Post Mueller Thoughts

I guess maybe because I read the damned report, unlike, apparently, the FBI director and every member of the Republican caucus, there was nothing really newsworthy there today. Just an aged bureaucrat calmly answering questions from a bunch of people who, with limited exceptions, had far inferior intellect. I don’t know how the man made it through the sessions without eye rolling, but I had to stop watching somewhere around when Matt Gaetz shouted nonsense for five minutes and some lady named Lesko owned herself and the GOP and didn’t seem to notice.

The main problem for me is this format, much like the debate formats for Presidential debates, just sucks. One of the things I have noticed in the years I have been alive is that in large group settings, not everyone has to talk. In fact, again with limited exceptions, everyone would be better off in large group settings if most people didn’t talk. This is especially true when the large group is composed of congressmen, who are only there because the people chose them, and the American people are a bunch of idiots who are constantly making bad choices. For example, the Big Bang Theory ran for twelve seasons.

But, because we have to let every egomaniacal halfwit have their say, everyone is giving a smattering of time and nothing beyond the superficial is ever really explored. Add to that that the time is mostly wasted by people who like to hear their own voices and seem confused by the difference between talking and saying something, and you get four minutes and forty seconds of inconsequential babble peppered by brief remarks from Mueller retorting “It’s in the fucking report you mouthbreather.”

The hearings themselves were then capped with instant analysis by a bunch of people who basically have their jobs because they are prettier than most everyone else and thus on television, and usually the instant analyses are roughly worth the time given to create them. And then we’ll have the almost instant thought pieces, and the “who won and who lost” pieces, and by tomorrow we’ll be talking about whatever Third Reich slogan the losers at Trump’s rally down the road from me were screaming.

I’ve come to the conclusion that as a country, we are just uniquely unprepared to deal with Trump. Everything happens so fast, no one thinks about anything, there are never any repercussions for the rich and powerful and most certainly not for the pundit class, and in the end it’s all just a blur with too much happening in too many directions to handle anything effectively. It’s dizzying.

In my own personal life, and maybe this is both society changing and me getting older, I’ve been making a concerted effort to just slow everything down. Other than days like today with the Mueller testimony, I don’t watch cable news. I’ve been reading a lot of books. I stopped watching as much tv. I spend more time out in the yard, or sitting on the porch with the dogs, or just shutting it all down so I can just think. More and more I think it was a real turning point for the country when Obama shut down Ed Henry who was carping at him for not reacting quickly enough to the AIG bonuses:

No one seems to care if they know what they are talking about anymore.






182 replies
  1. 1
    MazeDancer says:

    Watching Mueller in clips, coming one after another, he comes across as focussed, intense, serious, deadly.

    People watching the news and not the hearings will be wide-eyed.

    Editing is everything.

  2. 2
    John S. says:

    Every time I see an Obama clip I am reminded of how sorely this country needs a president – not a reality TV personality.

  3. 3
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I guess maybe because I read the damned report, unlike, apparently, the FBI director and every member of the Republican caucus, there was nothing really newsworthy there today.

    i think the opening exchanges between Nadler and Mueller– in which trump’s “total exoneration” and “no obstruction” claims were demolished– and Schiff and Nadler– this one*– were newsworthy, for people who didn’t read the report, but don’t watch cable news, but just kind of glean headlines and ‘top stories’, and that’s who we’re trying to drag along, the great, hulking, uncommitted lumpenmittel.

    and as Marc Caputo says, that clip is tailor-made for our short-attention span target demo

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @John S.: For me every time I see a clip I get teary eyed. I don’t know how we fell into the abyss.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    Concur with not watching or listening to cable news, broadcast news, NPR … because they are sensationalistic infotainment in the first two cases, and stupefyingly timid in the third. I think they inure people to what’s going on.

    It’s good to retreat into private life, and enjoying this short life that we all have. Although I know we all remain engaged enough to vote and be good informed citizens.

    WRT the hearings: I thought the Democrats did fine, with maybe eyebrows raised at one or two. The Republicans were batshit crazy, to a person, except for Will Hurd, who appeared rather late in the Intelligence Committee hearing.

    The GOP “leaders” were absolute fucking clowns. Doug Collins, with his auctioneer on amphetamines approach. Devin Nunes, who is a dolt, through and through. It was kind of fun to have the minor clowns have their say, rather than listen to those two for an even more extended period. (Collins’ main gift is — he speaks so quickly one cannot process all that he says. Which is fine.)

    The FTF Maggie Haberman NY Times gave Doug Speedball Collins an op ed today. It’s Time to Move On from Robert Mueller. It’s not going too well for him in the reader comments.

    We could do with a functioning press, and the lack of Rupert Murdoch’s destructive touch. The latter paved the way for Trump and the very literally frightening Republican congressmen on display today. No question in my mind there.

  6. 6
    KlareCole says:

    Those were the days, when we had a president who liked to know what he was talking about. Or thought about preparing. It seems that ‘nothing gained, nothing lost’ might describe the Mueller hearing. Nothing lost because so much has already been lost in the fabric of our politics. My cat of 14 years died last month, and that gloom settles over the Mueller gloom for me. I do think your urge to live more in the moment and think less about public discourse makes sense. I feel it too. My discouragement over the seeming ennui of the American people over such an outrageously corrupt president was reinforces today. How much more would the House need to impeach him? BTW, my condolences as I hear Trump is in our fair state of WV today.

  7. 7
    BRobin says:

    I agree that no one seems to care what they are talking about. They certainly care that they are talking, yet even then a cacophony of voices trying to shout down the others isn’t very productive.

    Which, it would seem is the point.

  8. 8
    Haroldo says:

    @JPL:

    I don’t know how we fell into the abyss

    .

    To a large degree Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes knowing that the lizard brain lurks within a lot of us. And then knowing how to let the lizard out for exercise.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    jk says:

    John,

    Your analysis is spot on. The Democrats should have delegated the questioning to their 2 best interrogators or used some outside lawyers to question Mueller. The pundits who came on the air to give their post-game analysis are worth less than a warm bucket of urine. They’re flat out pampered assholes who deserve to burn in Hell for eternity. If it ultimately comes down to a choice between Trump or Biden with the Republicans keeping control of the Senate, I’ll be rooting for a killer asteroid to burn this motherfucking planet down.

  11. 11
    pat says:

    I watched pretty much the whole thing (sometimes I was on the porch only listening and watching the monarchs in the milkweed). I think that Mueller was shocked by the ridiculous charges against his people and his investigation, especially by the last idiot who went after them, and he came into the second hearing with a bit different attitude.
    Plus Adam Schiff was brilliant. He ought to lead the impeachment inquiry.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL: Rupert Murdoch and lack of a Fairness Doctrine. He and Ailes (and Rush Limbaugh, etc.) radicalized a large segment of the American public.

    This did not happen by accident.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: If you can knock on doors. Although I shy away from national elections, I know knocking on doors works for local elections. Wave signs and remember every little bit helps.

  14. 14
    zhena gogolia says:

    At dinner of course I was railing about Trump. Then I fell silent and was thinking about Mueller. Then I said out loud to my husband, “He looks kind of like you.” After a stunned silence, he said, “Trump?”

    My poor husband, he puts up with a lot.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL: Oh, I do. Canvassing makes a HUGE difference. Plus, good exercise.

