NPR vs Walker

Kevin Drum has a good rundown of sting activities in the last couple of years, and concludes:

ACORN, Climategate, Planned Parenthood, and NPR. Well-timed sting operations are now the go-to tactic for conservatives trying to discredit programs that they and their funders dislike. And as long as the press continues to eat this stuff up, we can expect it to keep coming. In the meantime, the best that liberals have is a prank call with the governor of Wisconsin—something that left barely a scratch on him. It’s time to pick up our game.

Both Walker and NPR’s Schiller were caught saying bad things but doing nothing wrong (though Walker arguably intimated that doing wrong was seriously contemplated). The difference is that NPR acted like they did something wrong, and Walker served the world a giant slice of fuck you marblecake. I think the prank call hurt Walker, but his damage control was pretty good, and he certainly didn’t do something stupid like firing the secretary who forwarded him the call. NPR’s Schillers, in contrast, folded like cheap suits over a few comments that were less incendiary than Walker’s.

NPR’s response guaranteed that James O’Keefe’s next few pranks are going to get lots of press attention, and I can’t blame the media, because someone who has the power to bring down the CEO of a major news organization is a newsmaker. NPR’s response should have been “we didn’t take a cent from those guys, send a letter to our ombudsman if you think our coverage is biased, and fuck you for wasting our fundraiser’s time”. Instead, the ease at which O’Keefe shook that organization’s timbers will probably launch another half dozen O’Keefe clones.

That said, the answer isn’t more liberal stings, it’s just a wee bit of backbone from the obvious targets.

More signs of the apocalypse

A bumper sticker I saw on a car in a supposedly liberal college town:

An email a reader who is trying to kill me:


Get ready to take an AMAZING JOURNEY with DAVID BROOKS as he pontificates about his magnum opus THE SOCIAL ANIMAL for an ENTIRE HOUR (ok, 53 glorious fucking minutes and change to be precise) with the undisputed king of boot-licking, ass-kissing interviewers CHARLIE ROSE.

Consider this an open thread.

Update. You can now write a review of Bobo’s book if you wish.

It Can’t Be Just Me

But does it bother anyone else that a former Deputy Defense Secretary is now some crazy dude with a bullhorn and a trenchcoat shouting in the park?

You Say Iron Curtain, I Say Economic Freedom

We are so well and truly screwed:

OK, here’s something that might even be scarier than the latest report about the dumping of “mystery liquids” in Pennsylvania’s water supply. The man that Gov. Tom Corbett is tasking to deal with the problem is utterly clueless.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Michael Krancer, your next Pennsylvania environmental protection commissioner:

    In his opening remarks, Krancer emphasized a business-first philosophy of environmental regulation, saying “Responsible, strong, vibrant and growing business is necessary as an engine for the protection of the environment.”

    If anyone had doubts about that, he said, “One need only look to the former Iron Curtain experience and the pollution that is there to prove that a moribund economy is the enemy of environmental protection.”

    Democratic Senator Daylin Leach, who had introduced Krancer and said he “could not be happier” with Krancer’s appointment, responded “They also had very weak environmental enforcement, and that’s a reason there were the pollution problems there were.”

Leach is right (about enforcement, not about Krancer) and Krancer is beyond clueless. The reality is that by the tail end of the Industrial Revolution, both capitalistic and communist economies were ruining the environment, partly from ignorance and partly from governments in both systems not aggressively tackling the problem.

You see- the Iron Curtain environmental disaster happened because of a lack of economic freedom, not because a bunch of autocratic lunatics who thought they were doing the people’s work and who ignored or manipulated science and attacked anyone who pointed out they were wrong allowed industries to do whatever they wanted. Sound familiar?

Everything You Wanted to Know About Radioactive Wastewater

And how gas drillers are dumping it in your sewage treatment plants, where they are completely unprepared to handle it, and simply pass on all the toxic water for you all to drink. Pennsylvania’s response, as we have noted, was to suspend regulations. That way we can play a solid game of hoocoodanode later on.

I love the smell of the free market in the morning. Smells like… tumors.

Although I’m just sure I overlooked the way the free market can handle this more effectively than public regulators. Surely I just missed all the Reason pieces about this that were no doubt up in between all their posts defending the Koch brothers.