Today in American Journalism

I’m in an airport, again, and experiencing some non-consensual CNN. The anchor just introduced one of her expert guests for a segment on the latest on ISIS as “formerly with M-16”. Of course, she meant MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, not the rifle. Her first question was,  paraphrasing, “who can we bomb?”  So, here’s a thread to address that pressing question.

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95 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    Was it Dearlove?

  2. 2
    Ken says:

    You’re obviously fishing for someone to answer “CNN Headquarters”, so you’re welcome.

  3. 3
    Comrade Jake says:

    Can we bomb Tapper’s show? Because it’s awful.

  4. 4
    Derelict says:

    Well, let’s face it: Footage of a child who is not starving, or of a parent who is not grieving, or of an intact village–all of that is boooooorrrring!

    Bombs bursting, children torn to bloody red gobbets, parents throwing themselves into graves–ratings gold, baby!

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    She’s just channeling American foreign policy. We don’t want to deal with the actual situation or address the true problem, so let’s just bomb them.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Ken:

    Nah. He’s fishing for an “All of them, Katie.”

  7. 7
    beth says:

    I read somewhere that CNN was in talks with Glenn Beck to put his Blaze tv on HLN. And here I thought nothing could be worse than Nancy Grace. I was watching one night this week when they had some woman from the Blaze on a split screen with Van Jones and some other guy discussing the president playing golf. Van Jones looked like he wanted to reach across the divide and slap the shit out of the woman who kept interrupting him to shriek “but Bush stopped playing golf during the war!” over and over. It was a good reminder why I don’t usually watch CNN anymore.

  8. 8
    chopper says:

    Is her last name ‘McCain’ perhaps?

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    @beth:

    “Now watch this drive” stopped playing golf during the war? REALLY?

  10. 10
    amk says:

    gop, cbs, abc, cnn, pox news – we are spoiled for choices here.

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    It’s a big world with lots of little brown people. So many choices.

  12. 12
    big ole hound says:

    Hey, your lucky it was just CNN, think about what your post would be if it were FOX.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chris: Yeah, he did. Then he doubled his time “clearing brush” on his “ranch” in Crawford TX. All in all a fair trade I’d say.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Clearing brush at least kept him busy with something that only offered the possibility of small-scale mayhem and destruction.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dmsilev: Kept him in TX too. A win-win.

  16. 16
    Culture of Truth says:

    As they might say at Green & Fazio, “I want to bomb someone, but don’t I need a reason?”

  17. 17
    Culture of Truth says:

    Bush too busy presiding over a Benghazi every 72 hours for 7 years to play golf.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suppose it could have been worse. She didn’t tell viewers that her guest was M, did she?

  19. 19
    Citizen_X says:

    “who can we bomb?”

    How about the Ferguson PD?

  20. 20
    gogol's wife says:

    I love it when they say “M-16.” I always wonder how the expert guest keeps from guffawing.

  21. 21
    tybee says:

    and the shrub did NOT give up golf.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....02138.html

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    Glad to be leaving the DC Beltway today. Have the Villagers named ISIS as the new Hitler yet?

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    The war caucus has assured me that despite having no navy or air force, ISIS is a grave existensial threat to the fragile existence of ‘Murrica.

    On the evil scale, they rate 3.5 Hitlers.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Cacti: Yea, they are just misunderstood.

  25. 25
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mike in NC:

    There’s a report afloat that Westboro Baptist Church is flying to Iraq to protest ISIS.

    Nothing could go wrong.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Botsplainer: Hopefully the entire membership is going.

  27. 27
    AliceBlue says:

    @Botsplainer:
    I’d pay good money to see that.

  28. 28
    Kevin says:

    About a week ago while watching CNN’s coverage of Ferguson, they had on a forensic “expert”. He was a big, burly white guy, and he told the host (it was their mid-evening female wingnut) that the shot to the top of Brown’s head was likely from him charging forward…

    Now…i find that ridiculous on it’s own, as I’ve never seen anyone charge like a bull in real life. Maybe a running back, but a real, human person? That’s not how we run…and that wasn’t even the crazy dumb thing that the CNN host just allowed to be said with no push-back. No, that goes to this gem…

    He said, with a straight face, and not challenged by the host at all, that the shot to the top of the head was unlikely to be from Brown falling down because NONE OF THE OTHER SHOTS WOULD HAVE HURT HIM ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM FALL. So…the shots in his arms, no. The one in the upper chest? Nah, walk it off. The one his chin? Please, felt like a kiss. How about the one that from the sketch appears to be HIS EYE? Nope, people are regularly shot in the eye and think nothing of it.

