Facts Are Foreign Things To Bobo

Ezra Klein is shrill:

Jon Chait did a very funny job taking apart David Brooks’s column on reconciliation. I want to do a serious job on it. The factual statements Brooks uses in his argument are wrong. Not arguable, or questionable, or suspicious. Wrong. And since everything else flows from those wrong facts, the rest of the column can’t be taken seriously.

“Reconciliation has been used with increasing frequency,” writes Brooks. “That was bad enough. But at least for the Bush tax cuts or the prescription drug bill, there was significant bipartisan support.” The outcome of letting reconciliation go from rare and bipartisan to common and partisan is that we will go from a Senate where “people are usually pretty decent to one another” to a Senate that “bleaches out normal behavior and the normal instincts of human sympathy.”

Chilling stuff, huh?

But none of Brooks’s evidence is true. Literally none of it.

I think we should cut Bobo some slack- he may have been a little tired after eating too much at the Applebee’s salad bar.








Short Memories

I’m noting a lot of surprise in the comments here and elsewhere online about Erick Erickson becoming a permanent addition to the CNN stable. I honestly can’t understand why anyone would be remotely surprised by this. If nothing else, the “Dept. of Jihad” antics should give you an idea of the kind of institutional standards the place has, and beyond that, you have to recognize that they regularly feature folks like the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, Alex Castellanos, and a bevy of other sordid types, and who could forget the run that the execrable Lou Dobbs had for years. The simple fact is that CNN supplies more wingnut welfare than Reason magazine or the Heritage Foundation.

And in case you really still aren’t getting it, let me remind you where Glenn Beck was fully employed for quite some time before being hired away by Roger Ailes at Fox. Erick will give them everything they need- he’s a new face who can come in and chuck grenades and say “edgy” and outrageous things that can grab eyeballs and headlines, and then when he finally over-reaches and goes too far, they’ll dump him and pretend they are above it all, all while their editors seek out the next new Coulter/Malkin/Beck/Erickson.

The only way to do something about it is to not watch. And really, John King is such an asshole, it will be interesting watching people try to one-up him.

BTW- I hope you all don’t get so worked up about this that you lose sight of who the real enemies are out there- Rahm Emanuel and Lynn Woolsey.








America’s Goats Need Your Help

John Cook, actual investigative journalist at Rush Limbaugh’s favorite “leftist gay gossip site” Gawker, cares about the happiness of his fellow B-list bloggers (not to mention those poor abused goats). He is “Introducing the Mickey Kaus Oppo Research Project”:

Slate blogger and union-buster Mickey Kaus is running for Senate in California. It’s kind of a gag—he doesn’t expect to win. But we’d like to make it a realistic experience for Mickey, and we need your help.
__
Kaus calls his run an “issue-raising” candidacy. He knows he has no chance of beating Barbara Boxer in the Democratic Primary, but he’s sick and tired of just blogging about how horrendous organized labor is, and he’s come to the disappointing realization that simply writing something in Slate doesn’t immediately change the national political environment by sheer force of counterintuitive Slate-iness…
__
So in order to rid his beloved Democratic Party of the scourge of unions, Kaus will now use the electoral process to launch a sham candidacy designed to elevate his own profile and highlight the issues he cares about. We’re all about public participation, and we think it’s a great idea. But given the utter and mathematical impossibility of Kaus actually winning the nomination, we fear that he’ll be denied the actual subjective experience of running for higher office. He’ll stump and fundraise and maybe even run ads, but the Boxer campaign will probably ignore him, and almost certainly won’t consider him important enough to attempt to ruin him with opposition research.
__
But Kaus is important to us, which is why we’re launching an oppo project of our own to make him feel like a real candidate. Beginning today, which is the deadline in California to file nomination papers to run in the June primary, we will begin researching Kaus within an inch of his life, just as the Boxer campaign would if they feared he might actually win. Property records, civil judgments, voting history, criminal history, professional history, you name it. We’ll of course comb through the hundreds of thousands (millions?) or words he’s written in his career, looking for examples of homophobic or racist statements he’s made. And we’ll touch base with old pals—like Ann Coulter—colleagues, girlfriends—like Arianna Huffington—classmates, etc., in search of embarrassing or damaging information, which we’ll assemble into a handy little dossier and publish here.
__
Kaus has written with insight about “the undernews”: The swirl of gossip and open secrets, often dredged up by oppo campaigns, that political reporters chatter about among themselves but rarely see fit to print until it bubbles to a head. So we’ll troll Kaus’ undernews trail to see what turns up, but we need your help: If you’ve heard anything about Kaus that might render him unfit for public office, or at the very least could help a political opponent rattle him, let us know. And if you know of any Kaus posts that, in retrospect, might seem ill-advised—like his defense of a bar that posted a “Fagots Stay Out” sign over the bar—send them our way.
__
We’ll pull together whatever we come up with—maybe nothing!—and post it here. Kaus is a great writer, a very smart man, and a genuine blogging pioneer, and we wish him nothing but the best in his campaign. We just think it would be a shame if he went to all that trouble without getting taken seriously. And you know they’re taking you seriously in politics when they start trying to destroy you.

I personally think Kaus is a Democrat in approximately the same sense that I am a vegan (I am eating a cheeseburger right this minute), and as for Cook’s final paragraph… well, Kaus probably qualifies as “a genuine blogging pioneer”. One who imported some of the least attractive habits of the “mainstream” Media Village Idiots into the pixelverse when it was still young and impressionable, but then we Americans tend to romanticize pioneers out of all proportion to their virtues. And I look forward to seeing what — “maybe nothing!” — Gawker will find worth publishing about Kaus’ vanity candidacy.








Anatomy of a Smear

If you want to see how the wurlitzer works, and how our media establishment has completely failed us, go read Glennzilla:

When discussing the McCarthyite DOJ witch hunt spawned by Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol, I wrote yesterday: now that “we have real, live, contemporary McCarthyites in our midst — Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol — launching a repulsive smear campaign, we’ll see what the reaction is and how they’re treated by our political and media elites.” On Twitter yesterday, I wrote: “How media figures treat Liz Cheney after her vile McCarthyite smear campaign will say a lot about their character.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spoke volumes today about himself and his “news network.” First, on Twitter, he excitedly promoted his upcoming story about what he called the “intense debate about Obama Justice Dept bringing in lawyers who previously represented Gitmo detainees.” On March, 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow famously devoted his entire broadcast to vehemently condemning Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts, explaining: “This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent.” By contrast, Wolf Blitzer — receipient of an Edward R. Murrow award — sees such smear campaigns as nothing more than an “intense debate” to neutrally explore and excitingly promote.

Read the whole thing. Just plain disgusting.