back and looked at chomsky’s old work and it holds up completely, but this time (iraq) he’s wrong.’ CHomsky can be pretty tone deaf and politically unhelpful, but his work is pretty good.

  290. 290

    @Socoolsofresh: He’s passed a health care bill that will cover tens of millions of Americans that don’t currently have it. So yes, that’s a net good. Would I prefer single payer? Yes. But I’m not such a purity troll that I’m going to dismiss that.

    Others have listed several other net positives from this administration. But it’ll never be good enough.

    H. Clinton would have done much of the same. McCain and Romney would have been worse. Now if you want to complain and moan about how awful the two party system is and how we wish we could vote for progressive Jesus, great. I wish that too. He’s not an option. You have flawed candidate number one who might actually do some good for ordinary people and you have flawed candidate number two who is bugnuts insane.

  291. 291
    Rex Everything says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Please. The “conversation” in the LGF comments is six or seven regulars chatting about their personal lives.

  292. 292
    Kropadope says:

    @Socoolsofresh:
    If you think his 2008 campaign was mostly empty slogans, you weren’t spending enough time paying attention to he candidate, and were spending too much much time listening to the MSM and Republicans who dominate it. Obama put out some of the most detailed proposals of any of the candidates.
    The only person who put out more detailed proposals was Hillary, but that was part and parcel to her tendency to make these grand, sweeping proposals and expecting her party and its representation in Congress to buy into these plans whole and unchanged. This is why she scares me.

  293. 293
    Rex Everything says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Yeah, he’s an anarcho-syndicalist. Jesus Christ. That is about as far from U.S. libertarianism as it’s possible to get.

    (The word “libertarian,” btw, has an entirely different tradition and meaning outside this country. Look into it.)

  294. 294
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    There’s an edit button.

  295. 295
    Kropadope says:

    @eemom:
    No, that isn’t really the understanding I get from Libertarians. From my understanding, these private entities that wield too much power derive this power from the government. Yes, this completely ignores the fact that the government policies that have resulted in this amassing of power amount to 30 years of deregulation as a moral imperative, as opposed to identifying specific regulations that are burdensome and/or unfair.
    They just can’t see the government as a potentially helpful counterweight to other sources of power that are (somehow) even more unresponsive to people’s wants and needs. So, if we were to get rid of the government, there naturally wouldn’t be monopolies that wield complete control over 80+% of the people. The source of all evil will be gone, so naturally everyone will act out of enlightened self-interest.

  296. 296
    Rex Everything says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    He changed things so that my wife with a host of pre-existing conditions could be able to buy health insurance that didn’t push my family into penury, which I’m totally sure that John McCain would have done in a world where pigs fly out of my butt, so please, just walk away from your keyboard now and stop talking.

    Gee whiz, why’d you say John McCain & not Mitt Romney?

    Why?

    Maybe because your entire argument depends on forgetting how the last GOP presidential candidate had already passed that same Heritage Foundation-crafted healthcare plan for the state he governed?

    Maybe?

  297. 297
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Rex Everything: aw, fuck. Is the ACA the best pathway to universal healthcare ever devised? No. Is the best that was achievable at the time? Arguable. Is it the pathway that has been taken? Yes. So why not pick up the fucking ball and run with it?

    IIRC the law in MA does not include many of the cost control measures that are in the ACA.

  298. 298
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Rex Everything:

    (The word “libertarian,” btw, has an entirely different tradition and meaning outside this country. Look into it.)

    Yeah, I know that already. I was trying to get my tired brain to work through Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin. My vocabulary, as relates to the movement, comes from the street level, not the ivory tower, so it took me a minute to work through it all- which I did, long before you chimed in.

  299. 299
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Rex Everything: You seem to think you’re making a point.

  300. 300
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Yeah, that’s funny. A Republican governor passed it in a state with a Democratic legislature, but when the Democratic POTUS passed it, he did it without a single Republican vote. And then there’s the fact that even though the Heritage Foundation presented its plan in the first half of the ’90s, no Republican ever did a goddamned thing to move it through the Federal government, not even from those four years from ’03 through ’06, when the GOP controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress.

    It’s almost as if the Republican Heritage Foundation offered something to make it look like they had a reasonable alternative when they never supported that alternative at all, doesn’t it? Again, funny.

  301. 301
    Yatsuno says:

    @cleek: @Omnes Omnibus: No country has gone from zero to single payer in one fell swoop. Not. One. South Korea did it in 15 years and that was considered light speed. Something needed to get the ball rolling and start to get the insurers out of basic care. We got that. Now we go forward, hopefully with Medicare age expansion.