    According to this expert, not once would any normal human go to the ground for any of those gun shots. And the host just nodded, “Fascinating stuff”.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    Let’s applaud some mainstream journalism done well: NYTimes follow up story on Jodi Kantor’s article about Starbucks employee/young single mother, Jannette Navarro, and how the company’s scheduling software made a hell of her life and little Gavin’s. (Kay frontpaged the original story.)

    Starbucks changed its scheduling policy the day after story appeared. I hope the Times does a LOT more reporting on the new American workplace. It is not what many assume. From today’s article:

    Because the software is ubiquitous, nearly every worker I spoke with had some example of scheduling drama: getting notice of their hours only a day or two in advance, coming in for only a two- or three-hour shift, being dismissed midshift because the computers said sales were slow or the opposite, being pulled in when more hands were needed.

    A Michigan father who worked at a McDonald’s told me about struggling to coordinate his unpredictable hours with those of his children’s various mothers, who had their own zigzag shifts at other fast-food chains. I had lunch with a saleswoman at Zara who took her son out of preschool because the unsteady hours meant she couldn’t count on being able to afford even subsidized fees. She was later let go, supposedly because she was too hard to schedule. A former manager at a mall clothing chain in Texas told me the software would make her send her entire work force home when sales were slow. When she had to use the bathroom, she would keep the door open so she could hear customers walk in. A day care administrator protested that she no longer knew how much apple juice to order for the week because she had given up guessing which families would show up when.

    It’s sad that anyone needs to instruct corporate America that the software is a tool, and human judgment is required as well. Informed human judgment.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    Here’s Kay’s original thread about the Starbucks scheduling software.

    The Just in Time workplace isn’t working.

  31. 31
    Tokyokie says:

    @Cacti: Yeah, it’s amazing how a group that wants to roll back society to the Middle Ages also has the technological savvy to contruct weapons and delivery systems capable of hitting a country on the opposite side of the world. It’s almost as if the warmongers will deliberately distort of nasty group’s capabilities to fit their own purposes.

    Yesterday in the waiting room of the car dealership service department, a woman told me that she was worried about ISIS pouring across the Rio Grande and attacking Merika. I didn’t tell her that as far as radical fundamentalist Sunni Muslim groups go, a key difference between al Qaeda and ISIS is that the former was willing to embrace modern technology in order to attack its enemies in the West, whereas ISIS explicitly rejects Western ways and is more concerned with ethnically cleansing its homeland of all non-radical fundamentalist Sunni Muslims. Al Qaeda was capable of mounting attacks within Western countries because its member could blend in, whereas the whole point of ISIS is its deliberate refusal to do so. But figuring if she was ignorant enough to publicly express that fear then she wouldn’t understand (and probably can’t distinguish a Sunni from a Shiite), I settled for the oversimplified version and said ISIS is far more concerned with killing its neighbors and it doesn’t have enough members to pose a credible threat to Fort Worth.

  32. 32
    Cacti says:

    @Kevin:

    He said, with a straight face, and not challenged by the host at all, that the shot to the top of the head was unlikely to be from Brown falling down because NONE OF THE OTHER SHOTS WOULD HAVE HURT HIM ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM FALL. So…the shots in his arms, no. The one in the upper chest? Nah, walk it off. The one his chin? Please, felt like a kiss. How about the one that from the sketch appears to be HIS EYE? Nope, people are regularly shot in the eye and think nothing of it.

    The questions I’ve not seen answered from any Wilson defenders:

    If Brown was charging, how did he end up with bullet entry wounds on his palm and inner aspect of the forearm and biceps. If he was running forward, all of these would have been turned inward towards his body.

    And if they were sustained during a struggle for Wilson’s gun, why no powder residue? He was wearing a t-shirt and his forearm was fully exposed.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    @raven:

    Anxious to get your war on, boss?

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    If it was French intelligence, or Canadian, or German, or Polish, I could brush it off. But… MI6? Have you never seen a James Bond movie?

    (Mind you, I understand it’s not technically called that anymore, except as a colloquialism, but still…)

  35. 35

    All problems must be solved with overwhelming firepower.