  16. 16
    planetjanet says:

    Like you, I do not watch the TV news much and do not suffer the idiocies of the TV pundit class quite so much. I do not need hot take and theater critics. But I am quite happy with the Washington Post headline right now. In quite large type, it says “Russian interference threatens 2020 election, Mueller warns”. Quite an appropriate message. Feels like journalism it not quite yet dead.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that as a country, we are just uniquely unprepared to deal with Trump. Everything happens so fast, no one thinks about anything, there are never any repercussions for the rich and powerful and most certainly not for the pundit class

    It’s not just here. I used to semi-joke that my first thought when I woke up in the morning was “I can’t believe that Trump is the president.”

    I’m getting the impression that a lot of Brits are thinking the same thing about Boris Johnson.

    And their press is as bad or worse than ours. I was listening to a podcast of British journalists talking amongst themselves and they all seemed to be smugly above it all, chuckling that Johnson was a vain elitist buffoon, but by God gave fun interviews. No hint at all that they might have some responsibility to report honestly about politics or the consequences of BREXIT.

    And so it goes.

  18. 18
    Spanky says:

    @JPL:

    I don’t know how we fell into the abyss.

    Pulled by Republicans, pushed by Russians.

  19. 19
    geg6 says:

    I admit it…Big Bang Theory is a guilty pleasure of mine. As is Young Sheldon.

    I just can’t with this shit. I’m shutting it out for a couple days. When everyone calms down, I’ll tune back in, hopefully when more sober takes are being put forth. I just saw a news alert from Vox on my phone, saying the hearing had 5 losers and 0 winners, just like a ball game. Ezra can go DIAF. I just can’t with this shit.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Daniel Dale @ ddale8
    Asked about his aides being untruthful, Trump says Mueller’s aides were untruthful, and he calls a reporter untruthful for the question.
    No puppet! No puppet! You’re the puppet!

  21. 21
    Betsy says:

    You are so right, John.

  22. 22
    pluky says:

    “the Big Bang Theory ran for twelve seasons.” Amen. I watched part of one episode because one of my sisters said I’d like it since it’s “about people like you.” Wrong. I’m a nerd. Most of my friends growing up were nerds. The show portrays a caricature of nerds for non-nerds. In particular, they’re way too nice and naive. Real nerds incline more to acid tongued commentary on the human condition. Less Pollyanna, and more Dorothy Parker.

    As to the hearings, the bits and pieces I heard were pretty much as expected. Mueller wasn’t going to give up any sound-bite goodies; the Democrats were going to dither (for the most part); the Republicans would be all-in for rabid gaslighting.

    What is really needed to break this logjam are some serious judicial decisions on the outstanding subpoenas. If McTurtle & Co. can’t see their way to impeach and convict a President in defiance of a Supreme Court decision, we might as all pack our bags and emigrate. The American Experiment is done.

  23. 23
    joel hanes says:

    @Brachiator:

    [The British] press is as bad or worse than ours

    Rupert Murdoch suborned the media culture in three different English-speaking nations. The Canadians were wise enough to prohibit his lying “news”. I don’t know why New Zealand is still sane, but they seem to have a fully-adult government, so I assume Murdoch is not a thing there either.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @Brachiator: Yeah. I caught some of those smug asses laughing about Brexit a few months ago. I was yelling at the car radio, before I turned it off. The usual “this fisherman says this …” without any context at all as to whether it was accurate. I am not British. How am I to know what is accurate and what is not if you wanking toffs will not do your jobs?

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @planetjanet:

    But I am quite happy with the Washington Post headline right now. In quite large type, it says “Russian interference threatens 2020 election, Mueller warns”. Quite an appropriate message. Feels like journalism it not quite yet dead.

    And this is why the Trump Justice Department wants to go after Amazon, to get at Jeff Bezos.

  27. 27
    gene108 says:

    What brief bits I was able to catch, the Republicans reinforced their talking points for discrediting Mueller and the investigation.

    I don’t know, if Dems got through to the squishy middle of this country.

  28. 28
    J R in WV says:

    @KlareCole:

    My cat of 14 years died last month, and that gloom settles over the Mueller gloom for me.

    So sorry for your loss — 14 years is long enough for a very real affection. We have two cats about that age, not sisters, but close enough. The bigger one tries to beat up the smaller, faster one, to no avail. The little one isn’t a bit afraid of the big one, just falls on her back, then throws the big one to one side and jumps on her, Nin-jitsu cat!

    Take care, and look around for another cat, there are lots of them around us who need homes and will purr for food. Or for affection…

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    @pluky:

    Real nerds incline more to acid tongued commentary on the human condition. Less Pollyanna, and more Dorothy Parker.

    If you know who Dorothy Parker is, you ain’t no real nerd. ;)

    Also, I think the Big Bang crew were more geeks than nerds.

  30. 30
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Just watched the Pelosi et al press conference. I like the united front the chairs are presenting, and I like the message on impeachment: there’s still important evidence and facts and witnesses that Congress doesn’t have because they’re all locked up in court. They need to fight the court battles.

    And as Nancy Smash said, it’s not an endless process. If they keep stonewalling, that in itself is grounds to begin impeachment hearings.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: This is where I disagree. They need to frame the republicans message as a lie, and repeat it over and over. The time for politeness is over.

  32. 32
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @pluky:

    As to the hearings, the bits and pieces I heard were pretty much as expected. Mueller wasn’t going to give up any sound-bite goodies;

    People have been quoting Mueller sound bite goodies all day.

  33. 33
    KlareCole says:

    JR, thank you for your kind words. Your cats sound hilarious & adorable. The total trust bestowed by our sweet cat was so precious. Yes, after 14 years, it was a very strong & loving bond. He had a wonderful life. He seemed to die of old age. Just very surprised at the depth & length of the grief.

  34. 34
    Haroldo says:

    @joel hanes:

    Rupert Murdoch suborned the media culture in three different English-speaking nations.

    I’ve mentioned this a number of times today, and I’ll mention it again because it can’t be said enough.

  35. 35
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @JPL: They did. The word “lie” was used freely. As was the bald statement that the president* is a criminal, and that the Senate, if they let him off the hook, are enemies of democracy.

    It was not polite.

    Which part are you disagreeing with? That they should wait for the current round of court rulings on subpoenas? You feel they should go ahead without the requested documents and without even a ruling on those documents?

  36. 36
    Doug R says:

    Any show that has guests like Leonard Nimoy, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking and astronaut Mike Massimino can’t be all bad. I haven’t watched more than a couple in a row, but sometimes there is NOTHING else on.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL: Do yourself a favor and watch Nancy Pelosi’s press conference this afternoon. (C-Span link to the whole thing; it was not that long and did not ramble.)

    Especially listen to Elijah Cummings. It will reassure you.

  38. 38
    laura says:

    @KlareCole: the depth and length of grief for your little moggie, speaks to your capacity for love and empathy. I’m sorry for your loss and hope that your memories are sweet and warm.

  39. 39
    zhena gogolia says:

    Okay, time to self-medicate with Shirley Temple on TCM.

  40. 40
    apocalipstick says:

    It’s not that we are unprepared to deal with Trump, it is that, as Trevor Noah said, “You have no way of stopping someone who just acts like an asshole.” In fact, the Constitution is based on the assumption that all sides will try to act in good faith, and that any bad-faith actors will be a small group, rather than one-half of the system.

    If you’re missing the Obamas, listen to Michelle Obama on Conan O’Brien’s podcast.