  302. 302
    joan grim says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    I think Chomsky is saying that DC is a town of self-serving liars who do not do the work of, or for the citizenry. Obama promised that he was the person who was different type of DC politician. We didn’t get a president who bucked DC. Instead, we got a president whose hope & change campaign team won a national advertising award.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/.....ashington/

  303. 303
    Bruce S says:

    Even if “Hope and Change” were “marketing pablum” in Chomsky’s view, you don’t convince anyone of that point by quoting someone whose response to marketing “pablum” was pushing rhetorical toxic waste. At least pablum won’t kill you. Every word that came out of Palin’s mouth – including those quoted by Chomsky – made the entire country a bit more stupid. Even liberals – just for having to descend to responding or reacting to her childish right-wing televangelistic grift. This is one of the most innane, clueless deployments of “I don’t usually agree with…but…” I’ve ever seen.

  304. 304
    NR says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): If the NSA wasn’t collecting the data in the first place, nobody would be in any position to abuse it.

    And there’s also the fact that the NSA lied about these abuses.

    But you Obots are predictable, if nothing else.

  305. 305
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Rex Everything: Oh, come on. Romney had to go out of his way to ignore that he ever passed Romneycare and repudiate the whole idea in order to get the 2012 Republican nomination. That was one of his major problems in the campaign: his one signature achievement as a state’s chief executive was something he had to run against.

    The national Republicans want the ACA gone and are far more radical than Massachusetts Republicans were in 2006. It’s ridiculous to think Romney would have done anything but gut it in office.

  306. 306
    eemom says:

    @Bruce S:

    shit, now I have to agree with you too.

    Fuck this shit.

  307. 307
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @NR:

    And in the best case political scenario, the lack of a security apparatus allows oligarchs to easily launder money in order to fuck the world over.

  308. 308
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @NR:

    I mean, do you really think that the Bush II administration thought anti-war activists so fucking dangerous that it had to spy on them without warrants? When was the last time anti-war activists actually ended a fucking war? The protests against the Vietnam War began in 1964, and the US got out in 1974. And in the mean time, contractors made out hand-over-fist.

    No, this is just another Brownie at FEMA situation. It’s another situation in which some anti-government douchebag (Snowden in this case) intentionally sets out to make the government look so incompetent that you think that you’ve got no other alternative to, as Grover Norquist puts it, drown it in the bathtub. And the whole time you’ve got Greenwald, the dealer’s secret assistant in the crowd gathered around the game of Three-card Monte, egging you on.

  309. 309
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    I sympathize with Chomsky, and my heart is in a similar place to his politically, but I just got fucking tired of him by the time I was out of my 20s. He’s an important guy academically and politically, and I frankly think that folks like him should have at least as much of a megaphone in the public conversation as the Teahadists. But I can’t read Z fucking magazine anymore. As soon as you see the title of the piece you can pretty much predict what you’ll be reading, much of it overly simplistic, and all of it fucking depressing. I just don’t have the energy or the inclination, my outrage meter busted. I’m as left wing as it gets and have a hard time getting too angry at most firebaggers, (hell I voted for Kucinich in the ’04 primary) but I can’t take them too seriously most of the time either. The global economic system sucks, it’s destroying our environment, owns our political systems, and it’s enforced by guns. We all know that. Listing all the ways in which this is true over, and over, and over again is just tiresome.

    Genuine left wingers are valuable because there are so few of them, and they’re necessary energy for trying to get some positive things done on a variety of fronts. But if I was still in the US, I’d be throwing my lot in with trying to rebuild the labor movement. That’s the best lever you’ve got on some of these things, and it’s a pretty rusted out and frail lever at this stage. The fast food strikes have been an interesting development of late. I’d love to see French-style general strikes over particular issues, but people haven’t exactly got a cushion for that these days. Then again it may not be long before they have nothing left to lose.

  310. 310
    Chris says:

    @joan grim:

    Obama promised that he was the person who was different type of DC politician. We didn’t get a president who bucked DC.

    Interesting thing to say considering the way “DC” has reacted to him (the Clinton era “he came in and trashed the place, and it’s not his place!” on steroids, cranked up to eleven and put on a sugar high).

  311. 311
    priscianus jr says:

    @FlipYrWhig: There is still a list of bad things that are bad! Let’s be upset together!

    Right. And here’s the thing: Since Obama is the president, all those bad things are his fault. Because that’s the way our American system works: the president is the boss of the universe. Or if he isn’t, he’s weak and ineffectual.