    Not that I disagree that in this case, we should probably help the Kurds, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the non-psychotic Iraqis stop the chaos we helped unleash, but you’d think we’d show just a bit more thoughtfulness and humility about our actions.

    And for a nation-state that spends more on firepower than the next 20 nations combine, we sure are full of folks who wake up in pants-shitting fear over the latest horde of scary brown people… both foreign and domestic.

  36. 36
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I am so sick of stupidity being given central stage. Come on, Villagers. Rub a couple of brain cells together and see if you can generate a spark.

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Glad to be leaving the DC Beltway today. Have the Villagers named ISIS as the new Hitler yet?

    There’s been a new Hitler vacuum in US policy since the execution of Saddam.

  38. 38
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    Or as I call him, The Hat with the Yellow Man.

  39. 39
    Matt McIrvin says:

    ISIS could presumably eventually give shelter to a global terrorist ring like the Taliban did with al-Qaeda. But, you know, anyone who doesn’t like us could do that, so it’s not sufficient justification by itself for preventive war.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    A look at their bank balances might disabuse you of the notion that they’re all stupid.

    Stupidity is not precisely the problem.

  41. 41
    Mike in NC says:

    We just saw a TV ad featuring the imbecile Fred Thompson talking about reverse mortgages. Hard to believe that clown was once a serious GOP contender for president. I expect him to pop up on FOX News in the next month or so as an expert on the dire ISIS threat.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Kevin:

    Our liberal media is ignoring the most obvious explanation — the wounds were self-inflicted in an attempt to frame the police.

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Glad to be leaving the DC Beltway today.

    And meanwhile, here’s me for a few more days in our cabin in the Black Mountains, in the great state of North Carolina.

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign was so unexciting it put even him to sleep. Why didn’t he just go back to acting? He wasn’t too bad in The Hunt For Red October, as I recall, and I think he used to have a steady TV gig playing a DA or something.

  45. 45
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike in NC: Freddie Thompson is not exactly an imbecile, either. He has degrees in philosophy, political science, and law. His mentor, Sen. Howard Baker, put him on the staff of one of the congressional Watergate committees, where he leaked information to the White House; and, I suspect indirectly, to Rose Mary Woods.

    He later became Senator. As I say, he’s no fool.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    O/T but has anyone been watching/recording the Simpsons marathon on FXX? Every episode ever over the next 12 days.

    Hard to believe that this show started when I was in the 9th grade, and is still around now that I’m Homer’s age, with a couple of little Barts of my own (and thankfully a full head of hair).

    Yesterday, they were on season 2, and somebody was talking about the upcoming 1992 Presidential primaries.

  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @AliceBlue:
    I’d pay good money to help them get there.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Let’s applaud some mainstream journalism done well:

    @Elizabelle:

    Here’s Kay’s original thread about the Starbucks scheduling software.

    Thank you both.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @Cacti: It’s on sugar.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @Kevin:
    Monty Python. “It’s just a flesh wound”

    Maybe the expert could show us exactly what he means. He could have the presenter shoot him to demonstrate that none of these wounds were more than pin pricks. Or he could use her for the target dummy.

  51. 51
    Emma says:

    @Elizabelle: I date the great descent of American labor practices into neo-feudalism to the moment “personnel” departments became “human resources.” Human beings became interchangeable widgets.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @Tokyokie:

    I’ve got a few stories like that. There’s a category of people who when they find out your area of studies is the Middle East/IR, will immediately ask you what you think of the present situation, only they don’t actually want to hear it, only a validation of what they already believe.

    Had a question from a relative months ago asking casually why we hadn’t bombed Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities yet or at least let Israel do it.

    … what are you supposed to say to that? “Are you an idiot?” Explain that it’s far from certain that Iran even wants a nuclear bomb? Point out that even the worst case scenario of Iran getting a bomb isn’t the end of the world, what with the Islamic Republic being run by conservative, geriatric apparatchiks whose first concern is keeping their power and status, and who are about as likely to endanger that sweet little racket by using a nuke as they are to grow wings and fly? I just said something about the nuclear program being too decentralized for us to be sure we’d got every part of it and changed the subject. A real conversation would’ve meant first spending an hour sifting through and correcting every bullshit myth he’d picked up by osmosis, and that would only have worked if he’d been willing to believe it, which was very unlikely given his politics.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    They might be afraid that spark would set them all on fire. So they refuse to risk it.

  54. 54
    RaflW says:

    Her first question was “who can we bomb?”