  41. 41
    Tazj says:

    @Elizabelle: I agree, I think that the Democrats did a fairly good job today. Perhaps it would have been better if they had one person doing most of the questioning but I saw a game plan and a coordinated line of questioning with little grandstanding from anyone on the Democratic side.
    I know I complain a lot about the media and many were terrible today, but I do have faith that Pelosi, Cummings and Shiff know what they are doing. Sometimes I can’t believe that people like Todd and Peter Baker have such powerful positions.

  42. 42
    hitchhiker says:

    @Brachiator:

    I was listening to a podcast of British journalists talking amongst themselves and they all seemed to be smugly above it all, chuckling that Johnson was a vain elitist buffoon, but by God gave fun interviews. No hint at all that they might have some responsibility to report honestly about politics or the consequences of BREXIT.

    That shit makes me want to throw things. They could at least pretend to give a fuck once in a while.

  43. 43
    joel hanes says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think the Big Bang crew were more geeks than nerds

    The Big Bang crew were walking 2D stereotypes, the math/science equivalent of Stepin’ Fetchit, or Ma and Pa Kettle. (Penny was a different flavor of stereotype — but compare the role to Dianne on Cheers, or Elaine on Taxi. ) I lived or worked with math/science doctorates for over forty years, and found the show offensive.

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    sometimes I think maybe Kim Jong Un doesn’t love trump as much as trump thinks

    Jonathan Lemire @ JonLemire
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has fired two unidentified projectiles into the sea.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    Zack Beauchamp’s “no winners and five losers” piece at Vox may be the single dumbest thing ever to appear there. I’d like to take him behind the barn and horse-whip his useless ass.

  46. 46
    apocalipstick says:

    @Doug R: I found Big Bang to be an utterly mediocre show surrounding an amazing pergormance by Jim Parsons, at least in the early seasons.

  47. 47
    Haroldo says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Jesus. I am just this very second listening to the BBC and Boris is on the box. He’s as wretched as Trump, tho’ in his own toff-esque manner. I want to throw things now. (The Beeb is pretty unctuous, too.)

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    Schiff did an excellent job using leading questions to get Mueller to tell the story Schiff wanted told. I imagine Mueller recognized the technique instantly and was happy to go along.

  49. 49
    pluky says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: yes. in their better, not dithering, moments the Democrats asked the right questions needed to pry the sound bites out of Mr. Mueller. He wasn’t inclined to just give them up.

  50. 50
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    If only they could be identified as Trump and McConnell!

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Thanks for the link. A friend compared to what is happening with the media as the same as the 2018 elections when they said there was no blue wave. Obviously that was not true.

  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe Fat Bastard will schedule yet another meeting with Kim next month. Even if he met with him ten times, Trump is too dimwitted to figure out he’s being played. Has convinced himself that Nobel Peace Prize is almost within the grasp of his short orange fingers.

  53. 53
    pluky says:

    @Brachiator: Ah the subtle distinctions — nerd, geek, spaz, dweeb . . .

    My set’s hangout was the library. Our gods were Parker, Bierce, Wilde, Thompson, Burroughs, and the like.

  54. 54
    Felanius Kootea says:

    I was reading BJ on Mueller and feeling discouraged. Then I called my (retired) mom while I went to get lunch and it turned out she’d been
    watching Mueller’s testimony all day. She hasn’t read the report and for her, his testimony was eye opening. She said she could
    tell who was a Republican and who was a Democrat just by their manner of questioning. She watches Fox News to
    “know what the other side is thinking” (something I can never bring myself to do) and she felt that some facts from the Mueller report
    definitely got aired on Fox even through the propaganda.

    I felt much better after talking to her.

  55. 55
    debbie says:

    @Brachiator:

    I’m getting the impression that a lot of Brits are thinking the same thing about Boris Johnson.

    My Brit FB friends sure do. They are appalled. “Dude!” my ass.

  56. 56
    tobie says:

    I was driving from Mass to Maryland today and listened to the entire hearing on the road. Schiff’s committee is smaller so he’s able to run a tighter ship than Nadler but he’s also brilliant in getting the most out of questioning. His leading questions outlining the extent of the contact and cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians was absolutely riveting. Somewhere between NY and NJ I started hollering, I love you, Adam Schiff. I was alone in the truck so I don’t think anyone heard.

  57. 57
    gene108 says:

    @JPL:

    They need to frame the republicans message as a lie, and repeat it over and over.

    They need to do so much more than this

    They need to explain Republican policies, supply side economics, and Reagonomics as failures that has lead to the hollowing out of the middle class, and hurt economic opportunities for younger generations.

    Hammer it home Republicans are pursuing failed policies, and only have more of the same failed policies to offer.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    retired White House ethics lawyers have a low tolerance for bullshit

    Walter Shaub @ waltshaub
    Mueller’s report is damning and his testimony confirmed its most damning aspects on camera for those who didn’t read it. The type that debases our national life by covering politics like a sport calls it a disappointment because sober professionalism lacks the air of spectacle.

  59. 59
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s not just here. I used to semi-joke that my first thought when I woke up in the morning was “I can’t believe that Trump is the president.”

    I’m getting the impression that a lot of Brits are thinking the same thing about Boris Johnson.

    Turks Erdogan
    Filipinos Duarte
    Brazilians Bolsonaro
    Italians Salvini
    Indians Modi

    I think it’s fair to say that the internet has disrupted democracy in a similar way as it has with a bunch of other traditional institutions. Democracy always assumed that speech and organization had a (financial) cost. That cost is gone. Democracy hasn’t figured out what went wrong, and hasn’t figured out how to compensate. I wish I was more optimistic about these institutions, but I think they’re busted beyond repair.

  60. 60
    Aleta says:

    Manu Raju @mkraju
    Pelosi just privately told her members that they need to stay focused – but also indicated that if they need to support an impeachment inquiry, she respects that and must do what’s best for their district, per sources. She said Dems need to move forward in courts

    She also indicated that they must have strongest possible case before any impeachment inquiry – in line with what she has said in past. She’ll address media momentarily and we will get a sense on where she stands and if she’s shifted at all

    “She is open to it. She is open to it,” Jackie Speier said of Pelosi, adding that she believes she sounded more open to impeachment than she has previously, per

    Pelosi just now leaving caucus meeting. “The American people now realize more fully the crimes that have been committed against our Constitution,” per @morgan_rimmer

    To the Q “you have long said that Senate Rs wouldn’t go along with …”

    Manu Raju @mkraju
    Asked Pelosi about her previous concerns that Senate Rs wouldn’t go along with convicting Trump if House impeaches, and she shot back: “I have never long said that … The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook.”

    A shift?

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    @joel hanes:

    I always found it funny, when conservatives whined about their depiction in TV and movies, or that of small towns, no ivory tower coastal elites pointed to The Big Bang Theory, and said, “you don’t hear us bitchin’ about the most popular comedy show in America, so shut the fuck up”.

    It’s like we are secure in our selves or something.

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    @gene108: That’s way to deep for most of the believers. Just call a lie, a lie. Keep it simple.
    I agreed with you up until trump. You want to keep trump off of MSM, then call him a liar. MSM will be so busy saying can you believe what they are saying , that trump won’t get space he needs to spread his hate. Hillary ran on policies and pointed out their failed policies and that did not work.

  63. 63
    Fuzz says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Let them talk to theirs hearts content. The alternative is a war. I want Trump to talk and talk and talk to the North Koreans, Iranians, Venezuelans, whoever else. Let them play him and string him along. The only thing he knows to do otherwise is start a war.

