A bit of media framing, cluelessness and a nice “tell” from Susan Collins

The major mass media (the organized, lockstep right’s phantom “liberal” corporate media) has been instrumental in bringing our democracy to the doorstep of open, proud, defiant, vengeful fascism. Sometimes it’s done in-your-face, but most of the time it’s subtle, framing, omitting, pretending objectivity, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Here are three headlines from the influential Washington Post:

Plays right into the narrative, Americans want the “center” and those who endorse programs that bring children out of poverty (thanks to Manchinema four million young beneficiaries of the Child Tax Credit immediately returned to poverty when they blocked the Democratic Build Back Better bill) and fund long overdue measures to protect us all from devastating climate catastrophe — those are far LEFT ideas that, according to the moderate centrist narrative (both Manchin and Synema — “moderate centrists”), a radical minority is trying to ram down our throats, a la Amy Coney Barrett. OK, fine, Jeff Bezos owns the newspaper, after all.

Heh, there we go. The GOP and Manchinema blocked DEBATE (filibuster doesn’t just block a vote, it cuts off all public debate in the Senate) on increased IRS enforcement funding to bring the billions of dollars tax cheats steal every year (mostly wealthy ones — poor ones always pay, with interest and massive penalties) back into the public fisc. The larger goal of the right is to de-fund and cripple the administrative state, to “shrink government small enough to drown in a bathtub.” They’ve been working hard at it for decades. The sole remaining plank of the GOP platform (outside of whatever the big Orange Guy wants) is lowering tax for the wealthiest among us, because, you know, fair is fair. At midnight during the last session of the Bush-Cheney Congress they passed a law making the US Postal Service fund retirement benefits for all employees, even those employees not yet born. It immediately put our public mail service billions in debt. The results: predictable. The moral: private corporations rule and the government is the problem to be solved. Sure, that’s what democracy is all about, ask impartial corporate lawyer John Roberts.

How does this happen, in a chamber where McConnell got rid of the filibuster to ram through illegitimate Supreme Court picks? Fuck if I know, but again, the headline suggests that Democrats are fearful cucks who cannot even use their majority to fill important government vacancies, like the Fed. Again, who is controlling the narrative here?

And two from the New York Times. The first is from an article on the rising pedestrian death toll from drivers speeding, running lights and stop signs. The only drivers ever pulled over by police for such infractions seem to be drivers of color who have a tail light that’s out, and we only hear about these traffic stops when they turn deadly, usually for the people in the stopped car. The authors and Times editors are apparently unaware that the massive disruption of a once a century pandemic, with an insane would-be American strongman whipping up citizen outrage, has increased anxiety, anger and insanity among many of us. A walk in this quiet neighborhood often features cars racing on side streets, running stop signs, traffic lights, roaring with seeming rage (have many drivers actually removed their cars’ mufflers?)

The Times takes it usual objective, highly intelligent tone, after describing how it is easier to be aggressive in a car than face to face. I have to say, I love this sentence:

Then we have Susan Collins (R-Maine), the bipartisan defender of Trump (he learned his lesson after the first impeachment), and Boof Kavanaugh (he is actually much more moderate and less intemperate than he seemed when hissing and snarling about a dark money funded far-left partisan plot to ruin his life) penning an op ed for the Times that was a surprisingly well-written case for fixing the broken Electoral Count Act. In tandem with Judge Luttig’s recent op-ed (Luttig was the judge January 6 legal mastermind, and Fifth Amendment-citer John Eastman clerked for) these conservatives make a strong case for fixing the problematic law that Trump tried to drive a convoy of trucks through after losing the 2020 election.

Then we get the Susan Collins tell, a bit of inaccurate but precise-sounding (“relitigating”) language to describe the filibuster that cut off all discussion of restoring the Voting Rights Act that her party unanimously reauthorized in 2006, before the black guy became president, and then had the Supreme Court overrule the 98-0 Senate and a Republican president, because, well, a black guy had become president. The proposed laws were not litigated once (again, thanks to Manchinema, the greatest blue obstructionists money can buy), but, here’s pinhead Susan (and this one I can’t blame the Times for):

You said it, girlfriend.

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