Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Back from da Buff- with more media fails!

Back from a long weekend in Buffalo to see some in-laws. Good trip, and I even went to the same Dave and Buster's that the New York Jets attended on Saturday night. But can't say I take responsibility for the Bills kicking the crap out of the Jets the next day, nor did I have anything to do with this guy's condition at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.

But there was a lot going on while I've been gone, so I wanted to give a couple of quick links and reactions.

1. The first involves the great Charlie Pierce's rundown of this Sunday's political shows, and he destroyed ABC's This Week for a performance that would embarrass a high school Journalism class. Here's a small example, where Pierce mentions that ABC's Martha Raddatz continually asked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about the "disastrous" Obamacare implementation and how Obama could regain the people's trust after it had been "shattered", and Gillibrand discussed people who were getting coverage under Obamacare.
Gillibrand and Raddatz were talking in different realities here. The people who didn't have health care before and can afford it now -- the people in the states where the governors aren't such pig-headed ideologues that they took the Medicaid expansion because FREE MONEY! -- their "trust" is not "shattered." Raddatz is talking about a 15-foot radius around her own green room. There is a difference.
Speaking of pig-headed ideologue governors who obstruct Obamacare, Pierce also mentioned ABC's ridiculous interview with recent author Scott Walker, and it was as much of a puff piece as you'd imagine, with ABC's Jonathan Karl visiting Walker at the Capitol.
WALKER: There are signs out there that have my picture with a scope site on it. There are people who say a good Republican is a dead Republican.

This tunnel connects from across the street.

KARL: The Governor gave us a first ever look at the secret tunnel he used to get in and out of his office during the occupation.

The protesters didn't figure a way to?


Brave Sir Scotty! (Precisely what "people" said those things? When?) Ooooo, secret tunnels! And then, the questions. It's a wonder that Walker could stand up under the ferocious interrogation he faced. Anything about not delivering the job numbers he promised? The continuing probe into how he conducted his campaign? The selling off of public lands for private profit? The arrests of elderly people for the crime of singing in their state capitol? The most recent late-night atrocities by the troglodytes in his pet legislature? Nope, Karl didn't have room for that because he wanted -- nay, he needed -- answers to the following.

[KARL:] Governor Walker, for a while, you were the most divisive man in America. What'd you learn from that?
Of course, it's no surprise that Walker chose Jonathan Karl to interview him, since Karl is a known GOP operative masquerading as a journalist, so Walker could count on him not to ask any real questions about his failed policies and lack of morals. I also notice that Scotty is going on the shows of righties Larry Kudlow and Joe Scarborough, but doesn't have time to take up Rachel Maddow's request for a few minutes of discussion. This guy's "Unintimidated?" As Lee Elia would say "My fuckin' ass!"

2. I'm also guessing Kudlow and Scarborough aren't going to ask Scotty about John Doe Part Deux (and have likely been told not to), even though the investigation is clearly heating up. How else do you explain the right-wing oligarchs at Wisconsin Club for Growth revealing to the Wall Street Journal that they have been subpoenaed and their offices. It was the basis for this absurd Murdoch Journal editorial, which first minimized the Milwaukee John Doe investigation, and the six convictions that came from it. The Murdoch boys then tried to give the same failed "persecution" argument from earlier this year that came up with political organizations being investigated by the IRS for ducking taxes.
Perhaps the probe will turn up some nefarious activity that warrants this subpoena monsoon and home raids. But in the meantime the effect is to limit political speech by intimidating these groups from participating in the 2014 campaign. Stifling allies of Mr. Walker would be an enormous in-kind contribution to Democrats. Even if no charges are filed, the subpoenas will have served as a form of speech suppression.

[Eric] O'Keefe [of Wisconsin Club for Growth] told us that the flurry of subpoenas "froze my communications and frightened many allies and vendors of the pro-taxpayer political movement in Wisconsin and across the country." Even if no one is ever convicted of a crime, he says, "the process is the punishment."
OH POOR BABIES! They couldn't raise and shift funds as easily because someone might find out who they were! May I remind you of Lisa Kaiser's excellent expose of Wisconsin Club for Growth and other right-wing groups taking part in a money-laundering scheme during the first two years of Walker's governorship? I think I'll play the world's smallest violin in sympathy, Mr. O'Keefe.

Let me give the righty oligarchs a little tip, if you're scared about people finding out what political activities you're paying for, then you're not doing anything decent. It's why we shouldn't just investigate any coordination, but that we should EXPOSE EVERY DOLLAR that these scumbags donate, and where it is spent on.

There's a whole lot more that broke over the weekend, and is going to break this week, and I'll get to that later this week, now that I'm back in Dairyland through the holidays.

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