Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Digby, Marshall, and Krugman on the Perpetual Media Motion Clinton Scandal Machine, E-mail Edition; A Brief Personal Update

The pathway through the Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden located on the east side of the National Museum of Natural History at 9th St NW between Constitution Ave and the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 10:45AM August 25, 2015.

This is one garden in a series of Smithsonian gardens around the National Mall (which, for its part, remains extensively fenced off and severely torn up as it undergoes massive "reconstruction").


The political-themed content below was originally part of my previous entry, but it was already late and I wanted to stay focused. Thus, I am posting it below. Some of the pieces are already a few days old already but that doesn't change the reality of it.

I have a brief personal update at the bottom of this entry.


So I want to note a good piece by blogger Heather Digby Parton ("Digby") that just appeared in Salon and is linked below. (Yes, I have mentioned that I find it very difficult navigating and reading that site given its cartoonish style and self-parodying political correctness that -- taken together -- basically demands the eradication of the male gender.) This piece is on the phony Clinton email scandal that the Beltway political-media class are fixated upon, and thus useful tools of the GOP Agit-Prop machine (link embedded):

I love her reference to "Cokie's Law" (as in a Beltway pundit class axiom attributed to Cokie Roberts). It is stated below.

Cokie's Law: The press can pass judgment about anything once it's "out there" regardless of whether or not what's "out there" is true.

As Digby alludes, Cokie's Law is equally valid as beauty parlor gossip or New York Times political reporting, in particular on the Clintons.

Digby's analysis of Chuck Todd's Meet the Whore roundtable group grope, er, discussion this past Sunday on the email "scandal" is also very good -- and infuriating to read what comes out of Todd's mouth and the mouths of his guests, ostensibly "solid reporters" whenever the topic involves the Clintons.

This excerpt summarizes Digby's thesis quite nicely:

"One of the major effects of the patented "Clinton Scandal" that's become a fixture of political conversation over the past two decades is the helplessness in engenders in Democrats who feel like they are swimming in quicksand trying to make sense of the whole thing. They know it's not a real scandal, and yet the press is blatantly aroused by the opportunity to speculate wildly about "what it all means" while the Republicans smugly repeat their talking points with robotic military precision. But again, that's the point. It's even got a name: "Clinton Fatigue" ..."

Josh Marshall of TPM has his own take on it (link embedded): A View From the Clinton Scandal Nonsense Mill. He takes apart a Reuters "exclusive" that posits a scandal because Clinton "should have known" what should have been classified, but was not, in the emails and then throws this out there ("Reuters' findings may add to questions ...")

Best summary lines (although I don't think the blame is spread equally as he implies):

"The Clintons may not go looking for trouble but they always find it. They have a tortured but ultimately symbiotic, codependent and deeply toxic relationship with their pursuers, which is simply, after a couple decades, exhausting. You just don't get this with Obama."

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman had a nice turn of phrase in this blog entry:

"By normal human standards this [story] is a big nothing; but Clinton Rules apply, under which malign behavior is the default assumption and where there's smoke there must be fire even if everyone knows that the usual suspects are operating big smoke machines. How many people still think that there really was a Whitewater scandal, or for that matter that Hillary is the subject of a criminal investigation?"

Ah, Whitewater, the apotheosis of bogus Bill Clinton presidency-era "Clinton Scandals" ...

... relentlessly pushed by the conservative entertainment complex (as it existed in its 1990s form, chiefly as talk radio) and the Washington Consensus crowd, then in its heyday and as embodied in Fred Hiatt's Washington Post editorial and op-ed pages "stable" of opinion writers and columnists. It's worth noting that the members of the print-side op-ed portion aren't that different today than they were back in the 1990s.*

*Hiatt joined the editorial board in 1996 and became editorial page editor in 2000 after Meg Greenfield died.

That's because if Fred Hiatt likes what you say, no matter the amount of bullshit or wankery, but with a specialty in neoliberal economics and/or neoconservative foreign policy, and you say it consistently, his columnist positions are lifetime tenured ones. But this is far too long a topic to delver into now, so I'll just drop it.

Suffice it to say, this is a limitless topic.

Before concluding this political-themed entry, I would like to note this new poll of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire that shows Donald Trump with 30% support -- triple his closest rival in that Alice-in-Wonderland field. The good news is that support for all the other GOP clown car candidates have (at least for now) collapsed including JEB!, and the "Deep Bench" looks like a side show as it tries -- and axiomatically fails -- to out-Trump Trump.

Hillary is having trouble in New Hampshire but is well ahead in other Democratic primary contests. If she loses New Hampshire, expect to hear how her campaign is "in free fall," "doomed," "imploding," "ending," etc., but that's all media circle-jerkery from the New York Times and network and cable news on down to the uglier corners of the rightwing business press and the Beltway pundit class. I'm not even mentioning the conservative entertainment complex of Fox News and talk radio.


A cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is caught with a Civil War cannon artillery piece on the Manassas Battlefield in the foreground around sunset, August 24, 2015.

This picture was taken by Jen Johnson and reposted from her twitter account to this CWG entry.


OK, as a very brief personal update ...

I have a dental appointment scheduled for tomorrow (later today) at 10:50AM for what I believe is a cavity.

I am suddenly in a possibly deeply uncertain job situation owing to a lack of work, and as much as I don't want to, if things don't change, I would have to begin looking for other employment as a lifeline if I am laid off. I really like this job, but the situation has to change so that I get busy (and useful) again.

I went to the gym tonight (second night in a row) and then came home, did a few loads of laundry, and made dinner.

For tomorrow, I'm just going to do a post-work happy hour or whatever it is.

My Jersey shore trip with Gary and LP but, unfortunately, not Wendy is just a few days away.

OK, that's all for now. I probably won't update the blog tomorrow night.


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