    The testimony today wasn’t positive or negative for anyone. The reaction I’m seeing is it just further entrenched everyone in their positions. The republicans are seeing it as a big win but they see pretty much everything that way, and everyone else has just had confirmation as to the aspects of the report touching on obstruction.

    What I’m afraid is being lost though is the warning that the election interference was effective, didn’t cost Russia much of anything, and they’re gearing up to do it again.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @JPL:

    This requires much, much patience, something I have to remind myself of many times every day. If it turns out he can’t be vigorously impeached, Trump can still be voted out of office. Mueller’s statement that Trump can be prosecuted after he leaves office (even after a second term, it’s not clear that statute of limitations may apply) was frankly the best thing I heard all day.

    It’s more important to focus on 2020. The DNC needs to come up with a plan to win back the EC — or at least win enough of it to enable us to trounce the opposition and win large majorities in both the House and the Senate. It’s time to come up with a unified plan to oppose Trump. Nothing that can be argued against or mocked by his supporters. Not 90 million plans about everything under the sun. That’s for us.

    Where is the messaging that really matters to ALL voters, like the perilous economy? Where is the framing of Trump as Mr. Tariff Man? As the man who has turned the American Farmer into the Welfare Queen of the 21st century? What will they do when Trump has cost them their market share in the world economy?

    And now, back to cleaning.

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    @Martin:

    Why are you lumping Modi in with the others? It’s not his fault all Congress had to offer, in the last election, was Rahul Gandhi, who, unlike his father, is not able to scale up to convince people he can head the government.

    He isn’t trying to up end the Indian government or Constitution, unlike others on your list are doing to their own countries.

  66. 66
    L85NJGT says:

    I suspect the BBT will be the last laugh tracked three camera shoot that runs forever on network and syndication. It was comfort TV for an older skewing audience, like everything at CBS. Those formats, and that business model, are slipping into history.

  67. 67
    fuzz says:

    @Martin:

    I know I’m going to sound conservative here but at least in Italy and Brazil a major part of the problem is the liberal parties had no solutions to the problems that were foremost on people’s mind. In Italy immigration and in Brazil crime and corruption. The left wing response to concerns about countries being inundated with third world immigrants has basically been “shut up racist!” and the left wing in Brazil never effectively countered Bolsanaro’s anti corruption and anti crime message. The guy has been accused of nepotism scandals but by Brazil standards he’s clean. It’s the same in many other places. Neo liberalism/globalism type of liberalism not only doesn’t address many people’s concerns, it’s mocks them for even raising them. You don’t need the internet to lose if you’re going to do that.

  68. 68

    One of the common speculations ahead of this hearing was that the point would be to create clips of Mueller saying what his report said, and get them on the air for people who knew nothing except vague summaries from moronic talking heads. I’d say that worked fantastically. It doesn’t matter what the talking heads thought about those clips, people got to actually see Mueller saying stuff about Trump’s criminal behaviors. It’s quite hard to lure the media into reporting facts, but the Democrats pulled it off this time.

  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    @L85NJGT:

    The only time I watch BBT is when I’m with my Dad. He loves that show and has watched the same episodes many times. Honestly, I think I enjoy how much he enjoys the show more than the show itself, but I don’t want to hear anything bad about it. It makes my dad laugh and that’s good enough for me in this crazy world.

  70. 70
    apocalipstick says:

    @L85NJGT: No, because multi-camera shows do much, much better in syndication. It’s not like single-camera, no laugh-track comedies are burning up the charts. Ken Levine (head writer for M*A*S*H*, Cheers, and Frasier) theorizes that multi-cameras are attractive because they don’t demand rapt attention.

    A well-written multi-camera sitcom can be just as funny and insightful as a single-camera (cf. the reboot of One Day at a Time). The real issue is that so many are badly written.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    trump is retweeting this

    Michael Moore @ MMFlint
    A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions…I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just STFU from now on

    God, I hate that emo fuck

  72. 72
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @apocalipstick:

    If you’re missing the Obamas, listen to Michelle Obama

    I’m guessing that PBHO is relieved and enjoying not having to be in the spotlight. I love seeing Michelle out-and-about, and that she doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. I mean, it’s only fair, we need our Obama fix to get thru this ….. and she delivers.

    From time to time, I think of little Parker Curry, and how, just as Luther is Obama’s Anger Translator, she is our “recognizes royalty” translator. “She’s a queen”. Indeed, young Parker, she surely is.

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    @JPL:

    But it can’t be just one person. One reason Republicans can control the narrative is message discipline. They get talking points and they all stick to it.

    Democrats get questioned on their incipient “soc$alism”, every one of them that ever gets in front of a camera, like Donna Brazille, James Carville, Howard Dean, and the less famous strategists that get booked on cable news, need to turn the question around with the same points:”Why aren’t you ever asking Republicans about their failed 40 years of economic policy? None of their tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves, nothing trickles down to the middle class. The rich get richer, the rest gets left behind.”

    We need to plow into 12-14 year old heads Republican = Failure, so when they are voting in 2022 and 2024, they will reflexively doubt Republicans.

    It’s a heavy lift, and not likely to happen, but because it has truth and empirical evidence on its side, it should theoretically – hypothetically speaking, of course – be possible

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Betty Cracker was telling me in the morning thread that the centrists are worse. Probably right, but it’s hard to believe that sometimes.

  75. 75
    Aleta says:

    Manu Raju @mkraju

    Nadler indicated that one possibility is to have the six congressional committees that are investigating Trump to formally draft articles of impeachment, per sources. One person said it was an idea he floated but not one underway

    I thought this was the route they had chosen quite awhile ago instead of forming a special committee. (Have to look up when.) To let the congressional committees that are already investigating continue on, and then work together. At the time I guessed that perhaps he individual committees, esp heads, did not want to relinquish their power or argued to continue with what they were doing. (?)

  76. 76

    @gene108:

    One reason Republicans can control the narrative is message discipline. They get talking points and they all stick to it.

    That only works if you don’t give a fuck about the truth. People who want to do the right thing disagree on what it is, which is why there are a hundred different declarations on this blog about the specific thing that Democrats must hammer on over and over as their primary message.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @gene108:

    We’ll never have that much message discipline.

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    One reason Republicans can control the narrative is message discipline. They get talking points and they all stick to it.

    That only works if you don’t give a fuck about the truth.

    Yep. It’s got nothing to do with discipline. Republcans can gleefully lie about everything and their supporters will eagerly lap it up. And they will insist that they are hard headed realists.

  79. 79
    zhena gogolia says:

    Strzok and Page certainly got a workout this morning.

  80. 80
    joel hanes says:

    @debbie:

    The DNC needs to come up with a plan to win back the EC

    Preventing Russian/RNC ratfucking would go a long way toward that goal.
    Without Manafort giving the Russians the polling data, the Russian disinfo shops would not have been able to produce the 70,000-vote in just the critical counties in just the critical states surprise that put Trump over the top.
    https://www.wonkette.com/manafort-mueller-draft
    Today’s hearings and press conference did much elevate that exact issue.

  81. 81
    aliasofwestgate says:

    @debbie: There’s a problem i’d love to solve called the MSM. The Dems can shout to the mountaintops and far into space about the lies and the issues and get the right messaging 24/7/365. But the MSM will refuse to put them on air (up to and including MSNBC), or it will never get any kind of major traction on a national scale. Not while Sinclair has the local stations, iHeart has radio (because clear channel in any guise is a bitch), and talk radio is still a RWNJ paradise. We’re still trying to figure out how to get rid of the damned bots from russia and possibly our own ratfuckers as well on twitter and FB. I’ve long had issues with the MSM in general, and wish i had the microphone and a way to work around it. But i don’t, so all i can do is my little things here while i take care of my Mom and vote the fuckers out every chance i get.

