Thursday, October 6, 2016

Commentariat Central: Mewling Neocons Edition

Here's a quartet of recent New York Times comments by yours truly:

Maureen Dowd, Girl Talk At Trump Tower, Oct. 1.

Synopsis: Dowd casts Trump and his buddies as 13-year-old girls prematurely saddled with menopausal hormones, and thereby outdoes Trump himself in insulting females of all ages:
Every minute of every day, Trump debunks that old “science” when he shows that the gossipy, backbiting, scolding, mercurial, overly emotional, shrewish, menopausal one in this race is not the woman.
Trump is surrounded by a bitchy sewing circle of overweight men who are overwrought at the prospect of a distaff Clinton presidency.
Cool, but watch out for the usual Clintonoid non sequitur. Never mind the teeny-boppers and the withered old witch-hags. Because like a bad case of teen acne, here come those "bimbo eruptions" again:
As former Clinton consigliere George Stephanopoulos wrote in his memoir: “She had to do what she had always done before: swallow her doubts, stand by her man and savage his enemies.”
Usually women candidates have the so-called virtue advantage, but Hillary does not because of her reputation for being shifty.
Cue the Meow Mix cat food commercial. My published response:
We come not to neuter Trump, but to spay him.

Forget the standard nip and tuck in the nether regions for this misogynist who spews his vitriol as freely as a tomcat sprays his whatever from his wherever. Trump needs the full invasive procedure, without the anesthesia. If he couldn't be bothered to do debate prep, then why should we bother with surgical prep? Let's take Trump at his word and show him that he can, indeed, be treated as unfairly as he currently only imagines he is.

Unfortunately, because Maureen is compelled to yet again drag Hillary Clinton into her Trump operating theater, we never quite see the end of the procedure. I suppose the rationale is, when writing a catty piece about male cattiness, a catty polemicist simply cannot resist.

To Maureen, Hillary is pure catnip. What starts out as kneading the keyboard quickly pivots into the unsheathing of the claws. Trump licks his wounds just like an embarrassed but unharmed gib caught falling off his luxury perch. Enter Hillary, once more portrayed as the coldest,cattiest creature of them all, what with her purrfect plotting against the "bimbo eruptions."

Maureen has effectively neutered her own anti-GOP, anti-sexist argument. It's one more example of false equivalency. Trump and his catty clowder of chowderheads are bad in their way, Hillary is bad in hers. Who's the lesser evil, and who's the evil lesser?

Enough of this cheap reality show supplanting democracy.

We are citizens. Hear us yowl!


 Paul Krugman, Trump's Fellow Travelers, Oct. 3.

Synopsis: No, Krugman isn't red-baiting Trump from the right again. But it's close. In this pro-Hillary go-round, the Conscience of a Liberal chides Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell for not joining a fickle fleet of Republican ships deserting the sinking rat. He again blames the mainstream media for the unbelievable closeness of the race. He again ignores the job-destroying and and wage suppressing globalization and the corporate coups known as free trade. He again ignores the class war and income disparity and a crappy Democratic candidate. He instead holds up war criminal Paul Wolfowitz as a model intellectual conservative profile in political courage for deserting the sinking rat. I knew that Krugman had sunk low, what with all his catty Bernie-bashing this year. But this was a brand new low. Even for him.

My published response:
Krugman writes that "you have to give people like, say, Paul Wolfowitz some credit for political courage."
No, you don't. As one of the architects of the Iraq invasion, he should actually be hauled into an international court to answer a whole litany of charges, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Endorsing the better presidential candidate should absolve him of nothing. It's actually scary that he is supporting Clinton, because it's a sign that he might wield influence. He has, after all, served both Democrats and Republicans since the 1970s.

As a founding member of the odious neocon think tank Center for a New American Security, he urged Bill Clinton to ignore the UN Security Council and get rid of Saddam Hussein. He authored a document called the "Defense Planning Guidance" while working for Dick Cheney. It says the US can take unilateral military action whenever it feels like it.
 He is neither a "conservative" nor an "intellectual." Hillary should reject his endorsement forthwith. He's as dangerous as Trump, if not more so. His tortured thinking has led to the deaths of thousands of American troops and the deaths and displacement of millions of innocent Iraqis.

Trump is only the latest, most glaring symptom of the American pathocracy.