  312. 312
    Yatsuno says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    But if I was still in the US, I’d be throwing my lot in with trying to rebuild the labor movement.

    This. And it seems like this is occurring as we type. The fast-food strikes are growing and spreading to retailers, and this could trigger a spark that brings labour back to its old prominence. Should be interesting times.

    /union member

  313. 313
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yatsuno: Labour? With a “u?”

  314. 314
    Tripod says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Well duh, but that doesn’t comport to the true leftists ideal of organized labor. If it’s not hard workin’ white dudes doing non-skilled jobs circa 1952, it doesn’t really count.

  315. 315
  316. 316
    ranger3 says:

    @Yatsuno: Labour? You don’t live in England. Try not to be such a poseur.

  317. 317
    ranger3 says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink: The best thing about France is you can totally get away with hitting on/sleeping with your hot female subordinates. But that only counts if you’re a boss. If you work at McDonalds, you’re still jerking off to porn whenever you get home from the night shift.

    The Alps are also nice. And cheap booze. So, yeah… France.

  318. 318
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ranger3:

    If you work at McDonalds, you’re still jerking off to porn whenever you get home from the night shift.

    If you are French and speak English, MickeyD’s might well be one of the best places to pick up American girls. Think it through.

  319. 319
    Freemark says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You are cute in your ignorance. You seem to have missed the point completely. His negotiating tactics at the start of his Presidency were terrible. The fact you disagree doesn’t change that. Talk to anyone who negotiates for a living they will tell you the same thing. And I never mentioned Guantanamo Bay because he doesn’t control that.

    But you keep arguing against a straw men. Almost your entire argument has nothing to do with what I said. Everything I said originally is correct. It sounds like the only thing you don’t agree with me on is his negotiating and on that you are obviously wrong. Which I guess is why you keep arguing against things I never said or indicated.

    I said he has control over how banker prosecutions are handled, you agree. I said he has ability to control drone program, you agree. I said he has a great deal of control over NSA spying, you agree. Where we seem to disagree is that you don’t think anyone should criticize any of his decisions in these areas.

    Your statements

    Drones, surveillance, etc., those aren’t dumb criticisms in themselves, but that doesn’t mean that every drone or surveillance story has to be swallowed with a heh-indeedy smile, because sometimes in those stories you’re being played by a skillful manipulator. Wall Street is a fine criticism, but I don’t see that any president would ever be able to be as harsh towards Wall Street as Obama’s critics fault him for not being.

    Has nothing to do with what I said. You are making up your arguments based on what people are saying in your head not on what has been printed here by me. I stated things he had control over and why it is logical for people to criticize him for those things he has control over if they disagree with his decisions; as compared to blaming Congress for those areas. No matter how skillful your attempted manipulations they don’t change that.

    The fact that you agree with me but still think no one should criticize him is adorable. The fact that you think that no Democratic President could have or would have possibly have done things differently is a little delusional. And the fact you can’t handle any perceived criticism of the President is just plain sad.

    You mentioned a hypothetical .691 hitter. Guess what, even if that greatest hitter of all time ever existed, he would still be criticized by his trainers, manager, fellow players, etc. It would be part of how he got to be such a great hitter in the first place.

  320. 320
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Freemark: Comparisons against an ideal have value. But comparisons against realistic alternatives also have value. Someone who argues that Obama is perfect is delusional, but so is some who argues that he was and is not miles the fuck ahead of the alternatives.

  321. 321
    third of two says:

    Hilarious, especially

    Isn’t it precious how much the right wing, generally populated by people with the same 1/4-inch deep intellectual understanding of actual human beings as Chomsky himself is so excited about this?

    Yeah….because wingnuts are all about the fact-checking and human rights.

    [Chomsky] hasn’t been relevant to pretty much anything in about three decades, and hasn’t said anything different or original in that time either.

    Much like LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan…or how do you qualify/quantify relevancy?

    Agreed that Chomsky hasn’t come up with new material in the last three decades (like Woody Allen’s ouvre) . But why should he? He’s right about Obama. – you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re just reacting to Chomsky’s agreement with a Palin sentence.

    Chomsky says he agrees with the Tea Party favourite that Obama’s “Hope” and “Change” messages were just marketing pabulum…he’s correct. Obama was perceived as a “reformer” during the 2008 campaign but in fact he’s been a champion of the status quo since day one. I voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012, but make no mistake: he’s a lying scumbag of epic proportions.

