Same As It Ever Was

Adam’s right – whether or not Trump is a Russian agent/asset, he sure is doing what a Russian agent/asset would do.  The question is whether the press is going to get on this in a real way, instead of throwing half punches.  All credit to the Times for breaking the story, but if you look at their politics feed, you’ll see headlines like “If Trump Wants to Broaden His Support, Polls Suggest He’s Going About It Wrong“.  Anyone with two eyes and a brain can see that Trump’s project isn’t about broadening his support, but rather appeasing his base while shafting the rest of the country who didn’t vote for him.  Or how about this gem:  “Trump’s Evolving Rhetoric on the Wall“.  “Evolving Rhetoric”, hmm, let me get out my Times wimpy euphemism decoder ring and look it up.  Ah, here it is:  “pack of lies”.

Contrast the easygoing attitude about the thousands of lies told by Trump with the latest Glenn Kessler piece examining the most pressing question of our time:  Could Elizabeth Warren’s mother have supported her family on a minimum wage job in 1961?  His conclusion isn’t half bad, but it isn’t very good, either:

The Pinnochio Test

As we noted, Warren’s overall point is correct: The federal minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation. In 1961, it could have kept a three-person family out of poverty. But today, it wouldn’t even keep a two-person family out of poverty, at least according to the official poverty rate. Her case glosses over the fact that the official poverty rate may not be the best metric, but there is little debate that the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation.

As for our reader’s question, the answer depends on whether Warren’s mother in 1961 qualified for a minimum wage of $1 or $1.15. She was either close to the edge of the poverty line or just under it, depending on the data you examine. Since we do not know what she earned, we will leave this unrated. But readers can offer their own rating below.

Yes, let’s never allow a Democrat (especially a female Democrat) the respect of taking her at her word about her lived experience. And let’s be sure to open the doors to legalistic, picayune discussions about how a 15 cents an hour difference could determine the truth or falsity of a the observations of a young girl watching her mother struggle to raise a family on her own.  Doesn’t being there count for something?

Also, fuck your Pinnochios, Glenn, fuck them right in half.  It’s a stupid, childish name for a the very serious work that the press should be doing assessing the truth. It reeks of the “it’s all a game and we’re above it” savvy mentality that infects the DC press.  The name, combined with the Jesuitical distinctions that you love to draw, makes what should be an important enterprise something that nobody takes seriously.

It’s no surprise that DC’s self-proclaimed arbiter of truth has adopted a child’s toy as his mascot, because these guys are bringing a popgun to a nuclear war.






55 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    It’s time for the reporters to start asking if our president is a SPY? Half of his supporters look at the word agent and think he was just trying to sell real estate.

  2. 2
    A Ghost To Most says:

    FTFNYT. The real journalism is being done by Wapo and a hundred other outlets.

    For a blog that claims to hate the FTFNYT, there sure is a lot of references to it.

    FTFNYT. Stop treating them like the paper of record.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    I’ve gotten weary of the Pinnochios. It was cute at first, but when the lie-count passes a thousand, it has passed the point where a quantitative difference becomes qualitative. Time has come where news media should just call it like it is– lying all the time about everything.

    And, oh, btw– he never said that Mexico would pay for the wall? Come on.

  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    @JPL: Yes! And please don’t call Trump a double-agent because that implies he’s doing some occasionally useful things for the US. Trump is just Philby without Philby’s education, charm, patriotism or integrity.

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    @JPL: Trump isn’t a Russian agent. He’s not smart enough for that. He’s a Russian asset. That’s a much easier word for people understand. He’s owned by Russia.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:

    Good post.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    @Yarrow: Agree. ‘Asset’ is clearly correct.

  8. 8
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    Commenter Villago Delenda Est here says it best:

    Villago delenda est.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Like it or not, I think the FTFTFNYT is still considered by most to be one of the top two or three dailies in the country. (The others being WaPo and, to a lesser extent, the WSJ.)

