Kyrsten Sinema: Are you experienced?

Imagine, just now, that you are smiling your day away in Seattle and happen to come upon a bronze statue while meandering the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Not just any statue, but a statue festooned with markers of love, one that quite obviously serves as a memorial to a cherished persona. The afro’d subject may have a tie, an actual, silk tie, around its neck. Or perhaps it has been knit-bombed and is somehow wearing a panel sweater somehow attached to its torso in ways that you, not a fiber artist yourself, find disconcertingly impossible unless someone had literally stood on this sidewalk for day after day knitting the sweater directly onto the bronze. Votive candles and tea lights may be scattered round of course, though only lit for a few hours each evening. Though other times the mementoes and scattered tchotchkes are cleared away, treated as clutter, garbage to be removed by the nearby businesses who prefer a clean aesthetic. One can never be quite sure how one will encounter it.

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This isn’t a defense of politicians, it’s an indictment of the media

So, there’s an article up on Raw Story about how House Republicans are likely to impeach VP Harris and/or President Biden should they gain a majority in 2022. In discussing this fact, some people claim that elected Republicans don’t necessarily want to engage in a corrupt tit-for-well justified tat. Rather, according to retired House member Tom Rooney:

“It might not necessarily be what some of those guys want to do, but it might be what the base expects. People want Armageddon.”

The article continues:

Rooney wasn’t saying that he thinks that impeaching Biden would be a good idea should Republicans retake the House in 2022 — only that parts of his party are feeling incredibly vindictive. And that type of severe partisanship is why Rooney decided not to seek reelection in 2018.

Brendan Buck, a Republican media strategist who worked for two former GOP House speakers — Paul Ryan and John Boehner — told the Times, “We’re in an era where you need to make loud noises and break things in order to get attention. It doesn’t matter what you’re breaking — as long as you’re creating conflict and appeasing your party, anything goes.” [emphasis mine]

As the title of this post says, the fact that they’re willing to go along with a raging mob in violating the spirit of the constitution in order to preserve the privileges of their elected position and further their own power says nothing positive about House Republicans. But it certainly does say something negative about the US media landscape that “breaking things” results in the media attention that generates political power.

 

 

A thought I had elsewhere on war and the media

So a long time ago now Phil Donahue was fired from MSNBC for being too anti-war. When that firing came up again through a casual aside on Wonkette, it occurred to me to write something there in the comments that I now bring over here:

Going to war is the most consequential decision a nation can make. In the US, by virtue of how it practices war, the consequences can seem distant, and so too many people will fail to understand that going to war requires an increase in some combination of debt and taxes, that much of that increased financial burden at home will then be spent overseas, where the US people cannot benefit. Then, of course, the US military will kill. Not only will we commit thousands of murders in the name of our war, depending on the war we may easily commit hundreds of thousands, while destroying the homes and infrastructure that provides shelter, necessities, and economic engagement for millions more. As a result, the US war will cause internal struggles for any attacked peoples, bringing the death toll resulting from our decision as high as the low millions.

You cannot start a disaster that will claim millions of lives, or even tens of thousands of lives, and wreck economies for hundreds of kilometers without creating a huge amount of ill will. In addition to traditionally-understood blowback, there is also a difficult to quantify effect on the ability of US persons & companies to engage in international trade after such a reputational hit. Our diplomacy is negatively impacted as our credibility dives. In any number of ways other than military, the US loses.

And yet, it is the recurrent pattern in every time and every place that when a nation goes to war, dissent is quashed: the US is not so exceptional as to escape that pattern.

As a result, the closer a nation, yes, even the USA, gets to war, the less informed the public and the worse the information base used for making decisions.

We know this.

Knowing this, it is unconscionable that US media companies do not go out of their way to recruit and protect anti-war voices, long term voices that can gain in reputation and stature as criticisms of past wars are slowly acknowledged by the monied and political classes to have merit. Voices that we can point to, then, and say, “But they were right about the last war; we should listen to their warnings about this one.”

And they will not always be right. And there have been such things as wars the US should have entered, as World War 2. But without them we will continue to make our worst decisions when we need our best.

If you are a media company employing 10 or more reporters, there is no excuse for not having anti-war journalists and commentators on your staff.

 

 

Vox and its advertisers are working overtime to find the perfect match

This… this just blew me away. I’ll let it speak for itself:

This is the perfect match.

ETA: Argh. The picture is showing up just fine in edit mode, but I can’t see it on the page here. I don’t know how many people this display bug might be affecting, but I’m going to try to fix it. Well, here’s a link anyway:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/353676519798734858/804043440500637726/Vox_on_Womens_White_Supremacy.png

Must Read Piece from NBC News: Republicans Predicted This in 2016, Then Got On Board Anyway

Liberals & progressives & general lefties have been screaming for years that Trump is unfit for office and that he has openly said and done things for years that should have disqualified him from serious consideration in 2016, much less the presidency over the last 4 years. Sometimes we feel like Cassandras, doomed to be disbelieved even as we tell the truth about our country’s inevitable fate.

But Republicans, too, warned the country. Nearly unanimously when Trump first entered the race the people in power in the GOP denounced him. They even compared Trump and his base to the No-Nothings of the 1850s who rioted in the capital and destroyed marble meant to finish the Washington Monument. Lindsey Graham famously declared that the GOP “will be destroyed” if they nominated Trump. “And we will deserve it,” he concluded.

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Most Important News Story Of The Day

Oh, sure, we could go with something election related. Or we could follow in Wonkette’s footsteps & write about how Kentucky’s Attorney General brazenly lied about the grand jury’s investigation of Breonna Taylor’s killer cops (yes, we’re talking about murderous cops and not about people who kill cops) and about how the dishonest AG was counting on grand jury secrecy to keep his lies from being discovered even as he continued to break required silence on grand jury proceedings with no one to arrest him (since that would be the AG’s job, which would be him) and, finally, about how a new ruling on behalf of a grand jury member who wanted to be able to speak publicly about aspects of the proceedings which the AG had already (falsely) described without going to jail. That’s an important story, an Wonkette has a good write up of it, but it’s not the most important story of the day.

We will, of course, miss the work of James Randi, but while personally affecting, I feel the story lacks quite as much public impact as even the story about the release of the Taylor grand jury transcript’s release. The story about Giuliani’s bid to bed a Borat Betty is amusing if you’re in the right frame of mind, but that’s not important at all. There’s all sorts of election news, of course, but much of it is horse-race nonsense. The election is not won or lost based on polls conducted 2-3 weeks before election day.

No, there’s only one most important news story today:

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