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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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Eschaton: The One True Wanker of the Decade


Tom Friedman

Friedman possesses all of the qualities that make a pundit truly wankerific. He fetishizes a false "centrism" which is basically whatever Tom Friedman likes, imagining the Friedman agenda is both incredibly popular in the country and lacking any support from our current politicians, when in fact the opposite is usually true. Washington worships at the altar of the agenda of false centrism, and people often hate it. Problems abroad, even ones which really have nothing to do with us, should be solved by war, and problems at home should be solved by increasing the suffering of poor and middle class people. Even though one political party is pretty much implementing, or trying to implement, 99.999999% of the Friedman agenda, what we really need is a third party catering precisely to this silent majority of Friedmanites.

Truly great wankers possess a kind of glib narcissism, the belief that everything is about them while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility for anything. The important thing about an issue is whether it proves Tom Friedman fucking right, but if it doesn't we can just move on to the next big thing that will prove Tom Friedman fucking right. If you advocate for wars that go a bit bad, well, it's not your fault. If only Tom Friedman had been in charge everything would have been great.

Such wankers are impervious to criticism because they're always doing battle with straw critics. They never remember what they said last week, and assume you won't either.

In April 2003 Friedman said that Arab journalists who talked about the US ‘occupation’ of Iraq were guilty of ‘Saddamism’. In August 2003 Friedman wrote: ‘This is an occupation.’

In 2007 he surmised that Iraqis ‘hate each other more than they love their own kids’. In 2009 he hoped that they’d learned from America’s ‘million acts of kindness’ and ‘profound example of how much people of different backgrounds can accomplish when they work together’.

In 2005 Friedman argued: ‘We have to have a proper election in Iraq so we can have a proper civil war there.’ Earlier this year, he wrote: ‘For all of the murderous efforts by al-Qaida to trigger a full-scale civil war in Iraq, it never happened.’ Never mind that in 2006 he said: ‘It is now obvious that we are not midwifing democracy in Iraq. We are baby-sitting a civil war.’

Tom Friedman is wrong about everything, and Tom Friedman don't care!

A good friend of mine is addicted, it's fairly obviously going to kill him, even he knows it

"Brian" is a mid 40's guy divorced but living with someone, one tween girl not his biological child but he's supporting her and her mother and has been for most of the girl's life. Brian has another child a son in late teens not living with him but he's still paying child support on. Brian has a good, union job making well above median income but it's a job that absolutely requires a fully physical capable person to do it.

Brian's medical history is not good, at fortysomething he's had a quad or quint bypass already and needs to have some sort of surgery on the veins in his legs as well but he's putting that off, he's on an entire drug store of pills it seems. Not obviously overweight and to look at him generally he doesn't appear in bad health to the casual layman. A good insurance package comes with his union job so coverage isn't as much of an issue as it is for a lot of us.

Brian however is an addict, he drinks at least a twelve pack of beer every single day and smokes at least a pack and a half of cigarettes in the same period, knowing full well that both of those practices are totally contraindicated by his medical condition. When he drinks he doesn't eat since it spoils the buzz and then when he does eat he has cravings for all the old comfort foods that are really bad for him. Chain smoking while drinking is the other part of the addiction, Brian doesn't seem to smoke as often when he's not drinking, once the first beer can goes in the recycling though the ashtray starts filling up too.

We've had the frank conversation about it, more than once actually, Brian knows what he's doing and in my mind it's his right to do it. I also don't think making the substances he's addicted to impossible to buy legally and locking him in prison for having them would help him in the long run.

I don't really see all that much difference between my friend and Philip Seymour Hoffman, both are or were middle aged men who have union jobs, both support or were supporting families and both are committing or have committed suicide.

Take the F*cking Hint


Frank Luntz was a lot more than a message guru. Luntz and his focus groups singlehandedly kept the GOP on the right side of elections, public opinion and the International Criminal Court by coming up with ways to not just get the American people to tolerate war, torture and corporate oligarchy but to cherish these things like they were written into the Constitution by Jesus himself. A few weeks ago Luntz quit his lucrative job well short of what most consider a normal retirement age. Why? Glad you asked (emphasis mine).

Luntz knew that he, a maker of political messages and attacks and advertisements, had helped create this negativity, and it haunted him. But it was Obama he principally blamed. The people in his focus groups, he perceived, had absorbed the president’s message of class divisions, haves and have-nots, of redistribution. It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back.

A few days ago Eric Cantor stood in front of his gathered Congressional caucus and tried his level best to explain – using simple words and pictures where needed – that the number of people who work for someone else adds up to a lot more than 47%.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Cantor’s presentation was that it included a recognition that in the past Republicans have focused more on the nation’s employers than employees, have talked about small business owners and entrepreneurs to the exclusion of the far greater number of Americans who don’t own their own businesses.

“Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else,” Cantor said, according to a source in the room. “Most of them not only will never own their own business, for most of them that isn’t their dream. Their dream is to have a good job, with an income that will allow them to support their family.”

“We shouldn’t miss the chance to talk to these people,” Cantor continued, according to the source, “which is why we will present and pass our plans to relieve the middle class squeeze.”