So yes, let's defeat him. And once Clinton is elected, let her know in no uncertain terms that we won't tolerate neocons anywhere near the White House, ever again. End the wars.


Paul Krugman, The King of False Equivalence, Oct. 4 

Synopsis: PK again gives favored whipping boy Paul Ryan another (ugh!) 50 lashes with his wet neoliberal noodle:
Ugh. Ryan is not, repeat not, a serious, honest man of principle who has tainted his brand by supporting Donald Trump. He has been an obvious fraud all along, at least to anyone who can do budget arithmetic. His budget proposals invariably contain three elements:
1. Huge tax cuts for the wealthy.
2. Savage cuts in aid to the poor.
3. Mystery meat – claims that he will raise trillions by closing unspecified tax loopholes and save trillions cutting unspecified discretionary spending.
My comment:
 Paul Ryan couldn't survive in politics without Democratic complicity. The DCCC has never backed progressive challengers in his purple district, which Obama actually won in 2008. Why do you suppose that is?

Ryan might be a fraud, but he's a useful fraud. He's personable and he's young and he's telegenic. While he may devote his whole life to punishing poor families, he loves his own family so very, very much. Even the president has praised him for being a fine, upstanding family man.

When the GOP lost its "safe" NY-26 seat in a special 2011 election, Bill Clinton approached Ryan at the annual Pete Peterson Catfood Confab for Elite Greedsters to offer some friendly advice on "reforming" Medicare in a less extreme way than had originally proposed by Ryan. An open mic picked up their conversation:

Clinton: "I'm glad we won this race in New York. But I hope Democrats don't use it as an excuse to do nothing."
 Ryan: "My guess is it's gonna sink into paralysis, is what's gonna happen. And you know the math. I mean, It's just -- out there. But you gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving."

Bill promised to give Paul a buzz.

My guess is there's gonna be some friendly triangulation among Bill and Paul and the Dems in the not-too-distant future. After all, Hillary has promised to put Bill in charge of "fixing the economy."

Fasten your seat belts.


Nicholas Kristof, A Blot on Obama's Legacy, Oct. 6 

Synopsis: The title of this column has now been changed to "I Am Very Afraid I Will Die Tonight." - no doubt because the original doesn't fit with the concerted mainstream media Obama-burnishing campaign, now underway with a vengeance. 

Before you get all excited and think that Kristof's column is about Obama's abysmal domestic record, his coddling of Wall Street banksters, or his push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or is a broadside against the president's pathological drone policy, think again. Kristof is upset because Obama hasn't yet declared World War III by way of a "humanitarian" escalation of the war in Syria. He actually uses a child who Tweets to him in English to sell a new war to the American public.

As far as I'm concerned, the president's refusal to bomb Syria in 2013, once he'd determined that Assad did not, in fact, kill his own people with Sarin gas, was actually a rare profile in courage for him. And even though I am certainly no fan of Obama, I think that I will actually miss him once Hillary moves in and wastes no time displaying her Bush-like neocon qualities from behind the safety of her security detail and a fawning, war-hungry press corps.

My comment:
Kristof has got it exactly backwards. Obama's reticence to start a full-scale war in Syria is not a blot on his legacy, but rather a mark of rare statesmanship amidst all the war-mongering hysteria being fomented by the media-military complex.

When will we ever learn, Kristof ironically asks from behind the safety of his computer screen, as he disingenuously fails to remark upon lessons apparently unlearned from the debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. How will little Bana, whom Kristof shamelessly uses as a prop in his liberal interventionist propaganda piece, benefit if Obama does his bidding to bomb bomb bomb Syria as an act of aggression toward Russia? Perhaps the columnist missed the Senate testimony of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford last month, in which he warned that a no-fly zone would be tantamount to declaring war on both Syria and Russia.

Hillary Clinton is all for a no-fly zone. So be patient, Mr. Kristof - the real blot on the landscape may be yet to come.

 Too bad Obama can't get a third term like the Clintons.
Coming Soon: A Hybrid Neocon Third Term


Jay–Ottawa said...

"We come not to neuter Trump, but to spay him."

CATS. That line near the top stole the show and triggered laughing that, for a while, kept me from finishing Karen's post on the feral cats of government, international banking and the MSM.