    Who may we bomb? Hello, grammar? I mean, we can bomb anyone. We have the technology.

    But may we bomb the Central American immigrant hordes? May we bomb the Chinese for their jet fighter antics? Or, as I asked yesterday, may we bomb the always wrong ultrahawk Bill Kristol?

    We could, buy we mayn’t.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    Money does not eliminate stupidity. Sometimes it is used to purchase some more.

  56. 56
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    Once again. Power and education does not eliminate foolishness. Sometimes it encourages it.

  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti:

    The war caucus has assured me that despite having no navy or air force, ISIS is a grave existensial threat to the fragile existence of ‘Murrica.

    The “war caucus” will say what it always does, but here’s a question for you: if in 2000 someone had been asking (only) this question — does Al-Qaeda, with no navy or air force, pose an existential threat to the US? — would that have been the right focus?

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:
    And the answer to that was known and ignored.

  59. 59
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:
    @Ruckus:

    Of course, you are right in your generalities, but I did not make general statements about the relationship between money and stupidity. I just said I doubt it’s wise to dismiss certain people as simply being fools, imbeciles, and so on. For one thing, by doing so, you excuse them morally for their actions — and, I don’t know about you, but I am not prepared to do so.

  60. 60
    Cacti says:

    @Cervantes:

    The “war caucus” will say what it always does, but here’s a question for you: if in 2000 someone had been asking (only) this question — does Al-Qaeda, with no navy or air force, pose an existential threat to the US? — would that have been the right focus?

    I don’t really find the comparison apt. ISIS is a revolutionary group with the goal of creating an independent Islamist nation state in a specific geographic location. Al-Qaeda was and is an international criminal organization, with a specific focus on harming US interests, and fantasies of a global caliphate following our downfall.

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris: I think one can conclude that such people are not generally paid to get the details right.

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti: I think neat distinctions may not serve us well. It’s a mess out there.

    (I almost called it an unholy mess.)

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Not that I disagree that in this case, we should probably help the Kurds, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the non-psychotic Iraqis stop the chaos we helped unleash, but you’d think we’d show just a bit more thoughtfulness and humility about our actions.

    Not happening.

    Among the many fucked up parts of the war on terror is that we decided at the Axis of Evil speech that we were gonna to be at odds with secular Arab nationalism (Iraq), Shia fundamentalism (Iran) and Sunni fundamentalism (al-Qaeda) all at the same time. The result – we’re overwhelmed in the Middle East because we want to fight too many people all at once.

    Somebody on the D-Day thread three months ago said that if World War Two was fought with today’s politicians, they couldn’t imagine our present Congress bringing itself to agree to working with the Soviet Union, even with what was at stake. The current clusterfuck in the Middle East is basically that problem on a smaller scale.

  64. 64
    Tokyokie says:

    @RaflW: Well, if you really want to play grammar police, the pronoun should be objective case.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    RaflW says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s sad that anyone needs to instruct corporate America that the software is a tool

    It is criminal that anyone needs to instruct corporate America that employees are not emotionless, family-free tools to be manhandled entirely at the convenience of employers.

    And it is criminal that so many so-called Christians have been so corrupted by prosperity gospel bullshit that they side with the ownership class and do absolutely nothing to stand up for workers.

    The phrase “family values” is the most empty, meaningless shit when it comes to issues like the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage reform, or work-hour & scheduling issues.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Cervantes:

    I think neat distinctions may not serve us well. It’s a mess out there

    Disagree. It always helps to know who you’re dealing with, and what their end game is.

  68. 68
    RaflW says:

    @Tokyokie:
    OK. But the point I was inelegantly making was about technology vs. moral action. We’ve slid much too far in this country towards making decisions based on what we can do rather than what we may do.

    As I biz school graduate, I can say that ethics was not much bothered with in four years of instruction…

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti: I agree with your last statement, as far as it goes.

  70. 70
    Cervantes says:

    @RaflW: The “technological imperative” — see, for example, Daniel Chandler’s “inevitability thesis.”

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @amk: It’s what the military calls “a target rich environment”.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris: Heck, some Americans, like Pat Buchanan, have outright stated that we fought on the wrong side in WWII.

