Political rant ...
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the following ...
The Obama administration scandals are mostly concocted bullsh!t between the right-wing media/entertainment machine and the corporate whoremedia that are not real with the possible exception of the DOJ one, and even that is more a policy issue than an illegal act. Ezra Klein covers it nicely here on his WaHoPo Wonkblog. (Of note, the WaHoPo online is FAR SUPERIOR to the print edition, which is mostly just Professional Centrist "Washington Consensus" crap mixed in with neo-con warmongering.)
The IRS "scandal" in which phony 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organizations in the form of a vast array of local Teabagger organizations trying to dodge paying taxes is just that -- a phony scandal that instead (as Chris Hayes pointed out last week on his show All In) is due to the post-Citizens United corporate oligarchical world of limitless campaign money in which we are living.
And the mad-dog GOP politicians have no interest in resolving the situation. This is why, in Stalin show trial fashion, they keep calling for basically everybody in the Obama administration to go to prison and to impeach the President himself -- all with zero evidence. This is what gins up the right-wing media/entertainment hate machine, and I'm so frickin' sick of it.
Sometimes I think, why even bother having the United States in its current form? Let the South and low population flyover states form their own country or countries and just have a loose confederation. The South could then be its own quasi-theocratic apartheid state with a resource-extractive economy and sundry caste systems based on race and class.
Of course, to some extent this red-blue divide is an exaggerated creature of the Age of the Internet with its news and information source self-selection and the rise of the right-wing media / entertainment complex. This might explain, at least in part, why a state such as West Virginia that in 2012 didn't have a single county vote for Obama by contrast in 1988 voted for Michael Dukakis.
Yes, Michael Dukakis.
Here is Bill Maher's take on the IRS Form 1023 (the 501(c)(3) nonprofit application) for Tea Party types. It's pretty damn funny.
As for Benghazi, quoting Klein, "We're long past the point where it’s obvious what the Benghazi scandal is supposed to be about." I do know that if a Dem had doctored e-mails the way the GOP staffers had done so and "released" to this or that favorite media reporter pet, the reaction would be very different.
What this means is that -- to quote Jonathan Chait -- what we have is not three massive scandals but between zero and one (the AP phone records one) that is actually based on the post-9/11 metastasized security/surveillance state in place.
But as Paul Krugman pointed out, when the whoremedia decide there is a scandal -- as they did in the 1990s with the Great Whitewater Hoax and all the other pre-Monica faux scandals -- the facts are irrelevant.
Speaking of Paul Krugman, I'm not even going to touch the bizarre Michael Kinsley screed but instead will reiterate what Krugman himself writes here and here wherein he directs the reader here to Mark Thoma, here to the inestimable Brad DeLong, and here to the somewhat unlikely Matt Yglesias.
Oh, and I would like to direct you to here to Alex Pareene.
Oh, and I would like to direct you to here to Alex Pareene.
The bottom line message is what Krugman wrote (and it's a point that cannot be reiterated enough):
"Look, folks, when I write about the urge to see economics as a morality play, I am not just inventing this out of thin air. I read a lot; I also talk to a fair number of these people at things like Group of 30 meetings. Yes, there’s class interest; yes, there’s disaster capitalism at work. But the gut feeling that there must be pain (your pain, of course, not theirs) is very, very real too."
The "disaster capitalism" refers to Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine notion whereby economic elites (and their lapdog pundits* in the media) (again quoting Krugman), "systematically exploit disasters to push through neoliberal policies even if these policies are essentially irrelevant to the sources of disaster."
*These range from the Benjamin Wittes and Sebastian Mallaby "respectable" think tank sorts (middle and right) to the James K. Glassman corporate gigolo types (left). Their job is to bang out self-serving justifications for whatever the corporate oligarchical overclass wants -- differing in only the level of egregious whoring.
In their world, this kind of Bangladesh catastrophe that killed 1,127 people at a garment factor in Savar outside Dhaka last mouth including the couple above is just par for the course ("the engine of Free Trade"). "Free Trade" in the corporate oligarchical way it was created has been nothing short of a catastrophe all around.
By the way, I would like to quote Mike Jeffries, the ghoulish Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, from his 2006 Salon interview:
"That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that. ... In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don't excite anybody, either."
Nice lips. Jeffries, you're a Frankensteinian ghoulish piece of sh!t.
Oh, yes, this kind of quote precisely embodies the vacuous and amoral rich high school girl value system of the JRs/Cobalt D.C. gay mafia, but let's not get into that right now.
OK, there, finished this rant.