La Koch-a Nostra

As Team WIN THE MORNING points out, in a post-Citizens United world, the Koch brothers have figured out the game more quickly than everybody else in either party and they’re playing it even more skillfully. Why bother with buying national party machinery when you can just bring your own people in to run things?

The Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that’s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers’ political operation all the earmarks of a national party.

The move comes as mainstream Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are trying to reclaim control of the conservative movement from outside groups. The Kochs, however, are continuing to amass all of the campaign tools the Republican National Committee and other party arms use to elect a president.

The Koch network also has developed in-house expertise in polling, message-testing, fact-checking, advertising, media buying, dial groups and donor maintenance. Add mastery of election law, a corporate-minded aggressiveness and years of patient experimentation — plus seemingly limitless cash — and the Koch operation actually exceeds the RNC’s data operation in many important respects.

The Koch operations are the most important nonparty political players in the U.S. today, and no one else is even close,” said a top Republican who has been involved in the last eight presidential campaigns.

Two years ago the Kochs worked with the Drive The All New Reince Priebus and ended up with Mitt Romney, somebody that even they didn’t have enough money to buy the White House with.  This time around, the plans seems to be to just cut out the RNC middleman and exercise that free speech directly with your own party apparatchiks.

Heading into 2016, the Koch network — under the auspices of Freedom Partners — has in many ways surpassed the reach and resources of the RNC. And, unlike the party, it isn’t bound by rules requiring it to maintain neutrality in primaries. Though the network has yet to engage in primaries, that could be the next logical step in its progression from apolitical think tank consortium to aggressive privatized political machine.

The best president money can buy, tanned field-tested, and ready. Of course this is the logical endpoint of “private sector solutions to public sector problems” and all that messy democracy crap, right?








We Just Broke Hanlon’s Razor

Hanlon’s Razor (or Heinlein’s Razor, depending on who you ask) is the old adage “Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity“, and usually that explains National Review carbuncle Rich Lowry on most days.  Today is not that day however as he gets a slot over at Team WIN THE MORNING Magazine, and goes beyond his usual simpering semi-clueless stupidity directly into pure evil territory on the subject of Darren Wilson.

The bitter irony of the Michael Brown case is that if he had actually put his hands up and said don’t shoot, he would almost certainly be alive today. His family would have been spared an unspeakable loss, and Ferguson, Missouri wouldn’t have experienced multiple bouts of rioting, including the torching of at least a dozen businesses the night it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t be charged with a crime.

Instead, the credible evidence (i.e., the testimony that doesn’t contradict itself or the physical evidence) suggests that Michael Brown had no interest in surrendering. After committing an act of petty robbery at a local business, he attacked Officer Wilson when he stopped him on the street. Brown punched Wilson when the officer was still in his patrol car and attempted to take his gun from him.

The first shots were fired within the car in the struggle over the gun. Then, Michael Brown ran. Even if he hadn’t put his hands up, but merely kept running away, he would also almost certainly be alive today. Again, according to the credible evidence, he turned back and rushed Wilson. The officer shot several times, but Brown kept on coming until Wilson killed him.

To believe this version of events, you have to be completely and with purpose, blind to basic human instinct to the point of malice.  Or you could be Rich Lowry, same thing.  You would have to believe that A) Wilson knew that Brown committed a crime, B) that Brown would go for Wilson’s gun, and C) that after Brown was shot and ran away that he changed his mind and charged the guy who just shot him.

And on top of all that, you have to believe that there was no probable cause whatsoever to dispute this.  None.  Come to think of it, nine other Rich Lowrys on that grand jury did just that, didn’t they?

This is a terrible tragedy. It isn’t a metaphor for police brutality or race repression or anything else, and never was. Aided and abetted by a compliant national media, the Ferguson protestors spun a dishonest or misinformed version of what happened—Michael Brown murdered in cold blood while trying to give up—into a chant (“hands up, don’t shoot”) and then a mini-movement.

Yes, because the media killed Mike Brown.  Barring that, what’s one more dead black person shot by a cop and left on the street for 4.5 hours?  Race has nothing to do with it, you see, because we all know those people are all thugs and criminals, so it’s just one more insane savage beast being put down like the beast he was.  America!

When the facts didn’t back their narrative, they dismissed the facts and retreated into paranoid suspicion of the legal system. It apparently required more intellectual effort than almost any liberal could muster even to say, “You know, I believe policing in America is deeply unjust, but in this case the evidence is murky and not enough to indict, let alone convict anyone of a crime.”

How can policing in America unjust, I wonder, if Lowry sees no injustice in this?

Oh yeah, evil.  It’s always the ni-CLANG!s fault.  Seriously.  Once again, you have to believe that there’s no possible evidence in some 70 hours of testimony that any probably cause for any wrongdoing on Wilson’s part to arrive at a no true bill decision here.  That doesn’t just beggar the imagination, it performs the entire Bush/Cheney/Greenspan subprime economic crisis collapse on it.