MONSTERS. Yup, that's all the sharp pens of the MSM are capable of: sewing select parts of Trump into a new Frankenstein creation, horrendous and unpredictable––yet, truth be told, with a better heart than the people hunting him down in order to lay his carcass at the feet of Good Queen Clinton.

BASEBALL. How good it is at this crucial moment in the political playoffs to see our very own ace strike out three MSM heavy hitters––Dowd, Krugman and Kristof––in style and this on the home field of the New York Times itself.

Elizabeth Adams said...

"A Hybrid Neocon Third Term". Yes, the transformation is complete: The two parties have melded seamlessly into one unseemly blob. There are no "sides" to a blob.

This whole escalation with Syria and push for the Gaddafi treatment of Assad is like deja vu all over again.

Thank you for sharing your responses, Karen.

qhzy said...

"So yes, let's defeat him. And once Clinton is elected, let her know in no uncertain terms that we won't tolerate neocons anywhere near the White House, ever again. End the wars."

Under the above scenario, once Clinton is elected, why would she consider anything you would propose "in no uncertain terms"? Clinton got the nomination by ignoring you. Yet you propose electing Clinton who holds your ideals in utter contempt.

Once Clinton is elected, you can expect unfettered warmongering that will make Trump look like Santa Claus. Vote for the incompetent Jill Stein if you must, or better, don't vote. Have some self-respect, and reconsider your nonsensical position.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Jay and Elizabeth.


Read again. I have resigned myself to the fact of Clinton's looming election, which is a far cry from proposing we vote for her. That's being realistic, not delusional. And my self-respect is quite intact, thank you very much for your concern.

My "nonsensical position" is to suggest a new anti-war movement, something that Obama supporters and even Bernie supporters have been loath to engage in. The silver lining around the Hillary Hawk cloud is that she is a deeply unpopular politician and not likely to enjoy the traditional honeymoon.

qhzy said...

@Karen "I have resigned myself to the fact of Clinton's looming election".

There is a month before election day. You surrendered too early. The enemy is not in the wire yet. Even some Republicans are calling for Trump to quit. Join them. Demand a better candidate!

Sorry Karen, but "a new anti-war movement" without the draft is more nonsense. Most Americans don’t care if non-white foreign people get killed by the millions under Killary; nor do they care if the mostly under-class American military gets KIA, beyond displaying a "support the troops" bumper sticker. If you are serious about "a new anti-war movement", fight to bring back the draft. Until white middle-class draftees, and white upper-class draftees, are put in harms way, you are tilting at windmills.

You might want to consider writing a column about why voters complain each election cycle about unfair party rules and other such, then sit back and do little to fix the "rigged" system during the down years. I get sick of hearing "we need a third party", every four years. I’m tired of voters looking for a "savior" - this time it was "Bernie" - eight years ago it was Barack Obama. Anyone tired of BO’s stench yet?

FYI, Killary has been on a perpetual political honeymoon since she married hound dog Bubba Clinton.

All the best - qhzy

annenigma said...

Great post as usual, Karen. I loved the line about Trump spewing whatever out of his whatever. I wish Megyn Kelly would read your blog. She'd howl with laughter along with the rest of us.

I'm anxiously awaiting to see which of the two fake blond candidates wins the Presidency next month, but I'm pretty sure we know.

Honestly, I think Hillary is going to be considered by all the pundits and talking heads as a great liberator of our country, freeing the country (and the Democratic Party) once and for all of the influence of Liberals and their naive clinging to the ideas of peace, humanitarianism, and environmental stewardship. We're now discovering that her private slogan shared with Wall St. banksters is more along the lines of 'Make America Greedy Again' and she can do it too. She's going to end up being considered one of the most successful Presidents ever, loved and cherished by Wall St, Neocons, Neolibs, and warmonging Republicans and Democrats as she unites the country with and for war, war, and more war. She could pull that off with a little help from her friends. After all, she's a true FOE, Friend of Empire.

The fact is, nothing stimulates the economy like war and nothing unites the populace (and gets a President a second term) like war, what with all those heroes and medals, ceremonies, monuments, and decorated gravestones awaiting for such a noble cause and sacrifice. I'm reminded of Chris Hedges' book title 'War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning'. Americans are addicted to war and militarism, and war pusher Clinton is going to provide an amply supply. Can you even associate the word 'Peace' with Hillary Clinton? She's got her basket of belligerents on board already - nearly the entire Bush league of war criminals and even that Nixon era throwback, war criminal Kissinger. The MIC must be revving up their jet engines anticipating a Hillary Clinton administration. I'm sickened with the thought.