    Further

    “[It’s] understood by the people who run the political system, that it’s no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza to keep away from issues,” he said. “It’s sort of a marketing affair. And the people who run it are the advertisers.”

    Right.

    “If you go they were reporting how executives were really excited that they had this new model how to delude people. They used to use the Reagan-model now [they] can use the Obama-model.”

    Chomsky has never been a fan of Obama, declaring early in the president’s campaign that he was mostly smoke and mirrors. In a 2008 in an interview with Avi Lewis, Chomsky explained why the slogans were very alluring to the population but essentially meaningless.

    Fair enough. However, Chomsky went on to say “Between the two choices that are presented, there is I think some significant differences,” he said. “If I were a person in a swing state, I’d vote against Romney-Ryan, which means voting for Obama because there is no other choice.”

    You morons conveniently forget that Chomsky is a self-described ‘libertarian socialist.’

    Oh and

    Chomsky also said the national deficit wasn’t a major problem, and was being used as propaganda to hide the issue of joblessness.

    “The problem is joblessness, and the problem is very concrete. You don’t have to be a genius to look around the society and say, ‘look, something is going wrong. There is a huge mess of people who want to work, there is an enormous amount of work that has to be done, there are plenty of resources, and for some reason those things can’t be put together.’ That tells you there is something deeply pathological about the general socio-economic system.”

    Y’all can suck on that for awhile b4 enjoying Onion hilarity (which was pretty funny)…but then there’s this.

    I have no particular insight into Obama’s motivations, predilections, or beliefs….but via his actions he strikes me as an intelligent, arrogant, distant technocrat-cum-authoritarian champion of the status quo.

  322. 322
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @third of two: Um. dude, you may want to adjust your block quotes so that people know what you are saying.

  323. 323
    Jon H says:

    @MomSense:

    Not really a slogan, but Hillary Clinton criticized Obama by saying his campaign was “just words”.

  324. 324
    Jon H says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): “It’s almost as if the Republican Heritage Foundation offered something to make it look like they had a reasonable alternative when they never supported that alternative at all, doesn’t it? Again, funny.”

    To be fair (though I normally don’t think one should be fair to Heritage) it’s likely that the Heritage plan – and any other health care legislation – was poisoned for Republicans by Clinton’s attempt at health care.

    Basically, national Republicans oppose anything that a Democratic president has expressed support for or interest in. Forever. Once Rush Limbaugh and his ilk invest thousands of hours demonizing the whole field of inquiry, the Republicans can’t ever support any aspect of it, even if a particular version originated with conservatives.

    I believe cap & trade schemes also originated in part with market-oriented conservatives, as being preferable to prior approaches to environmental regulation. Now, of course, Republicans view the concept “cap & trade” as being about as heinous as they see “late-term abortion”.

  325. 325
    Jon H says:

    @Kropadope: ” From my understanding, these private entities that wield too much power derive this power from the government. Yes, this completely ignores the fact that the government policies that have resulted in this amassing of power amount to 30 years of deregulation as a moral imperative, as opposed to identifying specific regulations that are burdensome and/or unfair.”

    Not to mention that, even if private entities’ power rested purely on the mighty contract, the average peasant has little or no say about the terms of those contracts, and little ability to afford to litigate a dispute should one arise.

  326. 326
    Jon H says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    If you haven’t been keeping up, the staff levels of the embassy in Iraq have been shrinking dramatically. They’re at 10,000 now, aiming to get down to 5,500 employees this year, as opposed to the 16,000+ envisioned when the Bush administration built their ridiculous embassy.

    http://news.antiwar.com/2013/0.....n-baghdad/

  327. 327
    Jon H says:

    @Mnemosyne: “disease, warfare, and slavery, with disease wreaking by far the most havoc since they had no natural immunity to smallpox or measles.”

    I’m inclined to cut them some slack on the disease. Explorers and traders had no experience of going somewhere and causing everyone to sicken and die while being themselves more or less healthy. Columbus and crew and those who followed could go virtually anywhere in Europe, Asia, Africa, without that happening, as long as they weren’t themselves dying of plague or something.

    I mean, even if the explorers had followed the Prime Directive, and hadn’t fought and/or enslaved the indigenous peoples, but had simply interacted in a friendly peaceful way and then returned to Europe, the disease deaths would still have happened.