    I’m assuming you know that Kessler is WaPo, not the FTFTFNYT, and were just railing about the other linked articles. But, isn’t that railing not unlike complaining “For a blog that claims to hate Republicans, there sure are a lot of references to them”? It’s kind of the nature of the beast, so to speak.

  10. 10
    Mathguy says:

    “…fuck your Pinnochios, Glenn, fuck them right in half. It’s a stupid, childish name for a the very serious work that the press should be doing assessing the truth. It reeks of the “it’s all a game and we’re above it” savvy mentality that infects the DC press. The name, combined with the Jesuitical distinctions that you love to draw, makes what should be an important enterprise something that nobody takes seriously.”

    This is an important and completely overlooked point by our beloved MSM. It serves to trivialize lying and normalize the shitgibbon.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    @MattF: It’s important to use the correct term. Some of the other players may be Russian agents. We certainly know of Russians involved in this whole traitorous operation, like Natalia Veselniskaya, who are GRU operatives. There are so many more. But as for Americans who have turned and become Russian agents…well, that’s yet to be determined. There will be some.

  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    Also, fuck your Pinnochios, Glenn, fuck them right in half. It’s a stupid, childish name for a the very serious work that the press should be doing assessing the truth. It reeks of the “it’s all a game and we’re above it” savvy mentality that infects the DC press. The name, combined with the Jesuitical distinctions that you love to draw, makes what should be an important enterprise something that nobody takes seriously.

    It’s no surprise that DC’s self-proclaimed arbiter of truth has adopted a child’s toy as his mascot, because these guys are bringing a popgun to a nuclear war.

    Completely agree. The media has failed. Utterly.

  13. 13

    Oh my god, I saw a headline “Tucker Carlson Has Spawned The Most Interesting Debate In Conservative Politics” and nothing could sum up the failures of the modern press more. They think white supremacy is an adorable quirk, on the same scale as vegetarianism. Turn that around, and it betrays that they see minorities as objects and not people. Which… pretty much sums up their coverage of all minority issues. “This person says you shouldn’t put avacado in- I mean, allow transwomen in public restrooms! Let’s listen to their explanation!” “But without a modern database- sorry, the black vote, would Obama have won?”

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: There’s the unstated premise that racism is just one of those right-wing foibles. Maybe kinda nasty, but not debateable– like hating the Clintons.

  15. 15
    SRW1 says:

    Awarding Pinnochios is a cutesy way to avoid having to say ‘lies’.

  16. 16
    RepubAnon says:

    Mainstream media starting points:
    * If a Democrat says something, it’s presumed to be a lie absent compelling evidence of truth
    * If a Republican says something, it’s always presented as truth absent overwhelming evidence of falsehood – in which case, it’s deemed a “misstatement.”

    Explain again why it’s the “liberal” media? That word “liberal” doesn’t seem to mean what I think it means…

  17. 17

    @Frankensteinbeck: Too true. A lot of soft racists don’t mind a side kick to be from a minority group but not the square jawed hero. Even the square jawed hero, Mr Clint Eastwood is not an exception to this rule.

  18. 18

    @MattF:
    A lot like hating the Clintons. The real thing they find objectionable is using the words openly, but even if you do it’s ‘Oh my, you’re so scandalous, teehee! But really, doesn’t everyone think that Hillary is dishonest, and black men are scary and there will be a good reason one was killed if you just look?’

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: If you haven’t read Adam’s thread from last night there was some discussion about McConnell in there. You were talking about him yesterday morning and you said there’s no evidence of his involvement with Russia, so I thought you might be interested in reading it.

  20. 20
    Nelle says:

    We don’t have cable but I catch Joy Reid on occasion on Live Streaming. This morning, shortly after a panelist said that we have a US president implementing Russian foreign policy, citing recent examples in Syria and Afghanistan, the feed went dead. Weird. I wanted to hear more.

  21. 21

    @SRW1: It is a game to these coddled reporters and pundits. Hence the pinocchios by Kessler, the incessant giggling of Amy Walter and Tamara Keith on the Snooze Hour and so on.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @RepubAnon:

    * If a Democrat says something, it’s presumed to be a lie absent notwithstanding compelling evidence of truth

    Fixed.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    They chuckle a lot on Chris Hayes show at inappropriate times too. It’s irritating.