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: I can understand people who think impeachment is too risky, though I myself think it’s a risk we should take. I think a lot of the “we need big, bold ideas!” talk leads to some counterproductive policies (i.e., I think going all in on single payer is bad politics, and my two preferred candidates are doing that). I think Joe Manchin is a fucking moron, and I pray he doesn’t ditch the Senate to run for governor in WV. We’re a big, loud, messy, sometimes unharmonious coalition. But I can’t think of anybody who’s been firing at his own putative side longer or more loudly than Michael Fucking Moore.

  83. 83
    The Dangerman says:

    …we are just uniquely unprepared to deal with Trump.

    Trump is a symptom, not the disease.

    Given our system, we need two parties interested in governing; the disease is that one of those parties is now more interested in winning than governing…

    …and maybe it’s always been this way but I think it has become far, far worse (with that ugly symptom being Trump).

    I don’t see the way back to sanity.

  84. 84
    apocalipstick says:

    @zhena gogolia: If you know what I mean and I think you do.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @John S.: Yes, it’s almost painful to see him and know what he was replaced with. We had eight glorious years with him and his lovely family. Sigh.

  86. 86
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Wow. Fuck off, Michael Moore!

  87. 87

    @Brachiator:

    And they will insist that they are hard headed realists.

    Furious, stewing resentment that they’re not allowed to win every argument and facts daring to contradict them is a big part of the conservative motivation, and is closely linked to racism. Conservative thought is also abusive thought, and abusers prides themselves on making the ‘tough decisions’, IE patting themselves on the back for hurting someone. One of the biggest reasons I think the media are basically Republican rather than intimidated or bought off is that pundits eat up this kind of thinking, and use that framing themselves constantly. It’s too subtle a detail to be externally imposed.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @fuzz:

    The left wing response to concerns about countries being inundated with third world immigrants has basically been “shut up racist!” and the left wing in Brazil never effectively countered Bolsanaro’s anti corruption and anti crime message.

    But Bolsonaro’s answer, like Putin’s, is to become the Apex of corruption and criminality himself. His promise is to make life easier for the white Brazilian elite, and to toss a few crumbs to a sliver of the middle class and to forget anyone else.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am constantly amazed why people who have been utterly unsuccessful at politics for decades think they can chastise people about how they conduct politics.

  90. 90
    hueyplong says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: Seconded, though I’d have amped up the intensity

  91. 91
    Jay says:

    DOJ sends letter to Speaker Pelosi informing her that there will not be a prosecution going forward on AG Barr and Treasury Sec Ross over contempt. pic.twitter.com/sXlUIDfgtf— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) July 24, 2019

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s also just easier to lie, exploit prejudices, and use idiotic slogans than it is to explain the complex issues of a modern society.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @Jay:

    He doesn’t get to decide that!

  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @Jay:

    No surprise there. If they don’t get pardons, maybe Attorney General Schiff will take it up.

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    I think it’s ridiculous that there isn’t already an impeachment inquiry going. What, his approval is suddenly going to shoot up while a daily drumbeat of his lies – especially about pursuing the blessed ‘trumpov tower moscow’ AFTER our country was attacked, and DURING the campaign – keeps streaming out? Republicans as a whole (especially the quisling enablers in the Senate) are going to do better when tied to more and more and more hearings and performances like today’s.

    Come ON.

    Nothing this clown does is going to make his numbers go up. And if the Senate GOP sticks by him in the face of all the evidence, well, they’ll own that too.

    The key is going to be: will Dems beat on the GOP reps and senators, and beat on the media to beat on the GOP reps and senators, about what THEY think about this president*s obvious criminality and betrayal of his country. Trumpov is only going to continue his downward spiral from here on out, that’s for certain. But will ALL of these Republicans?

    We will goose their turnout a bit and ours a lot, just like 2018. But if we keep half-assing this stuff and appearing to do nothing, trumpov and his allies are just going to keep claiming they’re “TOTALLY EXONERATED!”, goosing their turnout just as much and depressing ours.

    Fire up the base, keep picking up ‘independents’, and let’s get on with it.

  96. 96
    Steve in the ATL says:

    the American people are a bunch of idiots who are constantly making bad choices. For example, the Big Bang Theory ran for twelve seasons.

    That’s because Penny was hott

  97. 97
    Martin says:

    @debbie: Actually he does. It was a contempt referral. Now we get to see if Pelosi will back Congresses inherent authority to enforce the subpoena. The Senate sent the sergeant at arms to arrest and detain an individual during Teapot Dome. The Supreme Court said that they had that authority. Nancy could order the same happen now, and take these individuals into custody.

    What a fucking fireworks show that would be.

  98. 98
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sherry B @ OkieLibSherry
    Pelosi stuttering = alcoholic
    Hillary stumbling = Parkinson’s
    Mueller not being able to answer in .03 seconds = getting old

    but Trump never completing a sentence let alone a train of thought =
    so f’n presidential, man of the people, cult hero

  99. 99

    @Martin:
    Whatever Pelosi intends to do about it, she gamed it out before the contempt vote was taken. I’m not going to try and second-guess her on the issue. I only know that nothing like an “It’s too HAAAARD” shrug is involved. She expected this and is following the best path she could figure out, even if that’s a best of bad options scenario.

  100. 100
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Had a busy day but just scanned my Apple News feed. Every single headline about the hearing criticized Mueller or the Democrats. Even the so-called liberal sites.

    God help us.

  101. 101

    @gene108: Modi has already presided over a genocide. Gandhi’s killers rule India now. The atmosphere in India against minorities is poisonous. Dissenters like Sudha Bhardawaj sit in jail over dubious charges. Amit Shah (He is Modi’s Rove) is the home minister. I could go on. But upper caste Indians, especially Brahmins love him. That means everything is great.

  102. 102
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @JPL: I think it’s a combination of the explosion of regular media, social media, cable TV, satellite tv . People don’t have to watch the news. They can watch funny cat videos all day. I talk to people all the time who actively avoid the news because they find it depressing and they plain dont care. Also the loss of really good female teachers who became teachers during the 50s and 60s because other fields weren’t open to women. I think teachers taught their students better about picking out bullshit.

  103. 103
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’d like to take him behind the barn and horse-whip his useless ass.

    Don’t take him behind the barn. Do it in front of everyone as an example to the others.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Hayes and Maddow both presented it as a bad day for trump, though Maddow is a tad bit obsessed, in the way she can be, with Mueller’s frailty and “affect”

  105. 105
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Furious, stewing resentment that they’re not allowed to win every argument and facts daring to contradict them is a big part of the conservative motivation

    Conservatives win every argument now because facts don’t matter. Much like their Dear Leader, they can deflect any argument they don’t like with the claim that it’s just fake news.

    I don’t know what is happening with the media. On one show, some reporters kept whining that Trump should show them more respect. Which is nuts. Many editors and publishers just want to be on the side that wins.

  106. 106
    Baud says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    Also the loss of really good female teachers who became teachers during the 50s and 60s because other fields weren’t open to women

    I knew the feminists were responsible.

    j/k

  107. 107
    Martin says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Agreed. She expected this result. She has a plan. Honestly, it’s time for the House to forcibly bring some of these people to appear. Trump believes Article II lets him do whatever he wants, well, Article I has a few things to say as well.

