Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hating Love, Loving Hate

News ‘buster’ Noel Sheppard

Noel Sheppard is a stooge of Brent Bozell’s anti-media empire. As a lead blogger for “Newsbusters,” he has been around longer than the Breitbart or Daily Caller slanderers, and is, therefore, every bit as predictable: always attack, never defend; always smear, never reason. The blog’s absurd assertion is contained within its subtitle: “Exposing and combating liberal media bias.” Which, naturally, both justifies and shields the blatant and vile partisan bias of supposedly but NEVER factual “Newsbusters.”

Latest case in point:

MSNBC Ridicules Romney for Collecting Food and Supplies for Sandy Victims
Noel Sheppard / blogs

This one is really hard to believe, even for the most biased so-called “news network” in the nation.  —  MSNBC on Tuesday totally trashed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for collecting food and supplies ….

When the clip concluded, [MSNBC host Martin] Bashir said, “Mayor Reed, so the Red Cross knows what it’s doing. Did he, did you detect perhaps a subtle dig there on Mr. Romney who spent today going against the guidelines established by the Red Cross and holding a campaign rally in Ohio that was dressed up like a charity drive collecting food and other supplies when the Red Cross expressly asked people not to do that?”

Imagine that. A presidential candidate who gives millions of dollars a year to charity does a storm relief event in Ohio, and an MSNBC anchor is disgusted by it because the Red Cross would prefer people donating cash…

Ah, the mythology of the hyper-partisan, say-anything MSNBC crew — as clueless a projection by our mindless propagandists as was ever minted. Continue reading


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The Further Adventures of Pinocchio

Bob Dylan once wrote a song entitled “Idiot Wind,” which copyright restrictions and international conventions prohibit me from reproducing here in most any form. But that’s the theme song for the last few days. Sometimes, there is such a mountain of partisan blather and endless analysis and deconstruction of polls by an army of self-anointed analysts who have clearly never so much as attempted to spell “statistics,” can barely pr0nounce the word and most assuredly neither took an ‘Introduction to Statistics’ nor probably much in the way of mathematics, period … SOMETIMES there is such a mountain of blather that there is nothing to to add that could be heard above the yowl of the idiot wind. Case in point:

How One Well-Connected Pseudonymous Twitter Spread Fake News About Hurricane Sandy
by Andrew Kaczynski

The twitter user @comfortablysmug is one of a handful of pseudonymous Manhattan professionals who keep their widely-followed Twitter voices separate from their careers. [...]

And in the chaos around Hurricane Sandy, he veered into new territory: Trying to trick his media followers, and their followers and readers in turn, with fake news. He reported, falsely, on a total blackout in Manhattan, on a flood on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and other things that didn’t happen.

Two of his tweets garnered more than 500 retweets. One drew a rebuke from ConEd’s official Twitter account.

Twitter’s self-correction mechanism — rebukes and rebuttals from knowledgeable sources — shut down each rumor, but not until at least one, the flood claim, had bled widely into the television media. …

Well, disinformation is at least as old as that famous Talking Snake upon whose tale three world religions tread. But, really, disinformation is not new to us, either. Continue reading


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He’ll be back any minute now

I am off the grid for a moment. A mere eyeblink in geological time.


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When David Koch Walked Out of the Libertarian Party

I borrowed this 2011 photo from the blog “Flathead Memo” and the exceptionally good job of chronicling the present “Tea Party” in  Montana: “Montana’s half-baked, fully Koched Running on Empty Tour” by James Connor, 21 August 2011.  I trust that he will take this as homage, and not a theft (click photo to enlarge):

Left to right, Kalispell tea party organizer Linda Johnson;
AFP’s president, Tim Phillips; Kalispell attorney
and former Ron Marlenee aide Duncan Scott.

Pay attention to the fellow on the far right (appropriately). He’s important in what follows.

This is long. I know that. But it is also a chronicle of over 30 years of Kochian politics and it’s broken into four chunks. I  could stretch it out over the week, but you need to see all of this. So, more words, less pictures.

Links may have expired. I have not added illustrations. But this comes to us unfiltered from 2006. You can read the complete series (and all links are) HERE.

It’s a bit of an epic story, gleaned from tracing ONE operative of the Howard Rich/Ed Crane political machine (the original David Koch campaign gang) …

13 OCTOBER 2006

Unlimited Terms of Endearment Part XXIII: The Secret Life of Duncan Scott

(Part the first)

Duncan Scott is a good Republican, to all outward appearances. He’s the chair of the Flathead County Republican Party, and a founder and president of the Pachyderm Club. He practices law just outside of Glacier National Park.

In 2000, in New Mexico, he was George Bush’s lawyer, tapped by the campaign to file suit on behalf of Bush to have all of New Mexico’s ballots impounded, when it looked as though Bush had won New Mexico (he later lost narrowly in the recount). He was even a Republican state senator from Albuquerque. His Republican bona fides were beyond question.

But Duncan Scott had been quietly living a double life. Continue reading


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An Electoral Carol: The Ghost of Elections Past

Let Us Prey – Thomas Nast (detail)

I don’t get it.

I don’t get that the media doesn’t get it. I don’t get that the people don’t get it. I don’t get that the politicians don’t get it. These friends of Howie Rich are snake oil salesmen, slithering unctuously into the various states, using the electoral process for grand social experiments, and nobody seems to be upset.

[I keep hearing this hoo-haw about the "land of the Brave, and the Home of the Free," and yet every time Osama does something bad, we get punished. I don't get that, either.]

And nobody’s upset. It’s just the way things are, you know.