American Rand Stand, Con’t

Team WIN THE MORNING discovers Rand Paul is a self-serving Republican Glibertarian douchebag, and finds that civil liberties groups like the ACLU are 1) mad at Rand darnit and 2) staffed by people with the common sense of a three-week old bowl of German potato salad.

He could have voted against the bill on final passage. That would have been a completely different thing than shutting down the debate,” said Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union, one of Paul’s strongest allies on the issue. Both have filed lawsuits against the NSA surveillance programs.

This type of criticism may become a recurring theme as Paul’s presidential campaign blossoms — the purist libertarian beliefs that built the Paul brand are going to keep crashing into traditional Republican standards, especially on national security.

His “no” vote on NSA reform even raised suspicions that Paul just didn’t want to have the debate.

“Even if Senator Paul had problems with the text he still should have voted to advance the bill, offer an amendment to fix his problem, and then vote against the final bill if it wasn’t adopted,” said Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. By voting against the procedural motion, he said, “Senator Paul made clear that he didn’t even want to debate the bill.”

You mean Rand Paul is a politician who doesn’t really give a damn about civil liberties, and will say or do anything he feels to get elected, including using organizations like the ACLU and EFF?

HOOCOODANODE.

Dumbasses.  Rand. Paul. Is. A. Right. Wing. Republican.  Get that through your thick skulls, guys.  Your champion doesn’t just have clay feet, he’s Evil Gumby.  You made common cause with the slimeball and now you’re horrified to discover the knife in your backs?

No sympathy from me.  None.

Bonus Rand Paul Glibertarian Nonsense:

Well, I think that I simply point to my record. I don’t think there has been anybody who has been a bigger defender of minority rights in the Congress than myself, and that’s not saying others aren’t trying as well. But I think you can see a history and a litany of bills that I’ve put forward to not only restore voting rights, but to try to prevent people from the tragedy of losing their employability through felony convictions and other things.

People will always do things for partisan purposes, and I think some of that drummed up in the beginning for partisan purposes when I was running for office. But no, I don’t think there’s anything out there that people are going to say, “Oh, look at this, this means that you’re a racist,” or something, and I think if they do, they probably pigeonhole themselves as being unreasonable by making that kind of comment.

No, you’re a racist who employs racists, and then you call people who call you out on it “unreasonable”. Screw you.  As a constituent, you embarrass me and I fervently want you out of office. You can fool the ACLU all you like, but as a black Kentucky voter, your comment on being a “defender of minority rights in the Congress” is not only factually incorrect, but completely insulting and asinine to boot.

Go talk to Rep. John Lewis, asshole.  Learn a few things from him.  Then apologize to him for your rank stupidity.








Not Even Trying To Hide It: Politico’s The President Must Die Edition

In the thread just below this one, Commenter JPL (update: and Rikrayh) pointed to this story at TPM* in which Ronald Kessler, writing at Politico, declares:

Agents tell me it’s a miracle an assassination has not already occurred. Sadly, given Obama’s colossal lack of management judgment, that calamity may be the only catalyst that will reform the Secret Service.

Give him credit (sic).  With this, Kessler hits the daily double.  He blames President Obama for something no other — and for “other,” read, I’m afraid, white — President would be expected to do:  get involved in the day to day management of his protective detail.  And then Kessler adds that in imagining a fix for the problem, he regrets the necessity of the president’s death.

37.884

I’m gobsmacked. Completely.  On the one hand, there’s nothing new here.  It is just one more instance in the long-running guerrilla propaganda war to delegitimize and disempower a twice elected president.  Its impulse is profoundly anti-democratic, deeply committed to the control of government by any means available.  It’s part and parcel of the series of incidents large and small that run from heckling during a State of the Union (imagine the reaction if someone had done that to C+ Augustus!) to a claim that somehow this President mustn’t appoint anyone to be approved by the current sitting Senate.

And yet, this ain’t just the eternal return of the same.  You have here a writer openly near-predicting the murder of the first African American president; accusing him of the basic failures that make that murder likely, and consoling himself that after that murder, things may get better.  It’s as near to cheerleading an assassination as I can imagine, while steering just clear of an explicit call for that event.

In a civilized society, advertisers and readers would flee Politico as if it suffered from the combined effects of Ebola, the bubonic plague and rabies.  And they would spit on the sidewalk anytime Mr. Kessler dared show his face.  In this one…

*No link to Politico; no rewarding the sewage rakers.

Image: Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Death of Caesarbetw. 1859 and 1867.








Good Jobs Report

We’re partying like it’s 1999:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +282,000 to +304,000, and the change for May was revised from +217,000 to +224,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May were 29,000 higher than previously reported.

Time for more tax cuts.