  108. 108
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    More garbage-y media

    The Blockbuster That Wasn’t: Mueller Disappoints the Democrats

    NYT > Top Stories / by Peter Baker / 18min

    Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony to Congress about the Russia investigation failed to provide the dramatic moment that President Trump’s critics wanted.

    Mueller’s Failure

    NYT > Top Stories / by David Leonhardt / 5min

    In the end, he didn’t quite do his job.

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Modi has already presided over a genocide. Gandhi’s killers rule India now.

    That is a sad and powerful statement. I doubt that any journalists who write about India would be willing to admit this.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    Another one

    Mueller’s Labored Performance Was a Departure From His Once-Fabled Stamina

    NYT > Top Stories / by Sharon LaFraniere / 1h

    As special counsel, Mr. Mueller adopted a more hands-off style than when he was F.B.I. director, and it was on display Wednesday in his congressional appearances.

  111. 111
    Doug R says:

    @apocalipstick: Jim vs guest star was generally the best part of the show

  112. 112
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: Leonhardt’s a bit of a surprise. When Jonathon Chait wrote his book on Obama, he said he was surprised it got a favorable view from the right-leaning Peter Baker, or words to that effect. I imagine Chait knows him to some degree beyond just his work product, and now whenever I see Baker in print or on TV, I think of that.

  113. 113
    Mandalay says:

    @Baud:

    I am constantly amazed why people who have been utterly unsuccessful at politics for decades think they can chastise people about how they conduct politics.

    I find Michael “limousine liberal” Moore odious on multiple levels, but I don’t know of anyone who accurately predicted in such great detail the way that Trump would win in 2016. If you know of anyone who did it better I’d be interested.

    That gives Moore some credit in the bank to opine now, even if you don’t like what he’s saying, especially compared to almost every other media pundit.

    And Moore’s not alone. David Axelrod tweeted this:

    He has been an exemplary public servant, as people are both sides attested, but he clearly was struggling today and that was painful.

    But I don’t see anyone here throwing a tantrum over the opinion of “David Fucking Axelrod”.

  114. 114
    J R in WV says:

    @joel hanes:

    I lived or worked with math/science doctorates for over forty years, and found the show offensive.

    Perhaps you are being overly sensitive. I was a software designer and worked with all sorts of people so very much like those geeks/nerds on that show. I’m somewhat like that at times, under some circumstances. I hired people like that, many of them were great thinkers… but could miss obvious social clues.

    Stereotypes are pretty common in show business, as you pointed out. Not that I miss social cues! But I do, actually, and have trouble with names and faces.

  115. 115
    Doug R says:

    @L85NJGT:

    I suspect the BBT will be the last laugh tracked three camera shoot that runs forever on network and syndication. It was comfort TV for an older skewing audience, like everything at CBS. Those formats, and that business model, are slipping into history.

    Not to be pedantic, but BBT was taped in front of a live audience.

  116. 116
    Chris Johnson says:

    I keep saying the NYT is run out of Russia, and gosh they keep proving me super wrong with their total lack of obvious propaganda. Oh woe, egg on my face, how silly of me.

  117. 117
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay:

    Moore gets no credit unless he predicted Comey and Russia, because those were decisive.

    How is Axelrod’s language comparable to Moore’s?

  118. 118
    apocalipstick says:

    @Doug R: In the Christmas episode where Penny gives Sheldon a napkin with Leonard Nimoy’s signature, Parson’s timing on the awkward hug is just beautiful. I will watch the last five minutes of that episode any time.

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    Kevin Whitelaw
    ‏@KevinWhitelaw1
    Follow Follow @KevinWhitelaw1
    More
    NEW: A judge has ruled that President Trump, his company and three of his children must face a class-action lawsuit over an alleged multilevel marketing scam

    Another great day for the President! Oh, and there’s a Maralago member who’s a spy for China. That’s just today. There will be three more of these by Saturday.

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mandalay: Well, I didn’t see Axelrod’s tweet till you posted it, but if it will make you feel better: Fuck David Axelrod.

    As for Moore’s ‘credit to opine’: See Bush/Gore, not a dime’s worth of difference.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Moore accurately predicted that “liberal” white men would refuse to vote for Hillary because she reminded them too much of their moms, that bitch.

    The fact that he made misogyny a respectable excuse to not vote for Hillary makes him part of the problem.

  122. 122
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @schrodingers_cat: my sister is heavily involved in our Hindu temple here. Anyhow, I asked her if she had had any Trumpers at the temple. She said she was shocked when she had a few people turn out to be Trumpers. She said they base it on Trumpov getting along with Modi and India. Nothing to do with domestic American policy. These are people who’ve lived in this country for decades not anywhere to being new immigrants. I’d like to ask these people if they thought HRC wasn’t going to get along with Modi and India. The US has been getting along better with India for years because of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Seriously stupid people.

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I hope the judge wasn’t old and stammering.

  124. 124
    KlareCole says:

    @laura: @laura:

    : the depth and length of grief for your little moggie, speaks to your capacity for love and empathy. I’m sorry for your loss and hope that your memories are sweet and warm.

    Thank you, Laura. It is amazing how comforting peoples comment are about loosing my sweet kitty. Why I find myself sharing today in the midst of the Mueller hullabaloo is a mystery to me. Something about one grief on top of another.

    To everyone, by now, what could Mueller say that could reach anyone who has tolerated Rump’s hundreds of outrageous and fascists claims. Does the House work on slow time of some sort? I have read my eyes out since reading the Steele dossier. What could the Mueller report reveal to Congress or the public that hasn’t been reported soundly and frequently since June 2016? The hope for a ‘great white father’ figure to confirm that Rump is evil is kind of pitiful. The House needs to exercise it’s constitutional power and do it’s duty to protect the nation. That it will fail in the Senate is no reason not proceed.

  125. 125
    Eljai says:

    @Baud: Our Democracy is under grave threat but Mueller looks tired so it’s a good day for the ass carbuncle.

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: Moore accurately predicted that “liberal” white men would refuse to vote for Hillary because she reminded them too much of their moms, that bitch.

    Hoo boy! Dr Freud, paging Dr Freud!

    reminds me of tweety who thought it was so witty to say Hillary reminded too many men of their first wives, which was especially interesting because I do believe tweety is still married to his first and only wife.

  127. 127
    Haroldo says:

    @Mandalay: @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Thanks, J, FL. It needed to be done.

  128. 128
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Mandalay: Look into Mark Blyth. He also predicted Trumpism and Trump’s ‘victory’. He’s an economist professor at Brown University, hell of an entertaining guy and insightful about what we’re facing. He’s had a podcast going and I can’t wait for him to get back to it so I can hear what he’s thinking about all this. If Dems listened to him more closely, we could take away some of Trump’s biggest weapons: Russia has had incredible luck, both here and in the UK, positioning people against post-Reagan economics while getting (neo)liberals to try and double down on it. Market-based everything, globalization, all that… if you even make noises about criticizing that stuff you get huge groundswells of support, but that support has been reserved for Russia-backed rightwingers who have absolutely no intention of helping, because they LIE about it.

    Bring the jerbs back! Don’t let Brussels run the UK economy! Lie lie lie lie, and when the Left just defends the globalized economics of the last few decades, there’s no push-back.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Especially since the rightwingers purely LIE about all that, and do the opposite. That’s an opportunity waiting to be used.

