온라인카지노순위

It is always amazing just how much contempt and hatred the editorial staff of?The New York Times has for its actual readership. Again, it must be stated that my own view (which is, I think, the standard one among progressives) is that I don’t really want news sources that consistently slant in my own direction. I haven’t watched a minute of MSNBC for maybe six years. What I do want (and expect) from news sources is for them to reflect reality, as thoroughly as they can, and to do so conscientiously. Representing the political debate as being between neoliberals and #NeverTrumpers does not cut it, nor does constantly bear-hugging abominable reactionaries as they seem to want to do. That their response to being called out is to hector their readers pretty much ensures that a lot of those readers won’t remain so for long, and also that the criticisms will not go away. (Incidentally, for all the problems with the?Washington Post over the years, they seem able to go a week without horribly damaging their reputation and then yelling at their readers. It’s interesting.) They won’t go away, you see, because they’re correct. This Vox piece from a while back says it all:

When the Times opinion page pretends that conservatism is David Brooks or Bret Stephens when it maintains the comforting illusion that American politics is a contest of ideas, it is not exposing its readers to uncomfortable truths — it is sheltering them.

Do NYT readers — who mostly read mainstream sources, mostly live in cities, mostly are not exposed to right-wing media — understand that the most active voices on the American right today are filled with paranoid rage, hopped up on lies and conspiracy theories, unmoved by reason, and devoted to their total destruction? Do they understand that the values and norms they assume safe and sacrosanct are in fact under heavy siege? Do they know that American democracy is in danger of coming apart?

I’m not sure they do; I think they still imagine Republican moderates gathered in a cave somewhere, ready to swoop in and take charge again at the sight of the David Brooks bat signal.

If the NYT wants to challenge their assumptions, it should challenge those.

Does anybody actually think the mainstream media will even exist in twenty years? And if so, what sort of money are you willing to put on it?

Share
{ 1 comment }
Lev filed this under:  

In retrospect, perhaps I was a bit too hard on Heidi Heitkamp re Mike Pompeo. He was going to get picked no matter what since Rand Paul decided to sell his vote to Trump for a gently used air guitar, and Heitkamp probably knew this before she did her thing. I still think it was a cheap stunt that was bad on the substance but it wasn’t a betrayal.

Mark Warner’s play on Gina Haspel, though, is a true betrayal. It’s unforgivable and should follow him forever. Combine this with his vote for the Crapo Bill and his refusal to protect the safety net make this a strike three. The worst thing is that Warner thinks this sort of bipartisan “great statesman” stuff is what got him elected, not the actual thing that got him elected, which is the (D) after his name. His margin of victory in 2014 wasn’t hugely different from what Tim Kaine or Terry McAuliffe got, other Democrats running around that time. Perhaps someone should remind him of this reality by taking away from him the thing that he seems not to value.

Share
Lev filed this under: ,  

I was thinking of the last good Democratic midterm campaign, way back in 2006. Such coherence! There were concrete policy proposals, powerful themes, all of it. At the time, the lion’s share of the credit went to Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer, one presumes mainly because of their relationships with the press since both are stronger than those of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Howard Dean. But they’re both involved in this go-round (yup, they actually consulted Rahm) and the Democrats’ current campaign is an ill-formed mess with no coherence at all. Perhaps they’ll pull it together but it’s in less than six months and I have no real idea what positive agenda they’re going to push or what themes they want to emphasize. It’s all just hoping to capitalize on anti-Trump sentiment while also trying to soft-pedal any real Trump resistance to benefit red state Democrats. (Incidentally, Ben Nelson was up in 2006 and Democrats of the time didn’t just stop messaging on the Iraq War because he supported it. Nelson won anyway.) I suppose Pelosi is another constant, which means she must not have had much effect on what worked in 2006 either. What a weird way of proving that Harry Reid and Howard Dean were the ones who knew what they were doing. It figures.

Share
Lev filed this under:  

Sometimes I just imagine what Democrats could do if they weren’t so damn obsessed with looking like Reasonable Adults. Lemieux is right that there’s no real gain to be had here for Warner, as opposed to various other conservaDems up for re-election this year. So this is just a specific example of the general reality that Democrats seem to treat veneration by MSM op-ed columnists and Republican elites as highly desirable commodities instead of things to be treated with contempt because those columnists and elites are contemptible. It’s one thing if a politician has to worry about their own survival if they fight it, it’s another if they just decide that fighting is too messy. Or not worth doing at all.

