Whatever was the matter with Kansas when Thomas Frank wrote his book is now less daunting for the left, believes New York magazine’s Eric Levitz, who contended in a Wednesday piece that the closeness of this week’s House special election in the Wichita-centric 4th District appears to spell trouble for conservatives.
In a promo she does for the MSNBC channel on SiriusXM, Rachel Maddow claims she delivers the news "without fear or favor" -- but she sure provides useful cover to guests if they share her liberal politics. Such was the case Tuesday night when one of Maddow's guests was former CIA analyst Edward Price, who just quit the agency in a highly public way, accompanied by an op-ed in the Washington Post that laid out the alleged rationale for his departure.
Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas is pleased that “several media operations have decided to join reality [by] calling the Trump regime’s lies what they are -- lies.” Still stuck in unreality, according to Kos, is NPR, which, he alleged on Wednesday, “remains steadfastly committed to enabling the ruling regime’s propaganda efforts.” Kos fumed that “conservatives rally around conservative media, unified in message and purpose, while liberals consider themselves all superior because they listen to the soothing blather of NPR…Never forget --supposedly ‘liberal’ news outlets like CNN, the New York Times, and NPR were some of the biggest purveyors of bullshit stories on Clinton’s emails.”
Esquire’s Pierce readily concedes that Ben Carson (“an elite neurosurgeon”) and Mike Pompeo (“graduated at the top of his class at West Point”) are smart guys. In a way, though, they’re also tragic figures, he suggests, since they’ve “had to tailor their politics and their public personae to cater to the anti-rational, theocratic, anti-intellectual Id of modern conservatism…This means that both Carson and Pompeo have long histories of saying and writing things that sound like transmissions coming through their molars from Planet X.”
The Hamilton electors, whatever their number, are being cheered on by Hamilton bloggers, one of whom is Esquire’s Pierce. In a Saturday post, Pierce argued that in the country the Founding Fathers envisioned, the Electoral College would vote down a Donald Trump presidency. Pierce wrote, “Let us assume for a moment that our constitutional institutions are as strong and functional as they are supposed to be, and let's assume for a moment that we, as a self-governing people, are as strong and as functional as we need to be. What would happen next is that the Electoral College would function as it was designed to function and as its function was explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 68…The electors would look at the accumulated evidence and deny the president-elect his mandate.”
The women at The View had a collective meltdown on Monday’s show after hearing ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson was Donald Trump’s rumored choice for Secretary of State. Discussing Tillerson’s ties with Russia and the news from the CIA that Russians may have been trying to influence the election, the panel wondered aloud if Trump had anything to do with the hacking. An exasperated Behar blamed Trump for “encouraging” the hacking and demanded he “step down” before the inauguration.
After last week’s police-involved fatal shootings in Baton Rouge and suburban St. Paul, Jeb Lund argued that such deaths happen not because of a few racist cops, but because over the past five decades millions of voters have rewarded politicians who propose and enact racist laws. In an article that appeared Thursday prior to the murder of five police officers in Dallas, Lund declared that “both parties figured out just how much of a can't-lose proposition it was to call for more cops, harsher interdiction and zero tolerance, all while finding new drugs, new addicts and new terms for low-income criminals that broadcast one general image to voters: Bad black people.”
“What the average person is seeing right now,” declares the American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, “is an entire party mobilizing to defend the use of torture, whether they will call it by that name or not. And that looks to be having an effect on public opinion.”
A day after Rosie O’Donnell proclaimed that the CIA engaged in “horrific” and “illegal” “torture,” on Thursday morning the cast of ABC’s The View decided to revisit the controversial Democratic Senate report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. Predictably, Rosie doubled-down on her claim that America “tortured” people but conservative co-host Nicolle Wallace eagerly slapped her down. The ABC host insisted that she has “never been more proud to defend the people who walk the line for this country and this city and the city in which I worked, the city where my mom and dad lived.”
On Wednesday, Michael Morrell, former Deputy Director of the CIA and current CBS News Senior Security Contributor, appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. While the former CIA official vehemently rejected the contents of the report, co-host Norah O’Donnell did her best to discredit Morrell’s defense of the agency. O’Donnell proclaimed “to me the idea that someone could be waterboarded, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 183 times and that's not torture, I just don't understand that definition.”
Who were those guys on Morning Joe today—two Feinstein staffers? Nope, they were Mark Halperin and Jeremy Peters, making like Dem aides in defending the report on the CIA that Dem Senator Diane Feinstein released yesterday.
Halperin, head of Bloomberg Politics, had the chutzpah to claim that the report was not "political." Peters of the New York Times then chimed in to say that in releasing the report, the Senate conducted itself in a "very sober" way.
During an exclusive interview with former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams felt that it was worth creating a moral equivalency by asking Hayden to explain “how” the United States is “better than our enemies morally” following the release of a report about the CIA’s use of “torture” following the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Minutes later, Williams also attempted to bait Hayden into condemning the CIA and its actions by proposing a scenario where, “god forbid, members of your family, had to undergo some of the treatments we are reading about in this report.”