    It’s not that hard to be better than Thatcher, than Reagan economics. It’s really not that hard, not that unreasonable.

  129. 129
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Ultimately, though, when do we see these great thinkers put their political knowledge into actually getting someone a win, not just predicting a loss?

  130. 130
    The Dangerman says:

    @Kay:

    A judge has ruled that President Trump, his company and three of his children must face a class-action lawsuit over an alleged multilevel marketing scam.

    Trump was an obvious con man (and racist) in 2016; a responsible political party would have found a way to tell him to get fucked rather than put him on the ticket…

    …but here we are.

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Other than reading his prepared statement earlier this summer I knew jack all about Mueller’s public persona and speaking style. Will wager that status is shared by…uh…320 millyun Americans. So how do we even begin to evaluate today’s “performance?” Something he clearly did not want to do at all.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    I also find it very curious that Jill Stein just happened to do better in Michigan than in any other state, to the point that she felt compelled to travel there after the election to help the Republicans cover up what happened with her fake “recount” complete with whining about how the Republican lawyers were just too tough for her to fight.

    I am convinced that votes were switched in Michigan, but Moore was too busy taking a victory lap with the other Hillary haters to notice what was happening in his own state.

  133. 133
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @Mandalay: I never liked Axelrod after he left the Obama administration. I wasnt thrilled with Plouffe but I think he did more for Obama than Axelrod.
    Also I am guessing the frail weak Bob Mueller can kick Michael Moores ass even with the 20+ age difference.

  134. 134
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Don’t take him behind the barn. Do it in front of everyone as an example to the others.

    Not a problem!

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m waiting for an open thread to bitch about my non-political annoyance, but I am REALLY pissed at my sleep doctor’s office right now. Argh.

  136. 136
    Another Scott says:

    @Mnemosyne: When I went to the Women’s March in January 2017, I got to a point where I could hear the speeches and he was on the stage. One of the first things I heard him say was some sort of ragging on Hillary. The immediate boos that rang out from the crowd caused him to quickly change the subject.

    Moore’s pretty good about seeing and talking about the problems with big corporations in America. He’s horrible at discussing politics – especially Democratic party politics.

    He needs to keep in his own lane.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  137. 137
    jl says:

    Cole read the whole report? Is that new NEWS! Or did Cole mention that before? Will Chuck Todd say that even if Cole ‘won’ on substance, it was a PR disaster for an almost top 10,000 full-service blog? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Edit: if Cole was reading it a while back, would explain a series of extra grumpy posts I remember.

    As for one bit of substance in post, does anyone know whether the GOP threatened to make a fuss if the Democrats did use a staffer to ask most of the questions? That might explain why it didn’t happen. I agree with Cole doing that would be better than each member spout, and most of them waste time.

    You could use the congressmembers to come close to what questioning by a single staffer could do, if they coordinated their questions and follow-ups. But I think most Congresscritters are too egotistical to cooperate like that, and not quick enough in the head to know how to respond to unexpected developments in a coordinated way (though they do have staffers who can shuffle around and hand them notes, and smart phones, so really no excuse there either).

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    John Harwood @ JohnJHarwood
    Dem leadership aide, explaining why Pelosi resists impeachment, says too many of the 31 members representing districts Trump won can’t support it

    “there will never be 218 in the House,” the aide tells me

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And yet those Democratic representatives won their districts in 2018, yes? Did they do it by kissing Trump’s ass and we just missed hearing about it?

  140. 140
    Jay says:

    Russian LGBTQ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was fatally stabbed in St. Petersburg on Sunday night after her name was listed on a website that encourages people to “hunt” LGBTQ activists, inspired by the torture-themed film "Saw." https://t.co/ySZpgu0ypJ— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 23, 2019

  141. 141
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Is there a formal chickenshit caucus in the Democratic Party. How much did Trump win by in those districts? What does polling say now? Do they have any plans to actively campaign for re-election and make their case, or are they going to shovel big donor money down conusltants’ throats and ride on TV ads.

    Jeez, those House members who won’t support it out of fear of the last election results are pathetic. They must be such inept slobs, job prospects elsewhere are very slim. I’d be ashamed to keep my seat chickening out like that.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    One of the first things I heard him say was some sort of ragging on Hillary. The immediate boos that rang out from the crowd caused him to quickly change the subject

    Moore would feel much more at home among Wilmer fans.

  143. 143
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mandalay: David fucking Axelrod can die in a fucking fire. There, is that tantrum-y enough?

  144. 144
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    The judge is boring.

    Speaking of:

    Todd’s focus on the “entertainment” aspect of politics coverage is often in evidence—for example, in his own recent performance as moderator in the Democratic presidential debate. He managed to talk more than all but three of the candidates, even as he demanded that they keep their own answers brief.

    So you’re thinking, “well there were more Democrats – there’s only one Chuck Todd- of course he talked more!” But there were five moderators.

  145. 145
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Excellent point. What did the polls say in 2018
    I’d like to know the names so we could ID the pathetic Chickenshit Caucus among the Dems in the House.
    And what is puzzling to me is that political chickenshits like these unnamed goofs are the first to lose when political tides move against their party. Why? Because vast majority of people do not like chickenshits. The rest like them because they are easy to scam.

    They’ll do OK. this election, but we’ll see what happens in future cycles.
    Of course, if we could ID them, and progressives wanted to challenged incumbents in primaries, their districts would be great places to start. They are derelict in their duty and oath to uphold the Constitution. OK, this turned into a rant, I’ll take a deep breath and see how much of that I have to take back.

  146. 146
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: just passing on the information, I think they’re wrong

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  148. 148
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Do yourself a favor and watch Nancy Pelosi’s press conference this afternoon.
    Interesting, Nancy Pelosi said (my transcription):
    “so that we have the grist for the mill to litigate in court.”
    A clear reference to
    The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.
    Keeping this stoked, even accelerated, during the August recess will be key.

  149. 149

    @Chris Johnson:

    Russia has had incredible luck, both here and in the UK, positioning people against post-Reagan economics while getting (neo)liberals to try and double down on it.

    If by ‘neoliberals’ you mean more than the tiniest fringe of the Democratic Party, no, they haven’t. It’s amazing how many dimwitted self-satisfied assholes live in an alternate universe where they think Democrats are neoliberal, though.

    if you even make noises about criticizing that stuff you get huge groundswells of support, but that support has been reserved for Russia-backed rightwingers

    Only if you’re seen to hate the Democratic Party. If you’re a faithful Democrat, you get ignored and people make up what they think your positions are, instead. See: Hillary Clinton.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay:

    Russian LGBTQ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was fatally stabbed in St. Petersburg on Sunday night after her name was listed on a website that encourages people to “hunt” LGBTQ activists, inspired by the torture-themed film “Saw.”

    Damn.

  151. 151
    stinger says:

    @apocalipstick: The episode I stumbled on that made me begin to watch in earnest was the one where Sheldon and Raj join on a project. We see them in their office, in various positions over the course of a day, but not talking or writing or reading or inventing, just both staring at formulae on a chalkboard. Their job was THINKING, and it was good to see that treated seriously (though played for laughs).

  152. 152
    Kay says:

    Well, all I can say is Robert Mueller is NOT getting a job as an analyst on cable, so he can forget it.

    I think we can all agree he’s no Jeanine Pirro. Now there’s a prosecutor out of “central casting”.

  153. 153
    oatler. says:

    WHO’S THERE? IS IT A SEX CRIMINAL?
    No one wants to do that to you, Ma!!