Without knowing exactly what followed I imagine Cantor explained to his caucus that they will not solve this issue with cuts to the top marginal tax rate, a flat tax, tort reform, deregulating the energy sector, regulating women’s private business, repealing Obamacare (he might have spent extra time on that one), mandatory gun ownership, repealing the seventeenth amendment (seriously, WTF guys?) or passing a ban on gay marriage, interracial marriage, flag burning, contraception, STD vaccines or climate science. Being a sensible man Cantor will not have ruled out making very concerned noises without ever supporting any actual plan to deal with the problem. Frank Luntz would endorse that strategy if he still did that sort of thing. But Luntz quit, so expect a Romney-style hastily assembled hail mary plan with shortcomings that will prove obvious to your average third grader.

Whether anyone in Congress relishes sucking up to the powerful more than Eric Ivan Cantor, and I think that any jury who could weigh enough relevant evidence to make a decision without tossing its cookies should be put on a no fly list, I can say that economic populism does not come easy to the guy. He would support policies which inconvenience the people who can afford his marionette paddle if and only if said people have already decided that they face a lot worse without them. Someone out there is awfully scared of Elizabeth Warren.

A Superb Owl ad you may not have seen yet


During the first local commercial break of last night's Super Bowl broadcast, residents of Savannah, Ga., were treated to something truly incredible. Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino bought the entire two-minute block of local advertising and aired the masterpiece you see above.

Betty Cracker @ Balloon-Juice: Obama’s Subway Ride to Bizarre-O World


Just before the holidays valued commenter Mnemosyne provided a great piece of advice on dealing with frothing wingnuts that I’ve used to good effect several times since: When confronted with some bogus charge of liberal perfidy, act like you’ve never heard of the issue the person is raising, and stand there with a polite, somewhat incredulous look as they explain it. These absurd plots invariably sound kooky and far-fetched when spoken aloud, and with any luck, your wingnut is capable of recognizing that and shuts up. The POTUS engaged in something similar last night:

I’m sure Fox viewers were exuberant about O’Reilly’s “interview.” I thought it was deeply stupid, which is hardly surprising. But the reaction I saw from unaffiliated folks was interesting: It was as if O’Reilly were babbling about missing mustard and shaving cats’ asses to people who have never heard of Balloon Juice. Obama played his part well, maintaining the demeanor of a subway car rider who is trying to avoid escalating the ravings of a psychopath between stops.

Kick and Rec this thread if you've never ever said anything positive about Obama

You know who you are..

New Greenwald book: Great American Hypocrites! Part Deux!

The controversial author and journalist Glenn Greenwald announced today that he has written a sequel to his 2008 best seller Great American Hypocrites.

"There was just so much additional material to write about, a tsunami of hypocrisy." Said Greenwald in an exclusive interview with reallyreallyreallybigriver.com "I was really excited to observe a lot more people talking out of both sides of their mouth. I expect Great American Hypocrites! Part Deux! to be a smashing success"

For the moment Greenwald is reticent about details of the book. "Read the reviews, the attacks will speak for my work" he says with his characteristic twinkly personality, self deprecating sense of humor and infectious grin.

Relaxing by the pool outside his Brazilian penthouse suite Glenn cuts a suave figure attired in a grey chamomile not smoking jacket by Louis Wu with a cream linen shirt by Beowulf Shaeffer, anthracite slacks of hemp fibers extracted from elephant dung by Coprolite and lounging slippers of exquisitely worked puppy skins by Flenser.

Bieber's biggest mistake?

He's using his multi millions to party and have a good time instead of renting politicians in order to screw over the 99%.

If he would just come to his senses and embrace right wing political causes with his money and visibility he would be loved by the same people who hate him now.

Bieber could be a massive hit on the conservative circuit with his youth, looks, money and acting ability. All the boy needs is a little guidance and coaching in what to say and how to say it.

So if it was groupies and blow or the conservative speaking circuit, which would you choose at 20 years old?

Jimmy Barnes and Joe Bonamassa.. Lazy (Deep Purple cover)

"The liberal media is pushing Hillary Clinton down our throats"

OK, so I went to the flea market this morning, it's outdoors in a parking lot, Saturday only.. It's somewhat warmer today after several bitterly cold weekends in a row so the place was fairly busy..

I was walking around looking at stuff and this old geezer in one of the booths had a pair of waterproof work boots and a small tent I was interested in. The tent had "Hillary" on the side of the storage tube, obviously after Sir Edmund Hillary. So I jokingly said something to him about knocking a couple of bucks off the price I'd already negotiated because no one wants a tent with Hillary on the side and he had a conniption fit screeching about the "liberal media pushing Hillary down our throats". Nearly strangled myself to keep from laughing out loud at him (hadn't done the deal yet and really wanted the boots).

So just to err.. mess with him I told him that I was online a lot and *all* the Democrats and liberals online thought Hillary was the perfect candidate for president and they were all pulling for her, ready to volunteer and donate.

I got my boots and left him in a fine state, the next buyer that comes along is going to get an earful.

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