My operating assumption has long been that the Democratic Party is just too weak to stand up to the threat to democracy, equality and liberty that is the conservative movement. Sadly this feeling grows every day, and I’m not even sure what to do about it. The cause isn’t even Republicans, it’s basically the old white people who run the party and refuse to grapple with what’s going on, and still cling to the fantasy that Republicans will be forced to moderate in the near future, so all they have to do is hang on and do nothing. At some point, the only real solution is to try to get these people out of office.

Share
Lev filed this under: , ,  

My local paper has a good one.

Share
Lev filed this under:  

Regardless of the merits of the proposal, it really was kinda stupid for Trump’s opening move to be the Muslim ban, just on a pure politics level. It divided his own side while uniting the opposition, many of whom had been spending the prior months sending out feelers of cooperation. Chuck Schumer is not at all a resistance-type figure, but the unacceptability of the policy question forced him to be for a little while, and even putting aside the policy in play, the haste and ineptness with which it was enacted made it hard for anybody to defend. Not that it lasted as an issue. Loomis is not at all wrong about the lack of follow-through by liberal activists on this issue, of course, though part of why it sparked like it did when it did was because it was Trump’s opening volley and people were keyed up already. At this point, focusing on it would entail an opportunity cost of focusing on any number of other things where more attention might actually make a difference, particularly since SCOTUS seems strongly disinclined to get rid of the ban. The courts aren’t going to get rid of it, but the next Democratic president will, and that’s kind of where it stands, unfortunately.

Anyway, looking at it purely on the level of maneuvering, it never seemed like the smart way to go. It would have been really easy for Trump to get the media and perhaps also Democratic elites to normalize him. He could have started slowly and quietly. He could have demanded an infrastructure bill and invited Democrats to write it. He could have done something that neither party seemed at all interested in doing but that would have been popular, like wrapping up U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Any number of things that would have dissipated, at least to some extent, the protest energy of his inauguration. Because let’s be honest, a nontrivial amount of the anger toward Trump is driven by personality more than his actual policy agenda. That’s always the case at all times, but this means that it could have ebbed away of its own momentum in the lack of something to drive it. And even if his policy agenda is bigoted and ignorant, well, he is a Republican President, and not all of them have started from such a low standing. He could have made it easier on himself, easily. It’s hard not to see Bannon as the bad actor here, as a guy who didn’t care at all about Trump who was using him toward his own ends. The Muslim ban is the sort of fuck-the-system move that the Breitbart crowd would eat up, but nobody else, and given how Bannon has conducted himself since leaving Trump’s coven, it’s easy enough to draw that conclusion. No way Bannon thought Roy Moore was a good guy. He was just another prop to occupy his time, another nihilistic destabilizing force to support. Not that it wasn’t good for progressives to make Trumpism toxic to the elites right off the bat, but it was their choice, and kind of a stupid one at that. Dubya whined about elites to voters and courted them in office. That’s why he got more done! (And also why he’s still a much worse president than Trump has been, and most likely could be.)

Admittedly, also, Sean Spicer was not such a great choice to be the mouthpiece of the administration. The difference between himself and Huckabee Sanders is instructive: they both lie constantly, but Sanders is sophisticated enough to cadge the lies as things that reporters can pretend are differences in opinion, while Spicer was doing “sky is green” stuff that forced reporters to (grudgingly) push back. This is why Sanders is going to be a talking head on CNN in three years, and Spicer is going to be, I don’t know, doing infomercials for carpet cleaners or something. Media people?love Huckabee Sanders, even though she’s not any more honest than ole Spicey.?Can you imagine that the MSM would have stuck up for Sean Spicer if Michelle Wolf had roasted him? I really can’t.

Share
Lev filed this under: ,  

There’s a certain idea out there that writing positive reviews is hard, while writing negative reviews is easy. I don’t think this is precisely true. There are plenty of things I like that I can expound upon, while there are plenty of things I hate that I really don’t have much more to say about than “that sucked.” Honestly, if harshly negative reviews come easily to you and positive ones are difficult, that says more about you than it does about anything you’re considering, I think. Why do you review things that suck? Or why do you hate what you review?

