Begin the beguine

Is it too early to predict that Republicans will impeach Hillary while the media cheers them on?

Whatever its cause, the media’s general Hillary Clinton loathing is a foundational truth that would define her as president. Even a landslide victory in November would surely be accompanied by a sidebar emphasizing how very unpopular and utterly disliked she is; and how her presidency could not have been possible without the utter decrepitude of Donald Trump.

Republicans, as longtime Clinton friend and adviser James Carville predicted this week on Bloomberg and MSNBC, would surely declare her presidency to be both accidental and illegitimate because of phantom “voter fraud” and Trump’s distortion of the political alchemy. If the past eight years of is prologue, the GOP will paint this supposed illegitimacy onto every proposal out of the Clinton White House; from budget bills to Supreme Court nominations, and attempt to freeze the federal government in place until 2020, when Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio can have another go.

The Republican-controlled House would likely begin to immediately investigate the new president, rehashing the amorphous, never-ending media bait that is “emailgate,” perhaps with an eye toward impeachment. And their cries of “corruption” and “criminality” will be duly covered by We, the Media, reinforcing the age-old narrative of Clintonian chicanery in a public already battered by Bad Hillary narratives.



Late Night Open Thread: Media Village Idiots, Projecting Harder Than An Octoplex of IMAXes


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Debunkery + Dog Spa Report

Among his many other excellent qualities, my husband, Mr. Not-Cracker, makes a great bellwether for how political stories are playing among people who don’t pay close attention to the daily campaign grind and media treatment thereof. He doesn’t read blogs or follow anyone’s Twitter feed. He’ll watch Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes if I tune in but doesn’t pay close attention. He scans headlines and reads political articles only if they look entertaining.

Of course, he knows Trump is an appalling buffoon. He voted for Sanders in the primary and is looking forward to voting for Clinton in the general. But he’d never heard of Breitbart and had no idea that Trump had appointed a white nationalist as campaign chief until I mentioned it. And when he heard about the AP report on the Clinton Foundation on NPR, he thought it looked pretty bad but figured that’s how politics work: influence peddling is the norm.

So I was happy to be able to forward these pieces by Yglesias at Vox, the first of which ably demonstrates that the AP “exposé” on Clinton’s meetings with Foundation donors is a giant nothingburger, and the second of which explodes the AP’s feeble defense of its original reporting. If you know any non-political junkies who find the Clinton Foundation story troubling, I heartily recommend forwarding the Vox articles, which plainly indicate there is no “there” there.

On to the dog spa: A couple of days ago, I described a conundrum: Our vet recommended that we soak our dog’s injured paw in a medicated solution for 10 minutes twice a day, but I wasn’t sure how to get the dog to sit still for it. Here’s how:

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It turns out she’s willing to just sit there and allow the paw to soak…as long as I keep feeding her (and our auxiliary boxer dog — hind foot and tip of tail visible in the photo above) Goldfish crackers at 60-second intervals. Thanks for all the advice, though.

Open thread!



So fucking stupid

The Atlantic has gotten so bad it makes me long for the days of Douthat, McArdle, and Sully:

It’s 2020, four years from now.

[….]

As the presidential primaries unfold, Kanye West is leading a fractured field of Democrats. The Republican front-runner is Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame. Elected governor of Louisiana only a few months ago, he is promising to defy the Washington establishment by never trimming his beard. Party elders have given up all pretense of being more than spectators, and most of the candidates have given up all pretense of party loyalty. On the debate stages, and everywhere else, anything goes.

I could continue, but you get the gist. Yes, the political future I’ve described is unreal. But it is also a linear extrapolation of several trends on vivid display right now.

What possible purpose could this kind of sub-Borowtiz material serve?

Yes, our political system has gone crazy but someday it may be sane, and Jonathan Rauch will still be a pompous idiot.



Open Thread: Hard-Earned Pushback

Even the Ragin’ Cajun, per Politico:

“Somebody is going to hell” over the political attacks on the Clinton Foundation, longtime Clinton confidant James Carville declared Tuesday, denouncing the recent scrutiny and criticism of the charitable organization.

If the Clinton Foundation had decided not to accept foreign donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, as it has recently announced it would do if she is elected president, Carville said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the “good” thing would be that the organization would not be part of the political discussion.

“The bad would be you’d be out hundreds of millions of dollars that are doing good. What the Clinton Foundation does, it takes money from rich people and gives it to poor people. Most people think that’s a pretty good idea,” Carville said…

“I wish I could say the word I want to say. I’ll just say that’s BS,” Scarborough remarked. “You know the fact is if it’s a great charity and it’s a five-star rated charity, guess what, other people can raise the money. It doesn’t have to be Bill Clinton calling somebody up making people think, if I give him money it could help me out. If it’s a great charity, it can stand on its own and other people can raise money for it. It’s not a zero-sum game. It’s not having Bill Clinton raise money while his wife is running for president or else we’re all going to hell and little kids are going to die across the planet.”

“They’re gonna,” Carville shot back. “The other thing is, Bill Clinton has more charm and people around the world have an enormous amount of faith in him. I’ve traveled with him. I’ve seen it myself. There are not many people that have the relationships and are held in the affection around the world as Bill Clinton.”

But Joe Scarborough and his fellow Media Village Idiots are never gonna meet any of the people the Clinton Foundation has helped at a Beltway cocktail party, so who cares what happens to them?



Late Night Open Thread: Trump Campaign Still Courting Sanders Voters

… Or so I assume, since the Observer is owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

A percentage of every advertisement purchased was paid to Old Towne Media and Devine Mulvey Longabough for brokering the media contracts. The latter was run by Sanders’ senior strategist, Tad Devine, who also received a cut for deals brokered through Old Towne. Devine’s cut totaled at least $10 million by the end of May 2016, according to an investigative report by Slate—in addition to over $5 million paid to his firm. (This would be over half a million average donations to the Sanders campaign.)…

Each dollar that went to Devine and the other political insiders reaping millions off of the Sanders campaign meant less money for progressive grassroots organizers and activists on the ground. One of the greatest strategizing errors of the Sanders campaign was not focusing more money and efforts on creating a new grassroots method of campaigning. Instead, Sanders relied on traditional methods that made a few elite political consultants millions off the generosity of everyday Americans who supported him. Structures within presidential campaigning are designed to preserve the status quo, benefiting those who charge exorbitant fees for their services in the political world. Sanders’ political revolution failed to change how presidential campaigns are run.

While Sanders’ chief of staff, Jeff Weaver, embodied the revolutionary spirit of the campaign, Devine represented the establishment voice of the Democratic Party…

Nice job of finger-pointing away from Jeff ‘Comic Book Guy’ Weaver, but maybe not the best publicity for Bernie Sanders, now that questions are being raised about the formerly little-noticed entity Old Towne Media LLC and its ties to someone rather closer to Senator Sanders than even his old buddy Jeff.

Now that the Senator is no longer useful as a weight around Hillary Clinton’s ankle, the media seems to have decided he’s more fun as a target…



Three Clowns

I expect we’ll get this inside scoop on Joe and Mika from Trump right after we hear back from his Hawaiian birth certificate investigation team, but damn! Will Trump get away with this because he is Trump, or will a personal attack like this create blow-back from the Beltway press, which likely takes a dim view of references to infotainment celebrity side salads?

And really, MIKA is the insecure one? Joe Scarborough sulks like a toddler if anyone contradicts him or implies that one of his many stupid and uninformed opinions are rooted in ignorance. He’s an insecure bully, like Trump, so it’s unsurprising Trump is blind to it. Morons, the lot of them.