Saturday, August 8, 2015

Links/Open Thread

There's been enough written about the GOP debates, the various hangovers suffered by the various pundits and bloggers covering the GOP debates, and the battle between the odious Donald Trump and the odious Fox News to make the Internet explode. Therefore I am desisting. For now, anyway. I plan to go outside and get a lot of fresh air this weekend. No links needed. The stories are everywhere.

Ditto for the Jon Stewart hagiography machine. The satirist for the ages is currently vying with Trump, that other satirist for the ages, for this week's Greatest Clicks award.

In other news (not that you'd know that there was any other news):

The New York Times dog-whistles the accusation that President Obama is a dog-whistling anti-Semite for daring to criticize Aipac's multimillion dollar ad campaign to squelch the Iran nuclear deal. Writes Julie Hirschfeld Davis,
Mr. Obama’s advisers strongly disputed the suggestion that he used coded language to single out Aipac when he said in his American University speech that “many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.”
“This has nothing to do with anybody’s identity; this is a policy difference about the Iranian nuclear program,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. “We don’t see this as us versus them,” Mr. Rhodes added, predicting that the White House and Aipac would work closely in the future on other matters, including Israeli security. “This is a family argument, not a permanent rupture.”
Well, that's all good then. Israel and the USA are members of the same family, just as the American economy family and the American government family are just like your family. (Whenever a politician or operative uses the word "family," you can be very sure that something nasty is afoot.)

The Times unquestioningly accepted Aipac's denial that it is funding the mammoth PR blitz against the Iran deal, even though it has been proven the pro-Israel government lobby is behind the effort. I got a call a month or so ago from this lobby, called Citizens For a Nuclear Free Iran. The woman haltingly and ineptly reading from her script claimed she had a direct open line to somebody she hilariously called "Senator Chuck" (she meant Schumer) and insisted she connect me to him immediately so I could personally voice my terror, outrage and confusion. I hung up on her, but now wish I hadn't, if only to find out whether she did, in fact, have direct access to Senator Chuck. Because every time I try to call him -- say, on the TPP -- his mailbox is mysteriously full.


 Speaking of phone calls, it has now reached the point where my home phone has become an instrument of torture, payable by me. Every other call I get is from "Bridget from Card Services," or some guy claiming that my Windows system is a mess, but if I will just give him all my passwords, he can fix it for me remotely. I tell him I prefer to wash my own windows with a weak ammonia solution, thank you, and then I hang up. That "Do Not Call" registry is a joke. So is the app claiming to be able to block robo-calls.


The latest monthly jobs report reveals that the Precariat is still teetering, "solid and steady," on the brink of destitution. This disaster of crappy pay, part-time jobs and temporary gigs is a big fat bore, as far as the Times is concerned. But I bet they are not half as bored as the youth of America. Nearly half the teenagers who went looking for a job this summer were unable to find one. The number of unemployed people aged 16-24 increased by a staggering 2.1 million in just the last quarter. All the old people are stealing the sub-minimum wage/commission- only phone solicitation jobs.


For those lucky enough to have a real job, the latest thing is for your boss to plant a microchip under your skin to make sure you're not playing Solitaire on his dime, or otherwise goofing off, even on your own time. This is also being done, supposedly, to track your "wellness," because your health is of the utmost importance to them. It is estimated that by next year, most major corporations will fit workers out with "fitness trackers."  At Amazon, warehouse workers are already monitored by GPS before they're stopped and frisked -- on their own dime -- upon leaving the workplace.


For those lucky enough not to have Big Brother for a boss, there is always entrepreneurship. Some unknown bootstrapper out there in Washington DC exerted some good old-fashioned American can-doism by paintballing the American war thug presidents in their alleged balls.

If thuggery doesn't do it for you, maybe the Postmodern Incestuous Industrial Complex will: 


Jay–Ottawa said...

I see in the headlines that Trump made another piggish comment about women, this time against one of the Fox interviewers at Thursday’s debate. I would be greatly impressed if, in the next debate, at least one of the many other GOP candidates calls TRUMP OUT in the same way Joseph Welch effectively swept Senator McCarthy off the public stage back in the Fifties:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last….”

As the YouTube historian, see link below, aptly shows, Welch’s line has since saved us from at least three other national mishaps.

Meredith NYC said...

For something completely different,maybe---check out tonight (Sunday) on cspan--- The Canadian Party Leaders Debate. 9p and 12a.

Interesting to see how other democracies conduct their campaigns, even more so if they aren’t billionaire dependent. I’m curious how much contrast will there be between the Canadian debate and our right wing theater production.

This is for parliament. (Do they have gun lobbies paying off their candidates to push guns for all with no background checks?

Do their parliaments aim to dismantle h/c for all they’ve had since the 1960s, and financial regulation that saved Canada from the 08 crash?

I’m curious, since I can’t find much news coverage of our neighbor Canada, so close and in many ways so far.

From Cspan:
The leaders of Canada’s four major political parties participated in the first debate ahead of the October 19, 2015, federal election for the Canadian House of Commons. The debate topics of the economy, energy and the environment, the state of Canada’s democracy, and Canada’s foreign policy were introduced by videos. Between each topic reactions from pollsters and analysts was shown. Other topics discussed in the debate were U.S.-Canada relations, particularly regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as the U.S.-led effort to defeat ISIL*

Meredith NYC said...

Karen......Jon Stewart hagiography is right. He was good but I never watched him. Did you? Opinion? He's getting huge media on his departure---msnbc had an hour special on it, repeated all weekend.

A comment to the Times said in past centuries the monarchs had court jesters who could dare to say things comically that others did not, and live to tell about it.
Modern USA has turned truth telling over to comedians---we don't get it from news media and punditocracy. But I guess the powers that be didn't regard Stewart as too dangerous, since so many from the political world and others went on his show--a mark of prestige and great publicity getter--but then they could ignore what he advocated. All a big joke? Don't know.

Karen Garcia said...


I'd not been a regular viewer of The Daily Show in the past eight or so years, just caught the occasional clip here and there. I lost interest after the Bush years. His much ballyhooed Rally for Sanity was what finally turned me off. He got a bunch of middle class people to go to Washington as a sort of protest to Glenn Beck, and then performed a series of comedy skits. One of them had the crowd jumping up en masse to see if the earth would move when they landed. In my opinion he helped squelch what might have been a protest movement from the Left. Personally, I much preferred the truly brilliant George Carlin.