Unlike President Peace Prize, Commander-in-Chief Clinton will not hesitate to formally declare war and ask Congress for full authorization, no holds barred, and she'll get it too. We're fooling ourselves if we think that any protest movement would get any traction. Her media sycophants will ignore, black out, ridicule, and marginalize just like Bernie, Occupy, and the anti-Iraq War movement before that. If anything were to somehow gain traction, Madame President would swiftly and harshly put it down just to prove how tough and strong a woman can be.

She's not going to be like that pussy cat Obama. Stronger Together! Onward, Christian soldiers! Obama just didn't have the religion thing going and he didn't come across as strong either.

I do have a prediction related to her militarism and practical, business side. Hillary could propose cancelling student debt for those who serve in the military, probably a minimum 8 year sentence - I mean enlistment. Hillary's already in favor of requiring women to register for Selective Service, so it would only be fair in the event of a new debt cancellation program that women would be herded into the fold by activating the draft. Think of it as a reverse GI bill. The military gets a more educated force and forces serve longer sentences - I mean enlistments - to pay the debt off. It's a win-win. Then she can fold the burgeoning VA into the ACA to save health insurance and pharmaceutical industry profits. Another win-win.

Hillary means business and we're going to really get the business - right up the wazoo.

annenigma said...

Karen, your NYT comment to Dowd's column titled 'Donald Goes to the Dogs' was OUTSTANDING!

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Anne. I'll repost it along with my response to Bruni's latest centrist stenography in an upcoming Commentariat.

You're right about Hillary's war(s). A selection from the Wikileaks email trove has Hillary blandly assuring her bankster buddies in a paid speech that, unfortunately, Syrian civilians will have to die... for purely humanitarian reasons, of course. As I stated in one of my Krugman comments, I fully expect Bill to be among the chief gourmet sausage makers for what promises to be a reanimation of the Bowles-Simpson Fancy Feast Cat Food Commission to give it the famous old "balanced approach." Senior citizens living on cat food will have to share the sacrifice in order to feel like a Better Stronger Together part of the pseud-patriotic team effort.

Meanwhile, Trump is a sexist and a potty-mouth and the true cause of the end of the world.

Meredith NYC said...

As we watch diehard Trump fans dig in and defend their guy, and see Hillary praised no matter what, we ask,
is this what our famous US democracy was created for?

We need science to study political epidemiology – how political disease is transmitted through a large population with weakened mental immune systems after years of exposure to toxic propaganda. These are more susceptible to toxic messages undermining them, but they don’t even realize it.

And how did those who can resist the epidemic manage to maintain their immunity to it?

We see in the Town Hall debates the audience of voters waiting to question the candidates and judge their response. Gives the impression that the candidates have to represent the public’s interests. But actually the candidates have to work for the megadonors, legalized by the S. Court to pour multi millions into their campaigns.

So the town hall optics are a fa├žade of democracy. We have to pick between the choices the big money sets up, which limits our govt’s political solutions to within the limits set by elites.

But the interests of the elites always are opposed to interests of the citizen majority. That’s why voting rights gradually expanded from white men with a lot of property, to those with less property, to those who owned none, then to all races, then to women.

Now even with universal voting, and even if 100% turnout, the citizen majority preferences on most issues, are ignored in favor of elites, if the opinions differ. And they differ much of the time in a myriad of issues-- like taxes, jobs, govt regulations, guns, education, etc.

See decades of stats on this compiled by Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and B. Page. Could a hint of this ever get into mainstream media?

Seems the function of town hall debates, and of US elections, is just to eliminate the most egregious, dangerous nut case candidates. Then we elect the less egregious. Our standards get lower as the billions spent rises with each cycle.

Pearl said...

As Battle for Senate Tightens, Progressives Hone In on Down-Ballot Races
Sunday, 09 October 2016 00:00
By Candice Bernd, Truthout | News Analysis

Informative article from Truthout worth reading

Pearl said...

Our Revolution Candidates

lists dozens of progressives running for office throughout the U.S. From article listed in above comment.