  154. 154
    cain says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    But all anybody would get from NBC is Chuck Todd saying the optics were terrible. I would like to say Chuck Todd saying that is also terrible optics given the scope of what was aired. It just confounds me why this man is on the air at all.

  155. 155

    @cain:
    My mother is the ultimate totebagger. She told me she turned Chuck Todd off because she just heard Mueller herself, so the commentary was wasting her time.

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  157. 157
    Emma says:

    I have come to realize that I don’t hate Trumpers as much as a hate the media that thinks this is all a game and the uber liberals who think the country is dying for a socialist savior. Especially the rich ones that don’t have skin in the fight.

  158. 158
    Jay says:

    #CIA archives capture a 26-year old #WilliamBarr's role in helping the #CIA recover from the revelations of the Church Committee hearings https://t.co/620I6YcOZ6 pic.twitter.com/oBu3VAfPtR— MuckRock (@MuckRock) July 24, 2019

  159. 159
    apocalipstick says:

    @stinger: I can’t remember the episode, but when Sheldon is stumped by the movement of a particle, Parson’s reading of the line “I need to determine where in this swamp of unbalanced formulas sqatteth the toad of truth” is impeccable.

  160. 160
    Jay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Neo-liberal as in neoliberal economics.

    As an example, In Canada, it was the Liberal Government that killed Unemployment Insurance, replaced it with Employment Insurance, and rewrote the qualification rules to ensure that minimum wage earners would rarely qualify for EI, and when they did, they would only get a pittance.

    They also took the massive UI “surplus”, and rather than rolling it over to fund EI, they moved it into general funds to make the Government books look better.

    Now of course, in the “New Economy”, the EI System is dominantly funded by minimum wage workers who don’t qualify for benifits.

    The long project to accelerate inequality was very much a bipartizan project.

    Cough, cough, Biden.

  161. 161
    hitchhiker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My sister volunteered for years at the theater he restored in Traverse City. She says he’s a self-important dick with strict rules about who is and isn’t allowed to talk to him and on what topics.

  162. 162
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Kay: I would dearly love for one of the candidates to say to Choke Toad, How about keeping your questions short, fatmouth? People aren’t watching to hear you shoot your mouth off – you don’t represent anyone but your network!

    FTR, Choke Toad should be. Choked. On live TV. With his own fucking tie.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Neoliberal has become a term for “Democrats I don’t like” for a set of the internet left. It has effectively become an all-purpose insult that is devoid of meaning.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    Doesn’t “Liberal” in Canada basically mean “Libertarian”?

    In the US, that would be the Republicans.

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  166. 166
    stinger says:

    @apocalipstick: And every one of Stephen Hawking’s lines.

  167. 167

    @Jay:

    Neo-liberal as in neoliberal economics.

    Yes, which is a tiny minority position in the Democratic Party, but almost everyone who uses the word ‘neoliberal’ to refer to American politics thinks Democrats actually are neoliberal. Just listen to the word, doesn’t it sound like ‘liberal’??? So, the Purity Left thinks Democrats like tax cuts for the rich and austerity, when the party platform is raising taxes on the rich to pay for increasing the safety net. Ditto pretty much every other economic position and a lot of social ones. How many people even knew about Clinton’s proposals to rein in shadow banking? Her proposal to tax high speed stock trades into nonexistence? How many people thought she wanted to deregulate Wall Street instead? The claim that Democrats would win acclaim with progressive economics is bullshit, because most Democrats support progressive economics and get no credit for it.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: For example.

  169. 169
    L85NJGT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh, I think most users of the term would be happy to send you off to a re-education camp… or at least look the other way when the bourgeoisie gets rounded up.

  170. 170
    plato says:

    Of every crime the totus thug has got away with in his entire horrid life, open treason and open obstruction of justice must rank in the top. Checks and balances is a joke.

  171. 171
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Neoliberal has specific meaning when followed by a descriptor as to which area it is being applied.

    As he was talking about economics, it was pretty clear it wasn’t the DirtbagLeft insult,

    @Mnemosyne:

    Some Liberals embrace some Libertarian philosophies, but in general the Liberal Party is quite left compared to the Democratic Party.

    The problem is that the faux economics of the Chicago School has driven actual economic policies that work, from politics.

    It’s 40 year track record of gutting everybody but the Corporations and the 1%, is just starting to sink in in some areas because of the rise of the precarate, massive inequality and the impacts on Democracy.

  172. 172
    L85NJGT says:

    @cain:

    The death of Tim Russert. Chuckles was a pretty good number cruncher that got over promoted.

  173. 173
    Mart says:

    @Brachiator:

    we are just uniquely unprepared to deal with Trump. Everything happens so fast, no one thinks about anything, there are never any repercussions

    Think read that this comes first in the Fascist Handbook.

  174. 174
    Jay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Cough, cough, Biden.

    The first US President to adopt Chicago School neoliberal economic policies was President Jimmy Carter.

    Ballanced budgets and deficit primacy are neoliberal.

    It’s only recently, with the rise of the precariate, massive inequality, Corporate power and the threat to Democracy that some Politicians and Policy Makers are starting to move away from those policies and attempt to mitigate the impacts.

    Socialism for Corporations is another example of those bipartizan policies.

  175. 175
    Irony Abounds says:

    I agree wholeheartedly about the train wreck that is typical of Congressional hearings. Very tired of preening know nothings wasting everyone’s time. However, why pick on a relatively innocuous show like The Big Bang Theory when the abominable The Bachelor/Bachelorette continues its assault on humankind season after season after season?

  176. 176
    Irony Abounds says:

    @Doug R: The episodes with Bob Newhart are classics, I don’t care what anyone says.

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Given the commenter in question, I am afraid that I must disagree with your conclusion.

  178. 178
    Anonymous says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think Joe Manchin is a fucking moron, and I pray he doesn’t ditch the Senate to run for governor in WV.

    Joe Manchin is a greedy thief and is smart enough at that to not have been caught at it yet by an honest Law Enforcement Organization. I hope he doesn’t decide it’s safer to steal at the State level rather than at the Federal level. Or that there’s more money to be made stolen at the state level, because nothing matters more than money to Joe.

  179. 179
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    the American people are a bunch of idiots who are constantly making bad choices. For example, the Big Bang Theory ran for twelve seasons.

    That’s because Penny was hott

    All those girls are hot…

  180. 180
    janesays says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I fear this may be correct. The Democrats have 235 House seats. The only non-Democrat who would be likely to vote for impeachment is Justin Amash. Assuming he did, but every other House Republican didn’t, it means that the Democrats could have no more than 18 “no” votes in their entire caucus, or else impeachment fails.

    If anybody is wondering why Pelosi is still holding off on impeachment at this point, it’s because she knows that more than 18 House Democrats would vote against it right now, and it would never even make it to the Senate.

    That would be even more catastrophic to Democrats electoral hopes than not even trying to impeach him.

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    apocalipstick says:

    @Irony Abounds: Well, that goes without saying. Name anything with Bob Newhart that isn’t a classic.

  182. 182
    sherparick says:

    “…This is especially true when the large group is composed of congressmen, who are only there because the people chose them, and the American people are a bunch of idiots who are constantly making bad choices. For example, the Big Bang Theory ran for twelve seasons….” With this John Cole, you have achieved immortality, you have made your mark on time, this will not disappear “like tears in the rain.”

    RIP Rutger Hauer.

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