This is a preamble to saying that reading 800 pages of James Baldwin essays kind of left me without a whole lot to say at the end, other than, “These are awesome and you should read them all too.” I read the Library of America volume that you see above, and it took me a couple of months because I found I needed to take it slowly. These are essays to savor, to reflect upon. I imagine you could power through it in a week or two, just as you can scarf down an entire seven-course dinner in a few minutes, but I can’t imagine that being as satisfying an experience.

There’s really almost too much to talk about with this volume. I guess I can just start with my high points. Obviously, “Journey to Atlanta” is pretty damn brilliant, a darkly hilarious story about how a group of black performers from the North wound up essentially becoming slaves in the South for a time, at the behest of a purported progressive there. The short entirety of?The Fire Next Time is a profound achievement, one that really sets out almost all the ideas about race that he’d explore in his career. I was surprised by the essay where he talks with Ingmar Bergman, which is just a really great discussion between two brilliant iconoclasts, as well as the one where he talks to Elijah Muhammad, who he sees utterly clearly. There are essays about visiting the Jim Crow South that are all just riveting, and there’s an essay explaining black anti-Semitism that puts it in terms that I don’t want to say make sense, but that amount to a convincing reading of that reality. And his later writing I found very intresting–at various points I was reminded of Gore Vidal’s essays in terms of the command of the medium and perhaps a little bit the style, but after a point Baldwin just owned being gay in a way in which Vidal–his close contemporary in age–never could. Those essays are probably the most uplifting of the whole volume, as they show Baldwin entirely at peace with that aspect of his life. I found them surprisingly moving. But there’s so much more even than these, and so much of it is just first-rate. How many writers really have 800 pages worth reading at all? Not many, I venture. And while so much of it returns to one very specific interest, there really is quite a range of things here.

That specific interest, of course, is American racism, a reality that he at various points tried to flee physically but that always retained a hold on him. Baldwin has become a trendy writer again and it seems obvious why after reading this: Baldwin sees the phony narratives of white Americans–the ones meant to substitute for an honest accounting of their ancestors’ and their own treatment of black people–for what they are, as cowardly dodges. When he writes–as he often does–of the fear, pain, and confusion that these lies cause to white people, it’s plainly obvious to anybody who’s seen FOX News in their lives what he’s talking about, and it’s damn depressing to boot. I surprisingly thought he might be giving white folks a bit more credit than they deserve–in my experience, most just prefer not to think about it much. People can live with lies, people die for them. But, of course, doing so does tend to have side effects. Baldwin is not an optimist but most of his writing holds out at least some hope–his fascination with the South was a result of his belief that the South is where healing would begin, which doesn’t seem particularly likely all these decades later. In terms of voting, education, and physical safety of black people, while I’m hardly saying that any of the nation does a great job, the South remains pretty much at the bottom, even a lot worse than it was a decade ago. Obviously, pretty much everyplace in America has a horrible racial history, and in all honesty I think that Baldwin–who saw through the Northern self-satisfaction of not being as bad as the Jim Crow South, to its sins of redlining and violence that occurred just as much there as anywhere–genuinely believed that this was in some way more insidious or worse than racism in the South. I’m not sure in what sense you can really argue that. Even the best of us have their blind spots. But in general, reading Baldwin is a thing people should do. He certainly can describe the problem as well as anybody can or has, and if he doesn’t really have a solution or even know where one’s going to come from, well, nobody else does.

What’s Next? I’m currently reading?The Autobiography of Malcolm X, so it might be that if I finish it in time. I already have a lot to say about it, as well as its relation to Spike Lee’s film. Or perhaps it’ll be?Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, which I’ve finished but which I’m still digesting. And there are also a few modern-day works that I’ve “banked” but want to save until a bit later in this project. So I don’t actually know! But it’ll be one of them. Stay tuned.

Share
Lev filed this under: ,  

My considered view is that discharge petitions are like unicorns, in that some people believe in their existence but I’ve never seen one in real life. And given that the names involved are all Republicans in Hillary districts who have every reason to get their names in the paper as rational, reasonable Republicans more than anything, I’m skeptical this will come to anything. But since Paul Ryan is a lame duck and has no real authority–who cares if he’s holding a grudge against you, or about his power and reputation at this point–maybe we will spot one of these elusive creatures after all. Probably not a good chance. But some chance.

Share
Lev filed this under: ,