  328. 328
    third of two says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My bad. Apologies to anyone/everyone who tried to read thru it

    Perdoname – HTML no es mi cuarta lengua.
    el punto era no estar de acuerdo con el autor

    es muy tarde y estoy muy cansado

  329. 329
    master c says:

    @srv: This is where I first started hearing from Chomsky….that was back when I listened to Democracy Now! because no other news outlets were talking to war opponents. Next came political blogs and that was it for me ever watching broadcast news in a nutshell. Noam and Amy Goodman are almost always on the right side of things, but I dont listen to them as intently. Sometimes it is just too depressing.

  330. 330
    unbound says:

    Chomsky says the same things over and over again because people haven’t figured it out yet, and keep getting sucked into just defending their group without thought.

    Kind of like attacking someone just because they said someone in a different group said something that was right.

  331. 331
    Pococurante says:

    Chomsky is for the extreme left their version of the unholy love child of Ayn Rand and John Birch.

    Anyone spouting Chomsky should be viewed as a dittohead.

  332. 332
    SectarianSofa says:

    I’m cutting Chomsky some slack. This post is basically hippie punching.

  333. 333
    Soonergrunt says:

    @SectarianSofa: Actually, the post is trolling. It’s right there in the title.
    But while we’re on the subject of hippie punching, I’ll note that sometimes hippies, or at least certain hippies, need punching. I’ll also note that most people who complain about hippie punching in 2013 have either never met an actual living hippie, or if they had, wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere near one.

  334. 334
    eemom says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Some people need punching fer sure, but the punchees being referred to when the phrase has come up here are generally about as hippie as I’m Scarlett Johansson.

    All in all, a spectacularly stupid phrase.

  335. 335
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: I appreciate better information; I’d appreciate more if you could tell me more than just “you’re wrong”. Can you? (Um. This doesn’t sound as civil as I’d like it to be – I’m having a bad day. But I’m damned if I can say it better without sounding like a suck-up, so I’m damned either way. Do you have more information, or a good source? I’d appreciate it. Seriously.)

  336. 336
    lojasmo says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    How much hope and change has Obama really provided?

    I was answering your fucking question, asshole. I wasn’t making the case for Obama being perfect.

    Fuck off.

  337. 337
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    @eemom:

    ‘Hippie punching’ for better or worse, has been practically a meme on Balloon Juice for eons.

    3600 hits for this google search :
    site:balloon-juice.com ‘hippie punching

    And no, hippies don’t actually need punching.

  338. 338
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    This is the weakest shit I have ever read from anyone on Balloon Juice. DougJ trolls. You’re just arguing in bad faith, and being kind of an asshole.

  339. 339
    Patricia Lil says:

    You should at least provide the complete quote:

    “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was right,” the noted linguist told Democracy Now.

    Chomsky is brilliant. The reason you don’t see him on U. S. television is that he is too relevant. There are boundaries You are not permitted to cross. The political debate in the U. S. is quite narrow.

    The complaint that he only criticizes the U. S. is completely wrong. However. the U. S. is the only super power and what it does, it does in our name. Who should he spend most of the time analyzing?

    You can find his description of his political philosophy here. http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20130528.htm

  340. 340
    mclaren says:

    No, this is how the sociopath Soonergrunt trolls the balloon juice commentariat.

    Weak trolling. Try something new. The same old hackneyed attacks on anyone warning against the American police, the usual non-specific ridicule of a major intellect universally revered for his work on structural linguistics and his demolition of behaviorism in the 1950s, the standard sneers and smears which never quite get down to facts anyone can check.

    Change the record, troll. Karl Rove did it better.

  341. 341
    Soonergrunt says:

    @mclaren: “…sociopath…”
    If only you had the faintest fucking clue what you were talking about with well, anything, but especially that word, you’d be marginally interesting.

  342. 342
    teiresias says:

    Noam Chomsky’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t understand Hanlon’s razor. I’d like to see what happens to his positions if he factors that in at some point.

  343. 343
    Matthew says:

    at least chomsky’s contributed substantially to the intellectual and ideological underpinnings of the american left. you blog as soonergrunt on a little-read blog with an incomprehensible title. congratulations. noam chomsky’s coughs have had a bigger impact on american society than you’ll ever have. by the way, you don’t have to have a hysterical screaming fit every time somebody points out that your boyfriend obama hasn’t exactly been a friend to progressive ideas in most areas of public and private life. it’s okay to let things go.

  344. 344
    Rob in CT says:

    Noting that “Hope & Change” is airy nothingness != being a closet rightwinger. I’m not some huge Chomsky fan, but come the hell on.

  345. 345
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @shelly: Also, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

  346. 346
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Not Adding Much To The Community: Turn on your sarcasmometer.

Comments are closed.