  24. 24
    patrick II says:

    “These guys are bringing a popgun to a nuclear war”.
    That’s how I felt about Nancy and Schumer the other night. We get only so many chances to follow President Putin’s gofer boy/lying machine, and his lies remain mostly unchallenged by the reasonable and speech that followed. They weren’t bad, but they were talking in standard politicspeak. We could have used someone with a little fire, truthspeak and attack up there.
    We are so calm as we watch our Democracy float away! Oh, sir! Please don’t do that!

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    Quick question, cuz I have a rightwing friend saying it is not:

    Do most American schools still say the Pledge of Allegiance? What is going on in your kid’s or grandkid’s school?

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @Elizabelle: It was clear, when I got old enough to think about it, that ‘pledging allegiance to the flag’ is idolatry. Your RW friend should oppose it.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @patrick II:

    Whataboutism is a tried and true Russian tactic.

  28. 28
    billcinsd says:

    Using the BLS Inflation Calculator (https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) one can easily calculate the official conversion of past dollars to current dollars. Going this, $1 per hour in December 1961, the worst case for Warren, is $8.37 per hour today. The current Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. So the truth value can be easily determined without even having to do math yourself

  29. 29
    Yarrow says:

    @Baud: Yep. How’s the Baud!2020! campaign going? I see Castro is going to announce today. I’m looking forward to supporting your candidacy!

  30. 30

    @patrick II: Throwing a tantrum to match T is a losing strategy. Nancy knows what she is doing.
    @Baud: You are so right. Jowls of concern Sheilds did the same thing yesterday.

  31. 31
    patrick II says:

    @Baud:
    Agreed. Kessler is a fine practitioner of whataboutism. I am not sure what that has to do with my comment, though.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Jowls of concern

    Outstanding. Do his brows also furrow (deeply)? Or is that limited to Rethugs when they’re pretending to be concerned about Shitgibbon’s latest antics?

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @Yarrow:

    You can be a dumb agent.

  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MomSense:
    Dumb agents get cut. In Putin’s Russia, literally.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    patrick II says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Nice strawman. I did not say Nancy should throw a tantrum. Mistermix’s theme is summed up:”Contrast the easygoing attitude about the thousands of lies told by Trump with the latest Glenn Kessler piece examining the most pressing question of our time: Could Elizabeth Warren’s mother have supported her family on a minimum wage job in 1961? ”

    Easygoing attitude towards Trump lies does not just happen with journalists. And while everyone can’t and shouldn’t be Maxine Waters, there was enough opportunity after Trump’s eight minutes of lies to call him on at least a few of the most important ones.

  37. 37
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yep. You have to be at least a certain level of competence to be an agent. Trump isn’t there. He talks too much. He telegraphs everything.

  38. 38

    @SFAW: Ds are a party of ” interest groups” doncha know, Jowls said so last week.

  39. 39
    Aleta says:

    In 2017 Susan Glasser in Politico (on May 10) wrote that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s visit to the Oval Office (on May 10, soon after Comey was fired May 9) was “at the specific request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” She quoted a WH spokesman who told her this directly.

    The chummy White House visit—photos of the president yukking it up with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak were released by the Russian Foreign Ministry since no U.S. press was allowed to cover the visit—had been one of Putin’s asks in his recent phone call with Trump, and indeed the White House acknowledged this to me later Wednesday.

    “He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to,” a White House spokesman said of Trump’s Lavrov meeting.

    “Putin did specifically ask on the call when they last talked.”

    From: http://www.politico.com/magazi.....tin-215124
    Russia’s Oval Office Victory Dance
    The cozy meeting between President Trump and Russia’s foreign minister came at Vladimir Putin’s insistence.

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    The question is whether the press is going to get on this in a real way, instead of throwing half punches.

    Kind of late for that. It is almost … sweet… to see how some believe that the press can ride to the rescue with a flurry of investigative journalism. But if Mueller and his gang don’t have the goods on Trump already, there ain’t gonna be no hail Mary to deliver us from evil.