Or the various Libertarian party members across the USA who opine that what “Howie” is doing is in the best traditions of democracy, and say, did you know that America is a REPUBLIC and not a DEMOCRACY?” Continue reading

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The Modern Day Writer Refuses to Die, Redux

I haven’t been ignoring you. I’ve been ignoring you: The Ayn Rand ebook drops tomorrow (fingers crossing) due to various random permutations of having to wait for the internets to clear their tubes. And there’s been a death in the family, so please excuse me and rest assured that I’d probably say this, had I time to say anything, which I don’t. Because I’m too busy “saying something” in the bowels of the Beast Which Is Publications (proof, typeset, blueline, coding not any in that order … etc.). It’s OK: I’ve founded magazines, and ended up doing everything BUT setting the type. And I’ve set type. [Update: Book published on 12-12-12. Page is here.]

Here, from long ago, or was it yesterday or some dramatic setup line like that:

Nov 21, 2008

The Modern Day Writer Refuses to Die

(To paraphrase Edgard Varèse.)


Or, perhaps, Paul Simon: “The words of the mid-list authors are written on the subway walls.”

I fear that I’m about to rant, so some time ought be allotted to get small children, pets and those of a more delicate sensibility out of the room. OK? All right. You’ve been warned. Continue reading

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Salt Lake City and Mitt

From today’s Salt Lake City Tribune endorsement:

Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah … this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.

And the summation is fair and clean, too:

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

Harsh. Continue reading

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GOP Qaeda

Another ‘brilliant’ strategem from the GOP ‘patriots’

Poor Mittens blew his “gotcha” moment so badly that Karl Rove’s attempt to run on 9-11 AGAIN (and, by the by, giving aid and comfort to the enemy) had to be taken offline for a couple daze, but is now redux’d for the weekend news cycle (so they can ‘game’ the Monday foreign policy debate):

‘My son is not very optimal
Daily Mail (UK)

he is very dead': Mother of diplomat killed in Benghazi attack slams Obama’s comment on raid  —  The mother of an American diplomat killed during a terrorist raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has hit out at Barack Obama for describing the attack as ‘not optimal’ …

Let’s get two things straight: first, WTF is this continual cycle of using British tabloids to game an American election and American policy. They used Atlas Society honoree, speaker and cash-recipient James Delingpole to launch the “Climategate” scandal a Christmas or so ago. Now, they use British newspapers as their focal point for fake news. Take a look at the top of Memeorandum right now, and note that it’s only the Rovian Blog Corps pushing this foreign swill to the top of the page: Continue reading

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Liars and Taggarts and Boors, Oh My!

Here’s a lie, told while in office. A successful lie, too:

“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind.”

Tagg Romney inadvertently let the cat slip out of the bag, and it was a family affair.   Here’s the lie:

Tagg Romney jokes about ‘swing’ at Obama
Kevin Robillard / Politico

Mitt Romney’s eldest son joked in a radio interview that he wanted to “take a swing” at President Barack Obama after Obama called his father a liar.  —  “Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the stage and take a swing at him,” Tagg said, laughing.

Now, let me tell you the lie about the lie: Continue reading


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Who Won the Debate? Duh.

First Debate “highlights”

The spin cycle has gone into overdrive. Naturally. Here is craven and former news organization CNN, hedging their bets meaninglessly:

CNN Poll: Split decision on debate
Posted by CNN Political Unit

Hempstead, New York (CNN) – Give a slight edge to President Barack Obama.

Forty-six percent of voters who watched Tuesday night’s presidential debate said that the president won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Tuesday night’s faceoff here at Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island. Thirty-nine percent questioned said Republican nominee Mitt Romney did the better job.

Obama’s seven-point advantage came among a debate audience that was somewhat more Republican than the country as a whole and is within the survey’s sampling error.

Ah, Republican oversampling and plus or minus more than seven points sampling error? What’s the point. More to the point: What’ s the “news”? Continue reading


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In Process

“I, your Wizard, par adua outer, am about to embark on a hazardous and technically unexplainable journey into the outer stratosphere to confer, converse and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards.”

~ some 1939 MGM musical

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.



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Words mean something. We forget that too often. (See: “I Knew a Guy who named his Dog ‘Cujo’ ” Aug 16, 2011.)

Busted Caesar

And the term that’s appeared like the knives from Senators’ tunics that were the last thing that Caesar ever saw is “brutal.” Continue reading


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The Inevitable Post-Debate Blather

As noted before, the debate is won during the debate ABOUT the debate.

CNN Poll: Debate watchers split on who won VP debate

Danville, Kentucky (CNN) – Call it a draw.  —  Forty-eight percent of voters who watched the vice presidential debate think that Rep. Paul Ryan won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Thursday night’s faceoff.

Perhaps the most telling talking head of the evening was Chris Tweety Matthews on MSNBC, who scored it like a boxing card.  Continue reading


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Mitt’s Medieval Orchestra: Harpies, Loots and Liars

The Mighty Wall Street Journal has knotted its in situ undergarments again. The vapors! The vapors!

Obama and the L-Word
Wall Street Journal

‘Liar’ is potent and ugly—with a sleazy political pedigree. — The election campaign of the 44th U.S. president is now calling another candidate for the American presidency a “liar.” This is a new low. It is amazing and depressing to hear this term being used …

And Sal Russo and Howard Kaloogian, the guys who cooked up the Gray Davis recall campaign with Darrell Issa, sent this out from their long-running buses with different names Tea Party Express cash machine, “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama”: Continue reading


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