  73. 73
    Kevin says:

    @Ruckus:

    That would be a great idea. They could start with the bullets to the face, those are the ones I was most interested in seeing someone shrug off.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne (iPad Mini) says:

    @Chris:

    Is that still the case with Iran, though? When the whole Syrian chemical weapons thing happened, it seemed as though there might be some back-door diplomacy going on between the US and Iran. Obviously, Congress can’t be told because they would shit themselves with rage and fear, but it did sound as though there were steps being taken behind the scenes.

    As I’ve said before, one of the things that really pissed me off with Bush was that Iran made their first official diplomatic gesture towards us in 20+ years in the wake of 9/11, and we chose instead to spit in their faces. Stupid, stupid, stupid unforced error.

  75. 75
    Joel Hanes says:

    @Cervantes:

    Freddie Thompson

    I was rooting for Duncan Hunter to get the GOP nomination in 2008, and then for him to select Thompson as his running mate, just for the pleasure of seeing Republican bumperstickers and yard signs with

    Hunter
    Thompson

  76. 76
    Phantom 309 says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Not gonna happen.

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    Fuck You Word Press.
    @Cervantes:
    I’ll try again.
    You are stating that education, money, being elected gives them a status that their humanity does not deserve. They are fools, idiots and assholes. Their education, their money, their power, their fame doesn’t make them any less so. I didn’t dismiss them, I categorized them to their proper place in the human race. They can change that if they desire, but I doubt very much that they do or will change. People who want others to die or suffer for being born are idiots, fools and assholes. They can be educated fools, idiots and assholes. They can be rich fools, idiots and assholes. These things are not mutually exclusive.
    I don’t dismiss them but I do recognize them for how they act towards others. You have recognized them for how they act towards themselves, acquiring degrees, money, fame, power and you are the one giving them power for doing those things.

  78. 78
    Tokyokie says:

    @RaflW: I went to law school once upon a time, and it was pretty much the same thing. Most of the students in the required ethics class saw the ABA’s Canon of Ethics as legalese to be parsed for loopholes.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    Bizarre.

    Can you actually quote me saying any such thing?

    Or at least explain how you get from my words to your attempted paraphrase?

    Thanks.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @Joel Hanes: I can’t wait to hear what campaign slogans you envisioned for them.

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    I’m bothered by the image of the cute kid going around twitter who got killed by a missile in Israel the other day. Sometimes by the same people who were sooooo outraged when those Palestinian kids playing soccer got killed and the images went over the wire. Am I wrong to be upset by this? Both sides have cute kids. Things are getting uglier in Gaza, Hamas is summarily executing “traitors”.

    Saw pix of the villages Palestinians were driven out of in the 1940s. When you’ve signed onto a really big lie I guess you gotta go big or go home, eh?

    I’m sorry, did I miss Jake Tapper tweeting the cute picture of the cute Lakota kid who got tased by white law enforcement in South Dakota last month. She was, what, 8 or 9? Tased.

  82. 82
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Joel Hanes: That’s a good one. Of course Hunter is a name you could get a lot of mileage out of. Santorum/Hunter?

  83. 83
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini): There’s some ex-administration official who claims he ragequit over Obama’s Iran policy who thinks that Iran really is the evil empire and all of the ISIS violence is because Obama doesn’t see what a big threat Iran is and that somehow they’re responsible for Gulf-bankrolled Sunni extremists’ extremists because Nouri al-Maliki had tacit Iranian support argle bargle Shia overreach herp derp.

    Really? Syrian civil war was a Sunni vs Shia Iranian gig? I don’t think so.

    WTF, sounded like the guy had a more personal stake in it than he wanted to admit. Having known several Persians in my life I will never understand the Persian-hatred. Except from the POV that they dared, DARED to elect their own leaders and buck British control of their natural resources, that was the impetus for British intelligence and their aristocrat US cousins in CIA (not figure of speech, actual cousins) to stage a coup in the 1950s and put their puppet in power. And then to think the Iranians took control over their country A SECOND TIME. How dare they &so on &cetera.

  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Chris:

    Among the many fucked up parts of the war on terror is that we decided at the Axis of Evil speech that we were gonna to be at odds with secular Arab nationalism (Iraq), Shia fundamentalism (Iran) and Sunni fundamentalism (al-Qaeda) all at the same time. The result – we’re overwhelmed in the Middle East because we want to fight too many people all at once.

    Wow, I never thought of it this way, but well put.

    That leaves our “friends” in the region as hyperwealthy tone-deaf British-put-up absolute monarchs who are *this close* to getting what’s coming to them from the people they’ve been crushing under their bootheels for nearly three generations.