    All credit to the Times for breaking the story, but if you look at their politics feed, you’ll see headlines like “If Trump Wants to Broaden His Support, Polls Suggest He’s Going About It Wrong“.

    This is even more ludicrous. It’s not just the Times, but the entire Political Industrial complex keeps trying to see Trump as a politician, a political leader, as a rational human being. The myth that a person elected president will rise to the demands of the office is working overtime here.

    And Trump is trying to broaden his base by amplifying his appeal to bigotry and racism. Border security means absolutely keeping out every worthless poor shit hole immigrant from all those worthless shit hole countries, while intimidating and rooting out those worthless immigrants who the Democrats let in earlier. And Trump believes that he can get enough fools to buy into this to get another electoral college win.

    And if the Times and company are too timid to call Trump a liar, they are certainly too timid to call him a racist. Or more accurately, a racist mothetfucker who should be impeached and removed from office.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Are you my son? He said the same thing to me and pointed out that when trump gave classified information to the Russians, trump didn’t even try to cover it up.

  42. 42
    oatler. says:

    Don’t worry, Chuck Todd has Ted Cruz on tomorrow morning to ease our concerns!

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @oatler.: wtf.. Just why..

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Trump would disagree with that assessment, and would continue to say that he would be the best spy ever.

  45. 45
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Ds are a party of ” interest groups” doncha know, Jowls said so last week.

    Thank FSM Shields is here to tell me that. I hear and obey the word of Landru Shields

  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @SFAW:
    Lots of people say FTFNYT, but seem to have subs to it.

    I bitch about WaPo’s courtesy Nazi columnists and Kessler, who I ignore, but you don’t see the shading of news articles that is a common complaint of the Times here. Or is my impression that the Times shades new stories to the right incorrect?

  47. 47
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Yes. A wingnut teacher near us was recently arrested for assaulting a student who chose not to stand or recite the Pledge, which is a (not so) protected right.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    @A Ghost To Most: If I may ask, what state are you in?

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:

    He’s owned by Russia.

    Needs to be quoted for truth every fucking day.

    Tick Motherfucking Tock indeed.

  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @JPL: He sure didn’t. He’s been telling us–and everyone–who he is for ages. We just didn’t want to hear it.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    I used to not say the pledge everyday in school. I would stand though, I don’t think I thought not to. But the pledge seemed to be stupid, insane even. It’s my country, and I’m not making a religious themed pledge in any event. Which of course was added in my lifetime. I was 5 when it was added. And at the time the pledge had only been around about 60 yrs. And I was willing to take an oath when I volunteered for the navy. Which was not religious in any way.

  52. 52

    @patrick II: May be not a tantrum but you indulged in theater criticism like much of our MSM did. It was whataboutism like Baud pointed out.
    Whatever Nancy Pelosi is doing is working. She has succeeded in getting under his skin. I have better uses of my time than criticizing for not being perfect.

  53. 53
    waratah says:

    Beto and Ocasio-Cortez are using the internet to define themselves and the press is not really happy about that. I think the news media needs to worry because I know I am fast bypassing them looking for accurate information.

  54. 54
    SFAW says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    You’re answering questions that weren’t asked, or countering points that weren’t made.

    I can envision at least two reasons why people here have subs to the FTFTFNYT: (A) they realize that the Times is not just the political reporting section, and find the rest of the paper [sic] provides value at some level; (B) know your enemy.

    I subscribe to the WaPo (digital/online) because Fahrenthold’s reporting in 2016 merited rewarding the paper that published him. I do not subscribe to the Boston Glob — the local “paper of record” — because John Henry has turned it into a right-of-center crapfest. But were I in the political blog business, and wrote about current affairs — and if the Glob had anything to contribute, good or bad — I would probably subscribe to it. Same with the FTFTFNYT

  55. 55
    Van Buren says:

    @Elizabelle: In the heart of the Socialist Republic of Brooklyn, we say it every day.

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