  85. 85
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Cacti: Al Qaeda was a terrorist organization that had been attacking US targets for years by the time 9/11 happened and had already attempted to bomb the World Trade Center unsuccessfully once.

    ISIS is fighting a ground war in Iraq and Syria.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    ISIS is fighting a ground war in Iraq and Syria.

    Yes, and “is” denotes present tense only. Do you remember when the mujahideen were just fighting a ground war in Afghanistan?

    Plus, ISIS includes what used to be called “Al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

  87. 87
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Mike in NC: For everyone who defended Fred Thompson because of his education, may I present to you this guy.

    In a newspaper article, USA Today called him the “poster child for everything that went wrong in the real estate boom”.

    Very bright, graduated from Stanford, talked (that is, wrote) really well. One of the most spectacular financial blowups of the housing bubble fueled by grifter-seminars (Rich Dad, Poor Dad–and so on), hubris, narcissism, and laziness.

    Very smart can be very, very dumb in every way that matters.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @Cervantes:

    A look at their bank balances might disabuse you of the notion that they’re all stupid.

    Freddie Thompson is not exactly an imbecile, either. He has degrees in philosophy, political science, and law. His mentor, Sen. Howard Baker, put him on the staff of one of the congressional Watergate committees, where he leaked information to the White House; and, I suspect indirectly, to Rose Mary Woods.

    He later became Senator. As I say, he’s no fool.

    Either you have a writing comprehension problem or I have a reading comprehension problem. But in my book you give both of these people credit for money power, education and make the leap that they are not fools or idiots because of those things. I say they are in spite of those things. Those things do not make someone, anyone less of a fool or idiot. Or asshole. They can make them more educated and/or wealthier but they do not by themselves make them less foolish or idiotic. They are not causal, one way or the other. You are making their argument that they are not fools and idiots because of the money and education.

  89. 89
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    For everyone who defended Fred Thompson because of his education

    To point out that someone is hardly an “imbecile” is not to “defend” him — unless pointing out that you’re not, say, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is to “defend” you.

    So if you want to criticize Fred Thompson, go for it. I criticized him above as well.

    Not too difficult to understand these distinctions, I should think.

  90. 90
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus:

    If it suits you to think of those people as “imbeciles,” feel free. You appear to be heavily invested in describing them that way. Personally, I think it’s the wrong word. They serve their own individual and class interests quite well, as they perceive them. For them to do so may be morally wrong, but that’s quite different from being stupid.

    I reserve the term “imbecile” for someone who cannot think at all; or rather, for instances in which someone appears not to be thinking at all. I do not use the word simply to describe people whose moral voice I find lacking. Too subtle? Wrong, somehow? So be it.

  91. 91
    Elizabelle says:

    @Emma:

    Language preceding our new software overlords, hmmm?

    It’s sad and sick that too many workplaces see employees as a (replaceable) cost of doing business, and not as assets and the human beings they are.

    And that too many owners/shareholders are so beholden to profiteering and exploitation.

    Wall Street vs. Main Street.

  92. 92
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    Very bright, graduated from Stanford, talked (that is, wrote) really well. One of the most spectacular financial blowups of the housing bubble fueled by grifter-seminars (Rich Dad, Poor Dad–and so on), hubris, narcissism, and laziness.

    Don’t know the person at all. How is he doing these days? Is he a success in any sense of the word?

    What makes you say he’s “very bright”? What makes you say he was graduated from Stanford (or any college, for that matter)?

    If you mentioned him as an example, I presume you have better ones somewhere.

  93. 93
    Gex says:

    @RaflW: And it should be a crime that these people get business friendly laws passed by pushing a social agenda that screams “family values” and then harming families in every way they can by keeping wages too low and by disrupting family life.

  94. 94
    Mike G says:

    @Gex:

    Whenever I hear the phrase “family values” from these people, I translate it as, “Your family has no value when it interferes with my profits”.

    Actual family values might involve removing the US from the small club of backward-ass nations that offer no paid family leave for having a child. But that might trim someone’s profits and force them to sell one of their several Gulfstream jets, so just utter empty platitudes about Jeebus and evil saggy pants instead.

  95. 95
    mclaren says:

    Who can we bomb?

    We need to bomb the group that’s creating problems in the world, supplying arms to dangerous unstable radicals.

    In other words, we need to bomb Washington D.C.

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